It can be difficult to keep a clear head or maintain focus when your favorite furry friend is sick or injured. But if you believe a trip to the animal hospital or local veterinarian may be required at this exact moment, it's important to take a deep breath and move forward with purpose. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you are considering taking your pet in for emergency care.
Err on the Side of Caution or "Better Safe Than Sorry"
First, you need to decide if this situation is truly an emergency and requires immediate care. In general, it's a good idea to err on the side of caution and take your pet in for help even if you are not sure what the exact problem is. Your pet obviously can't tell you what's going on, but a good pet owner can easily tell when a pet is distressed or not acting like themselves. Make a phone call to your regular veterinarian if possible and seek an emergency appointment. If you are not near your regular veterinarian or your pet can't be seen quickly, look around for an emergency animal hospital.
Your Regular Veterinarian May Be Able to Send Records to the Emergency Veterinarian
Before going to the hospital, it's a good idea to grab your pet's medical records if you have them. If you don't have those on hand, try to at least remember your pet's history as much as you can including any previous shots or surgeries they have received, and convey this info to the hospital. If you are taking the pet to some other place besides your main veterinarian, you may still be able to contact a secretary at your regular office and request that your pet's full medical history be faxed or emailed over to the emergency animal hospital.
Be As Patient As You Can Because Sometimes Even Emergency Veterinarians Have Wait Times
Yes, your pet is hurting and you want to get them help right now. But keep in mind that many emergency veterinarians work on a first-come, first-served basis, and the local animal hospital might be trying to help other pets right now and won't be able to assist you the second you walk in the door. It can be helpful to know the name and phone number of multiple reputable animal hospitals in your area so you can call around and find which one can offer help immediately if the need should ever arise.
For more information, contact an animal hospital like South Seattle Veterinary Hospital.