Emergency vs urgent pet care.

When a pet suddenly falls ill or suffers a traumatic injury, pet owners are naturally thrown into a state of panic. Even if you’re fully prepared to administer pet first aid or CPR, staving off a life-threatening situation can be extremely difficult to navigate. In order to get your pet the right kind of help, it is important to understand the difference between urgent and emergency care. Emergency veterinary care is reserved for specific conditions, and may only be available during certain times at speciality facilities. Urgent care, on the other hand, can fill the gap between regular and emergency care. Knowing the difference can be helpful to your careful planning and preparation.

The Grey Area

Sometimes pets need immediate medical care but are not considered emergent. These are the moments that veterinary urgent care is designed for. Urgent care helps pets in need, despite not necessarily being in imminent danger. 

The following injuries and illnesses may constitute the immediate need for urgent veterinary care:

  • Skin conditions
  • Changes in behavior
  • Shifts in eating and drinking habits
  • Superficial cuts, abrasions, or bite wounds
  • Pain
  • Limping, weakness, or mobility challenges
  • Issues to the ears, eyes, or mouth
  • Respiration challenges, including coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, or any discharge
  • Problems related to parasites
  • Foreign body ingestion
  • Minor toxicity

Please call us with any questions about your pet’s presenting symptoms. 

Emergency Veterinary Care

Life-threatening illnesses or injuries, like the ones listed below, require immediate emergency veterinary care. Please do not delay seeking help for your pet if they ever exhibit the following:

  • Seizures
  • Excessive or uncontrolled bleeding
  • Deep wounds
  • Loss of or intermittent consciousness
  • Choking
  • Paralysis
  • Pain
  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea
  • Distended or bloated abdomen
  • Bone fractures
  • Breathing lapse
  • Difficulties in labor or birthing puppies or kittens

Additionally, if you know or suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, poisoning, allergic reaction, cardiac arrest, trauma from a fall or accident, please seek immediate help. 

Learn more about recognizing a pet emergency, and brush up on pet first aid to become better equipped.

Always Here For Your Pet

It is daunting to even think about how to act if/when a pet needs your help, but we know that planning and preparation can ease any panic or fear. The more you know about what they are experiencing, the more likely you’ll be to seek out the right care for them.

If you need help figuring out if your pet needs emergency veterinary care or urgent assistance, please call us at (704) 523-2996. Our veterinarians and staff members are always here when you need us.