When to see an emergency vet

While certain conditions do not need immediate attention, others are urgent and necessitate an “emergency.” If your pet’s symptoms are mild and nonthreatening, you may want to wait until you can get an appointment with your regular veterinarian who is already familiar with your pet’s medical history and personality. 

In the event of an emergency, however, it may be critical for your animal to be seen right away to prevent further damage. When your regular vet is not available, head to a 24/7 emergency facility. For pet owners who are not sure whether to see an emergency vet, we urge you to err on the safe side. Sometimes, the difference between life and death is a matter of seconds! 

Pets with the following conditions should see an emergency vet: 

  • Laceration
  • Trauma
  • Poison exposure
  • Heat stroke
  • Acute paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Vestibular disease
  • Allergic reactions
  • Bleeding or bloody discharge
  • Foreign body ingestion
  • Pale gums
  • Limping
  • Difficulty urinating

To learn more about symptoms of these conditions, check our page about when to go the animal emergency room

If you really don’t know if your situation constitutes a visit to the emergency room, feel free to give us a call! Our front desk associates can try to help you identify risky behaviors and assess whether they warrant an appointment with one of our vets. 

What a 24/7 animal emergency room is

When a pet is a part of the family, you want to make sure it stays safe and healthy. While your local veterinarian can provide regular checkups, immunizations, and treatment for general health issues, their office hours may be limited to weekdays or daytime. At Bright Care Animal Emergency, our veterinarians are available 24/7 to treat your pets as soon as can be. Nobody can predict exactly when accidents are illnesses are going to occur. That’s why it’s important to have a 24 hour animal emergency room you can go to in times of distress. 

A 24/7 animal emergency room is a veterinary hospital that is specifically designed for treating sudden, urgent problems. Our patient onboarding process was made to be easy and efficient, so you can get your dog or cat seen by the vet as quickly as possible. We are also prepared with state-of-the-art equipment, advanced technology, and in-house diagnostics for our patients. The animals at BrightCare Animal Emergency can receive all the tests, treatments, medicine, or surgery they need in one place. 

What to expect from a 24 hour vet

The first time you go to a 24 hour vet may be a little different from when you see your regular vet. There are tons of animal lovers here in Orange County who want the best for their fur babies, so the waiting room get pretty busy. 

First come, not first serve…

Unlike at a regular veterinary clinic, the emergency animal hospital takes patients by order of urgence. This means the sickest animals will be seen before others, even if they did not arrive first. If your pet is not in critical condition, you may need to wait a long time before your pet is seen. 

Call ahead anyway

In order to prepare for this situation, it’s a good idea to call ahead of time. Even though the emergency room is open 24/7, they still need to know when you’re coming in. Notifying the staff that you’re coming ahead of time also lets them calculate your estimated wait time. If it’s over an hour, you’ll know whether to bring some squeaky toys and treats on the way. 

Keep medical records on hand

It’s also a good idea to have your pet’s medical records on hand for the 24 hour vet. It can be difficult to properly diagnose an animal without some background information during the physical examination. This will help with paperwork, too! 

No humans allowed! 

When your animal is taken in for care, the vet may ask you to stay in the waiting room. This isn’t an attempt to hide shady practices. It’s a safety precaution for the vet. There may be many sick or injured animals that are being treated, so it could simply be too busy or crowded to have a bunch of hovering pet-owners around. 

It may also be unsettling or distressing to see your pet being operated on. Most pets can detect fear and anxiety, so having a worried owner in the vicinity can exacerbate the problem. 

The vets want you to feel comfortable and calm, so sometimes, it’s best to stay in the waiting room. 

A long night

If your pet needs x-rays, blood testing, surgery, etc, you may be in for a long night. If you have other responsibilities to take care of, you may want to ask a friend or family member to watch over your pet in shifts. 

Follow up care

Our emergency room is for just that – emergencies. The 24 hour vet will likely pass on the responsibility of care to your regular vet to take over. Occasionally, you may have to schedule a follow up with the emergency vet if they want to check on their surgery, but besides that, the regular vet will most likely be the person in charge of medication, physical therapy, and checkups.