Sometimes, it may be difficult to determine whether your pet is experiencing an emergency or is just having an off day. The following symptoms are important indicators that your pet needs medical attention. If you notice any of these symptoms, call your primary veterinarian immediately. If your primary veterinarian is unavailable, your pet can receive emergency care at Virginia Veterinary Centers.
When the ER is busy, your pet will be assessed and then seen on the basis of need. If other pets are being seen before yours, this is good news—it means your pet is not as sick as one of our other patients.
Having a concerned Mom or Dad nearby can actually make pets more difficult or even dangerous to handle. Even though you’re trying to stay calm for them, they can often sense your distress. A confident, experienced, animal-loving veterinary technician can usually perform any treatments more quickly—and with less stress for everyone—if you wait in the front. This is especially true if needles or medical procedures make you uneasy.
Our triage process begins the moment you and your pet walk through our front door. Our client service representatives will listen closely as you describe any symptoms or ailments, then relay that information to our staff in the treatment area. A veterinary technician will be called to quickly assess your pet’s condition. If your pet is unstable, he or she may be immediately brought back to our emergency treatment room with your permission, where live-saving treatments may be administered while you complete your pet’s history and check-in.
If your pet is stable, our front desk will take your information, then you and your pet will be seen in an exam room. A trained emergency technician will begin by taking a complete history and acquiring vital signs, such as weight, heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature.