emergency vet in little rock

Tips for Emergency Vet Care in Little Rock

We all love our pets and do everything we can to keep them safe, healthy, and happy. Unfortunately, sometimes emergencies do happen. It can be difficult for pet parents to know when to take their furry friends to the vet and which vet to go to, especially when it’s after hours or on the weekend. 

This handy guide will help you identify true pet emergencies and know how to get your pet the best care from an emergency vet clinic in Little Rock.

What is a pet emergency?

There are many ailments that can befall your pet, but not all of them rise to the level of real “emergency.” For example, hearing a cat hack up a hairball can be a truly terrifying experience, but it’s rarely a situation that requires veterinary attention. On the other hand, if your pet was struck by a car, then it’s best to get immediate veterinary care.

It’s best to be prepared and know how to identify a true pet emergency. If you see any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian as soon as possible: 

  • Ingesting poison or dangerous substances: if your pet ingested a household cleaner, poison, or large quantity of food that you know is harmful, it’s best to call your vet for immediate instructions.
  • Swallowed a foreign object: If you know (or suspect) your furry friend swallowed a potentially harmful object, call your vet. The object may get lodged in the digestive system and cause severe damage
  • Repeated vomiting or diarrhea (especially if you see blood)
  • Seizures 
  • Traumatic accident or injury (like a car accident or an attack by another animal)
  • Avoiding food and water for a full day (24 hrs): this is often a symptom of more significant health problems and should be addressed quickly.
  • High fever
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bone fractures, lameness, or inability to walk
  • Unconsciousness
  • Burns, especially over large areas of the body or near the face and neck

Any of these symptoms or situations can be severe and life-threatening. It’s important to act quickly and take the proper steps to get your pet the right kind of care. 

Steps To Take In A Pet Emergency

When your pet is injured or sick, it’s essential to take the right steps to get your furry friend veterinary care. If you suspect your pet needs emergency treatment, follow these easy steps:

Step 1: Call your veterinarian: Calling ahead whenever possible helps us offer immediate guidance and understand what to expect when you arrive so we can be prepared to offer the best care. 

In some cases, we might not have the right equipment or staff on-site. When this happens, we will need to redirect you to another emergency vet clinic for specialized treatment.

If you are a regular client of Shackleford Vet Clinic, consider adding our emergency phone number to your contact list, so it’s always available. (Our emergency line is 501-224-6998.)

Step 2: Fill out necessary paperwork: Just like the human hospital, veterinarians use intake forms to learn critical details about your pet and the situation at hand. To save time, you can fill out the “new patient” paperwork ahead of time online

Step 3: Veterinary staff assess the situation and develop a treatment plan: We have an excellent team of veterinarians and critical care professionals who will evaluate your pet’s condition. This process may require bloodwork, x-rays, ultrasounds, and other tests. 

Once our team understands your pet’s current medical condition, we can create the best treatment plan. 

We know how hard it is to wait in uncertainty. As we care for your beloved pet, we’ll do our best to keep you updated on your pet’s progress and health status.

When (And Why) Your Vet Might Send You Elsewhere

Our top priority at SRVC is getting your pet the best possible treatment. There are situations where we may not have the right equipment or staff on hand to deal with your emergency and may recommend you take your pet to another emergency vet clinic for treatment. 

Also, just like hospitals, veterinarian clinics can get overwhelmed. We never want to stretch our staff too thin and negatively impact the quality of care we give our patients and clients. If our patient load is too heavy during emergency hours (after regular business hours and on weekends), we may refer you to another emergency vet clinic to make sure everyone receives top-notch care. 

How Much Do Emergency Veterinary Services Cost?

Emergency pet care is usually more expensive than routine care, especially when it happens outside regular business hours or on weekends. Emergency care typically requires more intense diagnostics, monitoring, and treatment. 

Fee structures are also a little different for emergency vet care. Some emergency vet clinics require a deposit or payment in full at the time of the treatment. However, most emergency clinics offer some flexible payment options. When you come into our clinic, we will work with you on the best course of treatment for your pet, as well as keep you informed on payment options. 

We recommend planning ahead for pet emergencies by either having a separate bank account or credit card for emergencies or investing in pet insurance. Having a financial plan can save you a lot of anxiety during an already stressful situation.

When it comes to pet emergencies, being prepared, and taking the right steps can dramatically improve the outcome. The friendly staff at Shackleford Vet Clinic is always standing by to help you prepare for or act quickly in an emergency. Contact us today to learn more about our emergency vet services.

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