What Is An Emergency?

If your pet exhibits any abnormal activity or behaviour, a veterinary consultation is a good idea. The following symptoms are definitely emergencies and require immediate medical attention.

Emergency Symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing, blue tongue or raspy breath sounds
  • Swollen or distended abdomen, with or without productive vomiting
  • Inability to urinate or defaecate, especially if straining. (Cats may repeatedly go to the litter box, lick at the genital area, and/or vocalise)
  • Ingestion of toxin, including but not limited to: chocolate, rodenticides (mouse and rat bait), garden pest control products (snail baits), prescription, over the counter or illegal drugs, and household cleaners. PLEASE BRING THE CONTAINER WITH YOU!
  • Trauma such as being hit by a car, a fall from a height or blunt force, even if the animal is NOT showing any ill effects!
  • Collapse/inability to stand or walk
  • Loss of balance or consciousness, convulsions or seizure activity
  • Penetrating wound, such as bite wounds (dog or cat), gunshot or stab wounds.
  • Bleeding that does not stop. (Apply pressure with a clean cloth while on your way)
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea with blood
  • Heatstroke: heavy panting, weakness on a warm day
  • Exposure to snakes or ticks

Contacting us in an emergency:

When faced with a veterinary emergency, it is a good idea to telephone ahead to the Animal Emergency Centre, with the animal's breed and approximate size, present symptoms and any other health problems.
Whilst on the telephone, we suggest you confirm the exact location of the Animal Emergency Centre closest to you.

Please note: patients are seen in order of urgency, not order of arrival. At times, there may be a wait before a veterinarian is available. We appreciate your patience whilst we attend to patients with immediately life-threatening problems.

After the emergency:

Once your pet's condition has been stabilised, they may be hospitalised at the Animal Emergency Centre until your regular veterinary clinic is open. You will need to make arrangements to transfer your pet back to your normal vet. Other times, your pet will return home with you and you will be asked to visit your regular veterinarian for follow-up when appropriate.