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How Veterinarians Handle Emergencies

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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In the case of an emergency, you may want to know what to expect or how veterinarians general handle emergencies. This article will give you information on what to expect if you ever need emergency care or your pet.

Generally, there are 2 common ways veterinarians handle after-hours emergencies.

First, some veterinarians will handle emergencies with their owner clients. You call their office and leave a message with an answering service or a voice mail on a pager and they call you back. From there, they will direct you to go to a local emergency clinic or meet you at their clinic.

Second, there are dedicated emergency clinics. Some clinics are after-hour clinics that open with regular veterinarians close and they close when regular veterinarians open. For example, many will open 6 pm and close 8 am Monday through Thursday and open 6 pm Friday and stay open until 8 am Monday morning. There are other emergency clinics that are open 24/7. This gives owners the flexibility to seek emergency help if their veterinarian is out sick or closed for the day. Also, some veterinarians may be booked or unable to support a specific emergency that will require 24-hour care or special equipment.

Find out how your veterinarian handles emergencies and where your closest emergency clinic is located. Keep the phone number handle (on the refrigerator is a great place) and with your dogs medical record. Print out the phone numbers, address and directions and keep them handy. If your pet ever has an emergency, you will appreciate this advance planning.



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