If you have a pet emergency, please contact one of the following emergency resources immediately. These facilities are open and fully staffed 24/7 for constant ER care. Remember, it is important to remain calm and seek care as soon as possible in an emergency situation.
Small Animals, Exotic and Pocket Pets
- Animal Emergency Center – Located 25 min from our clinic on I-240 – (405) 631-7828
- Neel Veterinary Hospital — (405) 947-8387
Oakridge Equine Hospital — (405) 359-5002
Small Ruminants or Cattle
Oklahoma State University Teaching Hospital — (405) 744-7000
Best Medicine for Emergency Care – Why it’s worth the drive.
You need a 24 hour facility when your pet has a true emergency.
Let us explain why.
- True emergencies cannot be addressed in a short visit. In the old model of veterinary medicine where the local veterinarian met the client and patient at the facility after hours, which is still practiced in some places today, the veterinarian would assess the patient and then prescribe medication or perform a procedure, and then immediately go back to bed so they could rest before the next workday. This meant that the client either had to take home ill/injured pet, or the pet was left unattended in the hospital. The best way to avoid this dangerous situation is to have a pet go to a true 24 hour emergency facility. The closest that we have is Animal Emergency and Surgical Center which is about 35 minutes from our parking lot unless there is a traffic issue. (Coincidentally, our doctors live about 20 minutes from our clinic, so once we get the kids in the car or find a babysitter and drive there, the wait time for the client would be about the same.)
- Once there, there is a full team of veterinary professionals that are operating at full capacity around the clock. This means that staff is ready, machines are warmed up and ready, and the patient is under full observation and can receive any treatments necessary immediately. Again, to reference the old manner of emergency visits, this is much better than the scene where the client is having to assist the doctor in restraint in order to obtain bloodwork, set catheters, or take radiographs. The safety liability alone is too great for this type of veterinary medicine at this time.
- The other wonderful thing about the newer model of emergency care is that all of the veterinary staff are rotated on shifts. This ensures that all staff are getting adequate rest and are able to function at their highest capacity. I recall when I used to do emergency work and I would often get called in twice in one night. The next day, I would be so exhausted that I could barely make it through my routine appointments. This is not the safest way for any veterinarian to function.
- While we don’t wish to make this about us, we do want to make a quick note about the safety issues in regard to after our emergency visits. We often don’t know the client calling in for an emergency. On one particular evening, sparing details, one of our female doctors became at great risk at the hands of two middle-aged men. This is another factor in why we have opted to discontinue our emergency services at this time.
- Veterinary medicine is constantly changing and adapting, and as a parents who have taken their babies to the OKC Children’s Hospital in the middle of the night, we know how long that drive can feel. And we have been grateful for the doctors there to help us, as well as their excellent record transfer back to my pediatrician the next morning.
- The 24-hour emergency hospitals that we work with are excellent at working with our local clinics and do a speedy job of getting us the records that we need to help you the following morning.
Please know that the decision that we have made to not attend emergencies after hours is one that still weighs heavily on our hearts. But upon reflection of what is best for the pets and safety overall, we feel that it is impossible to conclude anything except that a 24 hour facility is best medicine.
We hope that our town gets to the point where we are able to support a 24 hour facility, but that time is not yet here. Until then, we are grateful to know that we have a neighboring town that has a wonderful team to help.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you feel your pet is in an emergency situation, please call the emergency hospital immediately. We have selected a recommended 24 hour emergency facility for small animals, horses, and ruminants. The choice we have made in regards to these hospitals is a direct reflection of their ability to provide complete and competent care around the clock to your animals. These hospitals are designed and staffed in order to handle veterinary emergencies in the best way possible.
How do I know if my pet needs to see a doctor on Emergency?
There are certain types of illnesses/injuries that are almost always an emergency:
- Animal attack
- Bleeding wounds
- Collapsing episode
- Difficulty breathing
- Straining/unable to urinate, especially in male cats and dogs
- Dystocia (difficulty birthing)
- Hit-by-car indicents
- Ingestion of medications, poisons or foreign objects
- Large breed dogs with “dry heaves”
- Severe diarrhea/vomiting
- Shock (weakness, pale gums, cold feet and elevated heart rate)
My pet has ingested something that may be toxic. Now what do I do?
If you are concerned that your pet may have ingested something poisonous, you should call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1.888.426.4435 for specific instructions. If they instruct you to bring your pet to the hospital, they will provide you a case number that will allow the emergency doctors to contact them for further information on your individual pet. Be sure to bring this case number with you.
How can I be prepared for an emergency?
- Have the emergency hospital’s number posted on your refrigerator for easy access.
- Know how to handle emergencies for which your pet may be high risk
Example: Know what is “normal” for a dog’s whelping experience, and how to trouble shoot common problems before your dog goes into labor.
Example: Be aware of common problems within your breed. For example, small breed puppies like yorkies and chihuahuas struggle with low blood sugar, so be sure to have some karo syrup or nutrical on hand.
- Ask your veterinarian what information might be helpful for your particular situation. For example, if you live in a wooded area, your pet may be at a higher risk for snake bites. Your veterinarian can help you be prepared in the event of a snake bite.
- Keep some over-the-counter medications handy that can be helpful for common illness/injuries.
For allergies or insect stings, Benadryl is safe for cats and dogs. The dose is 1 mg/1 lb up to every 8 hours. This means that a 25 lb dog gets one 25 mg Benadryl, and a 7 lb cat would get ½ tsp (2.5ml) of children’s liquid Benadryl (25mg/ml).
For a mild fever, or a mild injury (like a sprained joint), Baby aspirin, or low dose aspirin, is a safe anti-inflammatory/pain medication for DOGS ONLY. The dose is 5mg/1lb, so a 20 lb dog would get approximately 1 baby aspirin (80 mg tablet). An 80 lb dog would receive one adult or full dose 325 mg tablet. This is also available for purchase in pet stores with common doses printed on the label. It is safe to use this dose every 12 hours for up to 3 days.
Please note: Ibuprofen and Tylenol are NOT acceptable for use in dogs or cats.
For mild nausea or indigestion, Pepto-bismol can be given for a mild upset stomach. The dose is 1 tsp per 20 lb. It can be repeated every 6 hours for a 24 hour period only. Please note that pepto-bismol will often cause stools to appear black, and this is a normal side effect.
Famotidine can also be given for indigestion or stomach acid. Give small dogs (under 30 lbs) or cats a half of a 10 mg tablet, and larger dogs (over 30 lbs) a whole 10 mg tablet once daily for 7 days.
As always, do not hesitate to contact an emergency hospital if you feel your pet is in an emergency situation.