Urgent Care

If you arrive with an emergency, we will treat your pet immediately if indicated, or within 15 minutes if your pet is stable. After assessing vital signs in an emergency exam, we can determine the sequence of services that are appropriate for your pet.

Pets with respiratory distress, seizures or profuse bleeding should be transported to the clinic quickly. A pet that ingests toxins should be seen within 30 minutes so we can effectively sequester or remove harmful substances before their absorption into the bloodstream. Problems that involve difficulty walking, breathing or eliminating may escalate further, so don't wait to make an appointment.

Our goal at PVPH is not to let urgent medical situations become medical/surgical emergencies. Pets that are vomiting or have diarrhea should be seen if their symptoms persist for over 24 hours or immediately, if they are weak or lethargic.

If your pet is experiencing a life-threatening emergency, transport your pet to the clinic as soon as possible and call us en route to let us know you're coming. If the clinic is closed, contact The Affiliated Emergency Veterinary Service at (952) 942-8272, and follow their instructions.

Remember, we provide pet transport and house-call services if you cannot effectively transport your pet to the clinic.


Urgent Care Categories

Poisoning

Contact the clinic immediately if you think your pet has ingested any substance or object that has potential to cause harm. Many common poisons do not have antidotes, so it's essential to call us for guidance on treatment and transport of your pet to the clinic.

Common poisons include medications of any kind, rodent bait, antifreeze, chocolate, grapes and raisins, household cleaners, sugarless gum, toxic plants and certain anti-inflammatory drugs, such as TylenolRegistered (brand acetaminophen) particularly in cats.

Do not induce vomiting in any manner until you speak with PVPH staff or the after-hours emergency clinic.

Bleeding

Once you identify the source of bleeding, contact the clinic so we can prepare immediately for the situation or review other treatment options.

Excessive bleeding from the mouth, rectum or urethra may be a sign of rodenticide poisoning, trauma or other internal conditions.

Blood in feces is usually accompanied by mucous or straining. Bright red blood indicates a problem in the large intestine, while darker blood may originate from the stomach or small intestine. Always contact the clinic when you spot blood in your pet's stool. In most cases, we will ask you to bring a stool sample to the clinic with your pet.

Lacerations

In all cases of severe cuts, abrasions or other wounds, immediate control of bleeding is essential. At the first sign of injury, contact the clinic for instructions to slow the bleeding and transport your pet safely for further evaluation. Because your pet may be stressed or in pain, gentle restraint is important as you prepare to travel. Use precautions to prevent inadvertent bites while in-transit.

Sudden Weakness

Sudden weakness may indicate a neurological or cardiovascular condition. It may result from medication poisoning or another serious issue. This sign always justifies a call to the clinic to determine if your pet needs to be seen immediately.

Breathing Difficulties

While pets may express excitement, exertion, fear or pain through breathing patterns, breathing difficulties are high-priority emergencies and speed-of-treatment is essential. In all cases of labored breathing, gasping or choking, contact the clinic immediately. Be prepared to follow the staff's instructions as you transport them to the nearest accredited veterinary facility.

Persistent Vomiting and Diarrhea

The causes for vomiting and diarrhea are variable; but, repeated vomiting may suggest poisoning, intestinal obstructions, ulcers, infections, food allergies or a response to more serious conditions. Always contact the clinic in such cases for further instructions. The most immediate threats to your pet are the hazards of unresolved obstructions, the absorption of poisons and dehydration.

Diarrhea that lasts more than 24 hours requires prompt attention. Be prepared to schedule an appointment with us and remember to bring a fecal specimen with you for laboratory analysis.

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions may be one of the most difficult conditions for pet-owners to recognize or understand. The most severe allergic reaction is anaphylaxis. Signs of an anaphylactic reaction appear rapidly and may include: pale gums, labored respiration, vomiting, weak pulse and fainting. Other signs are dermatological, such as facial swelling, hives or intense scratching.

PVPH staff can treat a wide array of allergic reactions, so call us immediately if you believe your pet shows signs of allergic exposure or ingestion. Clients often manage allergic reactions by-phone, with the clinic's guidance, but many will require an immediate visit.

Urinary Obstructions and Straining

Urinary straining may be a sign of urethral obstruction, an emergency that may lead to severe complications such as renal failure or death. If you notice your pet straining to urinate or voiding outside the litter box (in cats) contact the clinic for further instructions. In most cases, we'll ask you to bring your pet in for a priority exam to diagnose and treat problems before they lead to complications. Remember, when your pet strains to urinate, blood may or may not be present. In either case, your pet needs immediate attention.

Seizures and Fainting

"Syncope", or fainting, may occur for many reasons, including sudden loss of blood pressure, an allergic reaction, medication poisoning or neurological syndromes. In all cases, a quick call to the clinic will provide you with next steps for transfer and treatment of your pet.

Seizures may occur suddenly, even in pets that have never experienced them. During seizures, pets may exhibit irrational aggression, collapse, reactive biting or other behaviors that require extremely careful handling by pet-owners. Make certain all handlers keep their hands and faces away from the mouths of affected pets.

Bloat

Bloat is a more common emergency. The condition involves the visible swelling or distention of your pet's abdomen. While it can occur from overeating, it may also be due to serious digestive conditions, such as twisting of the intestines or stomach, allergic reactions, poisoning or fluid in the abdomen.

Except for abdominal swelling, your pet's behavior may not change markedly. Typical signs include rapid pulse, discomfort and panting. In any case, a call to the clinic is usually warranted.

Lameness (Limping)

Lameness is common in aging pets and may signal advanced osteoarthritis.

Despite your pet's age, lameness may suggest signs of more serious injury, such as a torn cruciate ligament or fracture, requiring immediate attention.

In all cases of lameness, it's important to connect with the clinic to try to determine the source of the possible condition or injury and to set an appointment if required.

Vehicular Injuries

Multiple injuries may occur if your pet is injured by a vehicle. In these cases, injuries can impact vital organs, bones and connective tissue.

Immediate transportation to the clinic is highly recommended. Pet-owners should contact the clinic en route, so staff can provide instructions for handling and protecting your pet.

Whelping Problems

Many complications may occur when a pet gives birth. Owners can manage many of these safely, but others require intervention to safeguard the health of the mother and offspring.

In some cases, pre existing issues with the female's anatomy impede safe delivery. Some pups, especially those of purebred dogs with wide skeletal structures, may be too large to pass through the birth canal. This problem usually requires surgery to ease delivery.

Breech birth, when pups or kittens emerge from the womb rear-forward, presents complications only trained personnel can address.

While most clients will oversee whelping of pups or kittens without complications, the clinic recommends consultation with staff and periodic exams of the female well in advance of their projected whelping date.

Bizarre or Aggressive Behavior

Bizarre or aggressive behavior, when it is not clearly a dominance display, may be secondary to another, potentially more serious, problem. In all cases of aggression, the client's first priority is to guard against injuries. Do not attempt to use your bare hands to restrain an aggressive pet. Instead, the safest tactic is to confine and monitor your pet in a separate room. In such cases, contact the clinic immediately for instructions.

Other unusual behaviors may not be aggressive. Lethargy, if it lasts for more than three days, may indicate sickness in a pet. Somnolence and inactivity may conceal an injury or illness that is not immediately evident. By comparison, hyperactivity may suggest stimulant poisoning or endocrine conditions.

Whether behavioral changes are gradual or sudden, contact the clinic to help determine the sources of the problem.