What to Expect

Emergencies rarely seem to happen during ‘normal business hours.’

That is why 1st Pet Veterinary Centers are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We know that it can be very frightening when the furry members of your family need emergency care, so we do everything we can to make it easier for your pet, and for your family.

Triage

When you bring your pet to a 1st Pet location for emergency veterinary services, one of our veterinary technicians will perform a “triage” assessment to gauge the urgency of your pet’s condition. We will always treat your pet as quickly as possible, but first priority goes to the patients in the most critical condition.

Wait Time

In most cases, we will guide you and your pet immediately to one of our private pet care suites. Many pet owners prefer the privacy and noise reduction that these rooms provide and their pets often remain more calm and comfortable away from the commotion that can arise during busy times. However, if you prefer the extra space that our lobby provides, please let one of our front desk staff know where to find you when it is time for treatment.

If the emergency room is busy, and your pet is stable at the time of triage, we may not treat your pet in the order of arrival. We know this can feel frustrating and unfair, but please understand that if your pet needed critical life-saving intervention, you would also be given the consideration of immediate care. We ask for your patience, compassion, and understanding.

Since emergency situations arise at unpredictable times, we do not offer appointments for visits to our emergency department. Also, please understand that giving precise wait times is often impossible since a more serious case that needs immediate care can arrive and take priority at any time. However, we will do our best to inform you when there are changes that could affect your wait time.

If your pet’s condition is not serious and the estimated wait time is long, you can discuss with our staff the possibility of leaving (to wait at home or tend to other priorities) and returning closer to your pet’s approximate treatment time. When possible, after your pet’s initial exam, your pet will remain under our supervision. We ask that you call prior to returning to make sure that other emergencies have not caused a further delay.

Doctor Communication

If we move your pet elsewhere for treatment, the veterinarian will return as quickly as reasonable to speak with you in one of the pet care suites. After your pet is examined, you will be given an estimate for the recommended treatment of your pet’s condition. Our emergency veterinarians will do their best to work with you to find treatment and payment options that are best for your family and for your pet.

Treatment

Dependent on staffing, occupancy, severity of condition, and other factors, your pet may receive treatment in the pet care suite or be taken to the hospital treatment area for further assessment by the veterinarian on duty. Unless your pet requires immediate medical intervention, we will discuss treatment options with you prior to moving forward with medical care.

Hospitalized Pets

If your pet needs to be admitted to the hospital for around-the-clock supervision, you will be asked to authorize a treatment plan and place an initial 75% deposit on the total estimated services. Final cost is due at the time of discharge.

Visitation

While your pet is being treated at 1st Pet, you may visit them as long as your pet does not experience excessive stress at the result of the visits. Since our critical care treatment area can be congested, we limit visits to 15 minutes and 2 people at a time.

Your Primary Veterinarian

If you are referred to our emergency services from your primary care veterinarian, we will keep them informed of your pet’s medical progress every step of the way. Once your pet is stable, they will be discharged to the care of your primary veterinarian, along with all the medical records from their stay with us.

If you do not have a veterinarian who normally cares for your pet, you are welcome to set up an appointment with one of our General Practice doctors for ongoing care needs.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION