ER, Urgent Care, or Specialty Center? Which Type of Specialty Veterinarian Does My Pet Need?
There’s no doubt that veterinary medicine has come a long way in recent years. Our society’s growing respect for pets has corresponded to advancements in the field, and providing high quality medical care is now considered an essential element of modern pet ownership. Not only do today’s pets have access to preventive care on par with their human companions, but they also enjoy the best in diagnostics, surgery, physical therapy, emergency care, and more.
With all the choices available, pet owners can be left wondering exactly which type of specialty veterinarian their pet may need. Let your friends at Androscoggin Animal Hospital help you to determine the right type of care for your furry loved one!
Emergency Services and Urgent Care
Much like with human medicine, veterinary emergency and urgent care services are available when a pet’s medical situation just can’t wait. Emergency care refers to any life-threatening condition that warrants immediate medical attention, while urgent care matters need to be taken care of before the next available appointment.
Situations that warrant an immediate trip to your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency hospital include:
- Ingestion of a poisonous substance
- Bleeding from the mouth, nose, ears, or anus
- Any bleeding that has not subsided in over 5 minutes
- Being hit by a car
- Bitten by another animal
- Difficulty breathing, choking, or gagging
- Falling from a great height
- Noticeable pain, including limping or favoring one side
- Severe vomiting or diarrhea
- Any eye injury
- Loss of consciousness
- Not eating or drinking for more than 24 hours
- Not urinating or defecating for more than 24 hours
- Birthing difficulties
Dedicated veterinary emergency hospitals exist to provide immediate care to pets in need, 24/7. Many veterinary clinics also offer emergency and urgent care during normal or extended business hours.
Referral or Specialty Veterinarian
A referral or specialty veterinarian has undergone additional clinical training and gained experience in a particular field of veterinary medicine, such as cardiology, surgery, dermatology, oncology, or ophthalmology. Just like your general practitioner would refer you to a dermatologist for skin problems, your veterinarian will refer your pet to a specialist if his or her condition warrants testing or treatment that is beyond the scope of a standard veterinary clinic.
Providing the Best Care
The health and well-being of your pet is our top priority at Androscoggin Animal Hospital. If your pet needs more specialized care than we offer, your veterinarian will work with you to find the right specialist. We also provide emergency and urgent care services during normal business hours, and will direct you to one of three local animal emergency clinics if your pet needs to be seen after hours.