What Makes a Great Emergency Veterinary Clinic?

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You always want your pet to be healthy, and you never want him to suffer. Not only do you not want him to experience any milder illnesses like skin rashes or itching, but you certainly don’t want him to contend with anything more serious like medical emergencies. However, sometimes accidents and severe illnesses do happen, and they often come up without warning.

During those times, you need to have access to a great emergency veterinary clinic. So it’s wise to have a clinic lined up before emergencies ever occur. But how can you know the best way to select a veterinary clinic that’s your go-to resource during health crises? Follow these key steps to find one.

Expertise

Probably the most important issue that makes a veterinary clinic one that you can call great is that it has staff members with the proper expertise to handle a broad range of pet health emergencies. This means staff members need all the necessary veterinary education, work experience, and knowledge gained from ongoing professional development. They also need to be especially trained to handle pet health emergencies.

They should be able to deal with and treat broken bones, severe and sudden digestive illnesses, mysterious and difficult-to-diagnose symptoms such as severely low energy, and a full range of injuries. You should feel confident that they can handle whatever pet illnesses and symptoms come their way, or that they have a full referral network such that they can refer your pet to another clinic that can treat the problem.

Responsiveness

If you’re in the midst of an emergency related to your pet’s health, quick action is the name of the game. You can’t afford to wait, and you can’t afford for any other people involved in the situation to be slow to respond either. This means you need an emergency veterinary clinic that takes quick action, such as by immediately calling or emailing you back, quickly answering the phone when you call, relaying your message from the front office to the veterinarian, not wasting time in deciding what to do and more. You need them to show that they care enough to prioritize your concerns and take quick action on them.

Compassion

When you’re dealing with an emergency pertaining to your pet’s health, it can be beyond stressful and upsetting. At a time like this, the pet you love so much is suffering. That can be heartbreaking. You’re dealing with a whole range of emotions – fear, uncertainty, worry, panic, sadness, and more. Your pet may also be experiencing his own set of difficult feelings. During such a trying time, you need to be able to rely on an emergency veterinary clinic staff that is genuinely compassionate and caring.

You might assume that all people who work at emergency veterinary clinics are this way, but that’s not necessarily the case. So choose wisely. If you’re seeking out a clinic like this, interview some staff members during your search process. You’ll probably be able to sense whether they’re tenderhearted or cold.

Location, Location, Location

If an emergency arises with your pet’s health, you need to be able to get to the emergency clinic really quickly. In some urgent cases, minutes or even seconds can make a world of difference, and your pet needs to receive care right away. Therefore, a great emergency veterinary clinic is one that’s close enough to where you’ll be transporting your pet from, which is most likely your home.

Most cities, even small ones, have at least one emergency veterinary clinic. So unless you live in a remote area, there is probably, at least, one emergency veterinary clinic that’s within about 30 minutes of your home. In addition to clinics that are strictly emergency clinics and hospitals, some standard veterinary offices also offer emergency, after-hours services. Thoroughly check in your area to see what’s available regarding emergency veterinary services.

Office Hours

It’s an odd thing that health emergencies often happen at the most inopportune times – after hours, weekends, and holidays. A great emergency veterinary clinic is open during extended hours, and the more hours they’re open, the better. A clinic that’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including all weekends and holidays, is ideal. Even better if they’re also open during all kinds of weather, including snow storms, hurricanes, and any other weather events.

Favorable, Flexible Fees

If you’ve ever had to seek emergency veterinary care, you know how expensive it can be. But when you’re in the midst of an emergency, you really don’t have a choice when it comes to possibly racking up a huge bill. And how much the emergency care will cost is the furthest thing from your mind at a time like that – you’re mainly concerned with getting your pet the help he needs. A great emergency veterinary clinic has a fee structure that makes seeking emergency care relatively affordable and within reach for people of various budget abilities.

A great emergency vet is also willing to work with you if you can’t afford to pay the full bill all at one time. They’ll consider allowing you to pay your bill over time – perhaps a certain amount each month – rather than expecting you to pay the full amount all at once. They’ll also be able to suggest financing through various financing companies. This is all especially relevant if your total fees are quite high. Your finances should not stand in the way of your pet being able to receive the emergency care he needs.

Being Prepared

As you’ve done all your preparation steps, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have an emergency veterinary clinic lined up in case you ever need to contact them. Keep the clinic’s contact information, including the phone number, address, and email address, in various prominent places. Have the phone number programmed into your phones, post the contact information in your home and office, such as on your refrigerator, and keep their contact information in your address book or planner that you keep with you at all times.

Once you’ve done your homework and scouted out a great emergency veterinary clinic, even if an emergency arises, you’ll be prepared. You will, therefore, be able to respond more calmly and work with your emergency veterinary clinic to give your pet the best chance for a favorable outcome.