Dog & Cat Emergencies
During the weekday, our team of experienced, compassionate veterinary care specialists are on hand to help during an emergency. As a pet owner, however, you know that an accident or illness can strike suddenly, and not always during business hours. When you need veterinary care fast, it helps to have contact info, resources, and information on hand. Preparation and quick action can save your pet’s life.
In the event of an after-hours emergency, please call us at (757) 564-9815 and listen for instructions.
Handling Your Pet Before Reaching the Hospital
Once you have called a veterinary hospital that can take your pet right away, the next most important step is transporting them safely and efficiently.
If your pet is awake during the emergency, it’s best to assume that they’re in pain, anxious, and frightened. Even the gentlest of animals may bite or scratch when under stress, so it might be necessary to use a muzzle or travel kennel to keep both of you safe during the trip. Do not muzzle a pet that is vomiting.
For these specific pet emergency scenarios, there are few vital steps you can take before arriving at the veterinary facility.
- Call the ASPCA poison control hotline at (888) 426-4435 and follow their advice.
- To avoid injuring your pet further, transport them with great care and avoid sudden or jarring movements.
- Use a pet carrier or box to transport smaller animals. For large dogs, use a wooden plank, rug, blanket, or similar object as a stretcher.
- Apply gentle pressure with bandages, a cloth, or your hand.
- Don’t worry about cleaning the wound until after bleeding has stopped.
- Transport your pet with as little movement as possible.
- If you can, stabilize injuries with a splint before transporting your pet.
Perform artificial respiration on your pet by doing the following:
- First, check for any obstructions of the airway, including blood or mucus, and remove them to the best of your ability.
- Next, hold your pet’s mouth against yours and gently exhale once every 5-6 seconds. Don’t blow with too much force.
Perform CPR in combination with artificial respiration.
- Lay your pet on their right side. For big dog, press both hands firmly on the heart area about 70 times per minute. For smaller animals, put one hand on each side of the chest and press gently to avoid breaking their ribs.
- Keep your pet warm and quiet as you transport them.
- Spray your pet with cool water and place ice around their stomach, head, and neck. Stop when their body temperature cools to 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
- To prevent dangerous dehydration, give your pet plenty of water.
- Don’t try to force a pet to drink if they’re vomiting excessively.
- Put a blanket around your pet to prevent them from hurting themselves, but be aware they may bite reflexively.
- Try to keep them from flailing into corners or other hard objects.
- Use a tweezer to carefully remove stingers (wasps do not leave stingers).
- Apply a paste of baking soda and water to the stings.
- Use an ice pack to minimize pain and swelling.
- Comfort your pet, trying to keep them quiet and still.
Alternative Emergency Facilities
If you can’t get to Noah’s Ark Veterinary Hospital, here are some other emergency treatment sites in Southeastern Virginia.