If you have not read Part I yet, click here to learn how to prevent an emergency.
When you do have a pet emergency and need to go to the animal ER, it can be a very difficult time. Asking questions, coming prepared, and being patient can significantly improve your pet’s quality of care and your experience. Here are a few tips on how to communicate with the ER veterinarian and what to expect at the ER:
- When you arrive at the ER, you may be asked to have your pet separated from you for the sake of your pet. Please trust that your pet is being very well cared for and we won’t do anything without your permission.
- Try to come into the ER with an idea of what your key concerns and goals are and be upfront about them.
- I encourage researching what you think is wrong with your pet, however, you should apply a good ounce of skepticism to anything you read on the internet.
- Asking questions to your veterinarian will help you advocate for your pet and help you understand what is going on step by step. Please do not hesitate to ask about costs, prognosis, treatment options, if your pet is in pain, or if anything is not making sense.
- Diagnosing what is wrong with your pet involves eliminating many possibilities that may not be determined with an exam alone. For these reasons, we will commonly recommend a variety of tests aimed at finding a baseline and eliminating possibilities. Just as it is with human medicine, this can be time consuming and expensive.
- Veterinarians will first make testing and treatment recommendations that they think is in your pet’s best interest. If the initial recommendations aren’t possible, for whatever reasons, there may be other reasonable options that you can choose for your pet. Ultimately, this decision is yours, but please do not feel pressure or bad about whatever decision you make. We are all animal lovers and we know how hard it can be to make tough decisions about our pets.
- Please try to be patient. There are many times when the animal ER is just like the human ER in that they get very busy and the most critical patients get treated first. As a result, it is not uncommon to have multiple hour waits. Bring a book, an electronic device, or a very nice friend to help pass time.
We understand how stressful it is for pet owners when their pet isn’t feeling well. We hope these tips can help during an emergency. To learn our step by step ER process, click here. If your pet experiences an emergency and your family veterinarian is unavailable, remember that both our Oakdale and St. Paul clinics are open 24/7. Our team is ready to help!