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Your Pet’s Emergency Visit

Important considerations and information regarding your pet’s emergency:

Please stay calm - It is very important to remain as calm as possible, even if you feel panicked.  Pets pick up on their owners’ anxiety, and this affects their own stress level. Please provide the receptionist or medical assistant with the pertinent medical history they request.  Our doctors and staff have handled just about every pet emergency imaginable.  Your pet is in good hands.

The ‘scoop and run’ - Many emergencies are brought directly to the back where the doctor and staff can surround your pet as quickly as possible with the equipment, medications, and focus needed to attempt stabilization.   A pet owner’s presence greatly slows this initial, critical assessment and treatment window, due to requests for explanations of many things that are being performed and a natural desire to engage the doctor in conversation.  The doctor’s focus needs to be completely on your pet in the first minutes after your arrival to enhance your pet’s chances of survival.  We know you want to be with your pet, and soon you will be reunited.   

Safety precautions – Many normally sweet, docile pets attempt to bite when they are in pain.  We may need to apply a muzzle or take other precautions to protect human injury.
For your safety, please keep your hands and face away from your pet’s mouth at all times during your visit.  Please allow our staff to perform all restraint and handling needed.    

Let us know immediately of any financial limitations you have.  Much has to be done in a short period of time, and hundreds of dollars in costs can very quickly accrue from just basic, initial diagnostics and treatment attempts.   We will often provide a preliminary ‘triage consent form’ for your approval for initial care, then a more specific estimate for continued care options. 

Triage Pets are seen by urgency of condition, not in order of arrival.  For pets without an obviously immediate, life threatening condition, a wait is usually involved.  Please consider that if it is your pet that is suffering from an immediate, life threatening condition, you would want it to be seen ahead of less critical patients even if they arrived before you. 

Wait times - The doctor on duty is tending not only to arriving life threatening emergencies, but also to critically ill patients already admitted and hospitalized.  Wait times are longest over holiday weekends and Sunday afternoons.  During the busiest times, pets with problems that are not immediately life threatening sometimes wait three or four hours to be seen.    When possible, we have an additional doctor and more staff present during these traditionally busier times.   Thank you for your patience, and know that during busy times neither the staff nor doctors take breaks or slow the pace until everyone has been seen.  We are truly working as fast as we can to get to your pet.  

Thank you for choosing the Palmetto Regional Emergency Hospital for Animals.

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