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Emergency Veterinarian

The dedicated emergency and critical care team at The Regional Veterinary Referral Center are here to help your pet when they need it most. Our dedicated veterinarians are specially trained in emergency medicine and triage.

(703) 451-8900    Contact Our Department

Emergency Vet Care for Springfield Pets

Few aspects of pet ownership are more terrifying than when an animal is taken ill in the middle of the night or during weekend hours when your veterinarian’s office is closed.

Our Emergency Service exists to care for your pet under just these circumstances, and we’re no farther away than your phone, 24 hours a day. A medical diagnosis takes more than a phone call, but that’s where it usually starts as our well-trained and caring staff member answers your questions and directs you on how best to cope with your pet’s problem. We treat a variety of medical and surgical conditions affecting dogs and cats.

When you arrive, your pet will be examined and assessed by one of our critical care veterinarians who will explain the treatment options available to you. Please remember that cases are seen on the basis of need, with the most severely affected patients being seen first.

Emergency Vet Care, Springfield

What To Do In An Emergency

The emergency process will be easier both for you and your pet to follow if you know what you can expect from our emergency veterinary clinic. Here, we provide some of the general steps you should follow in the event of a veterinary emergency for your pet.

Call Ahead If You Can

We know that in emergency situations, you may not always be able to call us in advance, but it's always best if you can. When calling us, select 'option 0' when presented with our department directory to be put in touch with our emergency department to let us know you are on your way.

Get To Our Office Right Away

A member of our emergency team will show you to an exam room. If you haven't already done so, you will be asked to complete an intake form to provide us with any important information about your pet's medical history and condition. A member of our emergency team will triage your pet and then a full exam will be performed. 

Determine Treatment

Once your pet has been assessed, our emergency veterinarians will develop a treatment plan so that your pet will receive treatment designed for their medical needs.

As you leave the hospital, you will be given a copy of your pet’s record including all X-rays and results of diagnostic tests for your records and will be sure to contact your regular veterinarian to inform them of the events of your emergency visit.

Emergency Vet Care FAQs

  • What is considered an emergency?

    The following situations are considered emergencies and will require immediate veterinary care.

    • Obvious signs of extreme anxiety or pain 
    • Bleeding that hasn't stopped, or severe bleeding 
    • Choking, difficulty breathing or continuous coughing/gagging
    • Injuries to the eye(s)
    • Pain associated with passing feces or urinating, or inability to pass feces or urinate 
    • Bleeding from nose, mouth, rectum, or blood in urine
    • Staggering and/or seizures
    • Severe lameness, fractured bones or inability to move legs
    • You know or suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous (such as antifreeze, xylitol, chocolate, rodent poison, etc.)
    • Refusal to drink for 24 hours or more
    • Severe vomiting or diarrhea; more than two episodes in 24-hours
    • Heatstroke or heat stress 
    • Unconsciousness

    If your pet has an accident or is experiencing any of the symptoms below, bring them into our emergency veterinary office as soon as possible.

  • What emergency services do you offer?

    At the emergency department of The Regional Veterinary Referral Center, we offer state-of-the-art emergency veterinary services for your four-legged family members.

    We are equipped to provide diagnostics, a comprehensive range of surgical services, and critical care when required. 

  • What critical care services do you offer?

    Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Medicine is a veterinary specialty that can save a pet’s life. Should your pet become injured, or suddenly develop an acute, life-threatening disease, he or she will require prompt emergency care. In addition to the initial emergency treatment, in some cases, many days may be needed for the disease process to run its course before recovery occurs.

    During this time, close monitoring and advanced life support measures in the critical care unit (CCU) may be needed. Much of what happens in the critical care setting is initially planned for and started in the emergent phase of the disease.

    A vigilant team led by a veterinarian who is specially trained in emergency and critical care medicine will improve the quality of care your pet receives during this crucial time, resulting in a greater likelihood that he or she will survive. Critical care clinicians communicate daily with pet owners and involve the referring veterinarian in the ongoing management of their patients.

  • What is the difference between emergency services and critical care?

    While veterinary critical care and emergency services have some overlap — both deal with seriously ill or injured animals — there are some important differences between these two services. 

    Veterinary emergency services treat pets that are suffering from serious and acute illness or injury that requires intensive and immediate care. 

    In comparison, veterinary critical care services also deal with serious illness and injury, but do so in cases where animals require 24/7 monitoring, complex treatments and crate rest in a medical environment to help them recover. 

    So, while veterinary emergency services at our clinic may transfer our patients to critical care after initial triage and treatment, not all emergencies will require critical care. Likewise, in situations where a pet has undergone major planned surgery, they will require critical care to remain stable and begin their recovery without every having been a veterinary emergency case. 

  • Do I need to call ahead?

    If you can, it's always best to call us ahead of your arrival, but we understand emergency situations can develop very quickly and that this is not always possible. 

    If your pet's condition does not allow time for you to call ahead, that doesn't mean you can bring them in for care. Don't hesitate to bring your companion into our emergency facility for immediate veterinary medical attention. 

    It is always best to call us ahead if you can, but we understand that in emergency situations that's not always possible.

  • When is your emergency clinic open?

    We are open 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

  • When are your critical care services available?

    Our critical care services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

  • How long will we have to wait to see the vet?

    A veterinary emergency hospital is very similar to a human emergency department — the pace can be unpredictable and you may have to wait. 

    We are not able to predict which cases we will see and when they will arrive, but we will prioritize cases based on medical needs. 

    You'll find a comfortable area for waiting, and we will do our best to keep you updated about wait times and the status of your pet.  

  • Will you keep in touch with our primary care veterinarian?

    Yes! As you leave the hospital, you will be given a copy of your pet’s record including all X-rays and results of diagnostic tests. The attending doctor will contact your regular veterinarian upon discharge to notify them of your visit, and we remain available to them even after your pet’s stay with us is completed.

    We understand that it takes much more than just medical skills to fully care for animals. It takes compassion and dedication – something to remember as you consider the kind of care you want to give your pet. We care about that one special pet – yours!

Our Emergency Veterinarians

Our team of emergency veterinarians are qualified and equipped to provide attentive emergency and critical care to pets 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.

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New Patients & Referrals Welcome

The Regional Veterinary Referral Center is accepting new patients in emergency situations or by referral! Our experienced specialists are passionate about the health of Springfield pets. Contact us today to learn more.

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Contact (703) 451-8900