Aaahhh….the 24 hour ER Vet. True yin and yang. All the convenience at all the cost.
I’ve utilized the services three times in the past 13 years. Once a false alarm, potential bloat-but absolutely no regrets about that trip, given the potential outcome had it truly been bloat. Once a true emergency and life saver, turned out to be pancreatitis. And once a nasty nasty laceration that would have been a miserable, sleep-less 14 hour wait for my regular veterinarian to open. Why do all dogs get hurt at 6:01 pm?
Expensive. If the situation is not clearly an emergency, without a doubt, the cost, as well as the 35 minute drive (for me) certainly contribute to my decision making process about whether I need to go or not.
Sharing a great article, When To Bring Your Dog to the ER, that includes a fairly detailed list of medical symptoms and warning signs to help you with your decision on whether a visit to the ER vet is warranted.
When in doubt, call your veterinarian or emergency veterinarian, as the receptionist or veterinary technician may be able to help guide you and “phone triage” you (although they are obviously always going to bear on the side of caution).
Excellent advice. After one my dogs got into the compost bucket and ingested a coffee filter full of brewed coffee grounds, I called my local ER vet, Burlington Emergency & Veterinary Specialists and they have provided me with over the phone advice, preventing a trip to their office.
Yup – ER vet services are pricey. The cost of convenience is steep. I’m incredibly thankful that my financial situation is such that the cost would not prevent me from getting emergency medical treatment for my dogs if necessary. I’m also incredibly thankful, regardless of cost, that they are available. That should an emergency happen, I may not have to witness one of my dogs suffer, or die, due to lack of services during off hours.