Lack of emergency services

sassea

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I don't like it. The closest emergency service is 40 min from me. A friends cat died in their arms out of panic heart failure trying to make the trip. Honestly this is not humane. If you have that long or more of a drive the pet does not deserve to be put through that. I wish there were a way to force all pet clinics to provide a service.
I heard a person turned away at the door because it was closing time. She pleaded that they were suffocating (smoke inhalation?). If they were not going to be able to survive after a trip to the emergency then the least that could/should have been done would be put them out of their misery. A friend refuses to work for any clinic now because she could not turn someone away.
I do not know when or why this seems to have changed universally overnight. It is not right.
 

Furballsmom

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Hello -
Just to double-check because there are some who don't know this is available, you don't have any housecall vets in your area? It isn't just pet care but nearly everything is more challenging. I live in what's considered a major city and I have to drive 20-25 minutes to get to an emergency vet clinic.

I heard a person turned away at the door because it was closing time.
I obviously wasn't there, but a phone call that they were on the way could possibly have helped.

First aid tips for pet owners

and there's this;

 

Margot Lane

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I hear you…I knew someone whose dog died from being gored by a deer…and they were turned away by 3 different clinics before he passed in the back seat. Where I am, there is just no available housing for new vets. (My clinic closed down b/c of this). But Furball’s Mom is right: there ARE traveling vets if you keep digging. I also know there are some great feed stores in my area that at least have a day where your pet can be examined and given shots by a traveling vet. Sounds as if you already have a cat, but if someday you didn’t, perhaps you could get joy out of helping at a shelter, or a TNR program or fostering? It’s so bad I fantasize about sponsoring a go fund me page to START a traveling vetmobile. I don’t Facebook, but wonder if someone could start a page advertising for vets, telling them where they are most needed, and/or maybe a place they could live.
 

LTS3

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Are there no 24/7 emergency vets in your area? Call your vet and ask about any 24/7 emergency vets in the area and what the options are for after hours emergency care. There may be a phone number you can call at any hour for emergencies.
 

BellaBlue82

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This is truly a sad situation we're in. I live near Pittsburgh PA which is a very populated city with many vet clinics - there is a PVSEC 15 minutes from my house. They've turned me away twice in the past year, when both my diabetic cat had a medical emergency and my anemic cat got sick and wouldn't eat for two days. With Sadie I pleaded with them on the phone if there was anything they could do, see her quickly so I could get some fluids and Cerenia or appetite stimulant for her. Without eating, she was at risk for hepatic lipidosis, Addison's crisis (she's on prednisolone and didn't take her dose for three days) plus her anemia. They told me they could not take her and directed me to a vet clinic in Ohio, which was not open, and over an hour away. There are other clinics in the area, but they turned me away as well because I was not an established patient. The others who could take us we're still about 40 minutes away, have odd hours/days open, and you sit and wait all day for them to see you.
Luckily, my vet has come to my rescue in both situations. Even though she is not an emergency vet, I was able to call her and get triage help over the phone until she got to see them (she squeezed me in the next day.)
It's very scary knowing my babies could have a medical emergency, and they don't have access to care they need. 😔 I just keep hoping the situation gets better.
 

silent meowlook

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I live an hour a way from the nearest emergency vet. I make sure I am stocked up with what I need for my cats. I have fluids and injectable Cerenia on hand as well as some other injectable if needed. The most important thing to do is establish a relationship with a veterinarian and ask them what to do in an emergency if no vet is available. I also have asthma medications and had an oxygen concentrater
 

iPappy

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There are emergency vets here 45 minutes away in two separate directions. One is an overnight staff only and weekends. So if your cat is hospitalized on a week night, you have to transport them to your regular vet before they close at 8 AM and transport them back after they open that evening. The other one is 24 hours at least. There's also two 24 hour vets located an hour away and another about 90 minutes away but everyone I know who has used them both say the communication skills absolutely suck.
With an aging population and a cancer patient I won't deny this has caused me some loss of sleep.
 

BellaBlue82

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I remember back in the day before there were ER vets. Your regular vet had an answering service with after-hours care.
I wish we had this again. Though I will say, my vet (although she says on her vm she's not an emergency service) has called me back after hours in dire situations. She's a traveling vet, and she is one of the best!! She'll at least provide me with whatever I need to help take care of the kitties. She also lives close which is a plus, I've gone to her house and picked up emergency supplies from her drop box on occasion. ❤
 

silent meowlook

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The best thing you can do is establish a good working relationship with a vet when it isn’t an emergency. Of course private owned vets are best for this as opposed to the big corporations vets.
Veterinary medicine is changing as people are changing. People in general are no longer willing to work like they used to. They need personal time and life outside of work.
I don’t understand it myself but there has definitely been changes is work ethics and dedication.
 

LTS3

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I remember back in the day before there were ER vets. Your regular vet had an answering service with after-hours care.

Human doctors have such a service, too, but it wasn't a doctor on the other end. It was just a person taking down the message and then contacting an on-call doctor who then contacts the patient.

Most vets have an after hours voicemail message with info on who to call for after hours emergencies. If a vet doesn't, call during regular business hours and ask who to call / where to go for after hours emergencies.


Veterinary medicine is changing as people are changing. People in general are no longer willing to work like they used to. They need personal time and life outside of work.
I don’t understand it myself but there has definitely been changes is work ethics and dedication.
Compassion fatigue and burn out. It's always been common in any field working with animals but the pandemic just kind of exacerbated it. Vets and their staff are people, too, and need to take time to care for themselves and not spend 12+ hours working in the clinic caring for animals. That may mean working less hours but they're still dedicated to providing top care to their patients.

https://thecatsite.com/threads/huge-strain-on-veterinary-clinics-post-pandemic.431689/
https://thecatsite.com/threads/look-after-your-vets.404868/
 
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goingpostal

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Like every business on the planet, vets are having severe staffing issues. Places can't stay open overnights if there's no one there to work. It's down to one vet at our local clinic so no after hours services anymore, it's three hours to the nearest. Vets do their best but they aren't superhuman, you can't expect them to work 24/7.
 

silent meowlook

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I work for an emergency vet hospital that used to take in patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This week we have 2 doctors out with covid and 3 techs out with covid. There is also a nasty flu going around so those that aren't out with covid have the flu. One doctor has worked 6 12 hour shifts in a row. Several of the techs have as well. We don't have a doctor after midnight so we can't take in patients after that. We have a tech on but they legally cannot admit patients without a doctor. There is no such thing as social distancing in vet medicine because we have to work together in extremely close contact, There is no getting around that. Everyone is vaccinated and boostered but people still get sick but thankfully not hospitalized. We have to turn patients away after a certain amount because there just isn't the staff to care for them properly. It is hard to turn people away but you can't take in an animal with seizures at 10pm if you know you won't have a doctor after 12 am. It is a bad situation for vets and for pet owners and most of all for pets.

One thing that pet owners could do that would help would be to only come in with true emergencies. Take their pets in to their regular vets at first sign of illness and not wait for it to be an emergency. If your pet isn't eating see your regular vet right away, instead of waiting until it has been going on for 4 days. An ear infection isn't an emergency. It is painful but not life threatening. It is sad to turn away a critical animal because all resources have been used with non critical emergencies.

It isn't the vets fault or the staff's fault. It is hard for them to turn patients away. It may not seem like it at the time but most have been dealing with this for over 2 years now and they are tired and burnt out and sick of being accused of being money hungry or uncaring. I will say that nobody goes into vet medicine because they want to get rich. It doesn't happen. It is hard unforgiving gut-wrenching work that eats away at your soul and the compensation is far less than most people make.
 

iPappy

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I work for an emergency vet hospital that used to take in patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This week we have 2 doctors out with covid and 3 techs out with covid. There is also a nasty flu going around so those that aren't out with covid have the flu. One doctor has worked 6 12 hour shifts in a row. Several of the techs have as well. We don't have a doctor after midnight so we can't take in patients after that. We have a tech on but they legally cannot admit patients without a doctor. There is no such thing as social distancing in vet medicine because we have to work together in extremely close contact, There is no getting around that. Everyone is vaccinated and boostered but people still get sick but thankfully not hospitalized. We have to turn patients away after a certain amount because there just isn't the staff to care for them properly. It is hard to turn people away but you can't take in an animal with seizures at 10pm if you know you won't have a doctor after 12 am. It is a bad situation for vets and for pet owners and most of all for pets.

One thing that pet owners could do that would help would be to only come in with true emergencies. Take their pets in to their regular vets at first sign of illness and not wait for it to be an emergency. If your pet isn't eating see your regular vet right away, instead of waiting until it has been going on for 4 days. An ear infection isn't an emergency. It is painful but not life threatening. It is sad to turn away a critical animal because all resources have been used with non critical emergencies.

It isn't the vets fault or the staff's fault. It is hard for them to turn patients away. It may not seem like it at the time but most have been dealing with this for over 2 years now and they are tired and burnt out and sick of being accused of being money hungry or uncaring. I will say that nobody goes into vet medicine because they want to get rich. It doesn't happen. It is hard unforgiving gut-wrenching work that eats away at your soul and the compensation is far less than most people make.
I lost a cat back in March that had been a regular at the local clinic for 5+ years with many issues. He'd been hospitalized many times and the vets knew that he had situations that were emergency and never once was I turned away for a fit-in emergency appointment, and I am so thankful for that. He was hospitalized quite a bit a few years ago, and the bills were pretty high, but I can't complain because my cat came back alive, alert, happy, eating, etc. As the hospitalization instances increased, I noticed the bills for the same services were getting a little bit smaller each time around. Things I was charged $20.00 for were now $10, $5, or $0, and things that were more expensive (oxygen crate, daily hospitalization, etc.) were still charged, but the charge was a little less for the same time he was in there. I absolutely know the vets did everything they could to knock off every dollar possible as much as they could. That little gesture meant so much to me. And this is a large corporation, so I am pretty sure the vets don't set the prices, but they did what they could to keep costs down.
About 10+ years ago, we groomed a Standard Poodle owned by a homeless man. He couldn't afford to pay us but we groomed the dog anyway. He was a solid mat, pelted, and needed stripped down with anything from a #7 (short) to a #40 (surgical-short) blade. The dog needed groomed, and he was a love and the owner was one of the nicest people I've met in my life. A few months later, he brought his dog back and gave us 30 dollars for a haircut. He was leaving for Florida and hopefully was going to get a better life for himself. I still think about that guy and wonder how he's doing. I wouldn't normally groom a Standard Poodle for 30 bucks, but this guy needed us. I think sometimes that the vets knocking money off of my cats bill was kind of God's way of saying thanks for that man and his dog :)
 

Margot Lane

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I have to say I know someone who lives in the mountains and ferals just find her. Probably b/c they are terrified of mountain lions and figure it’s safer under her house. She has lived there 21 years and has figured out how to take care of every single stray w/out ever going to the vet, don’t ask me how. But her house is filled with medicines, a freezer filled with raw food, vitamins, an enormous library of cat care books, with, somehow, enough $ left over for her own needs. I guess in this case, necessity is the mother of invention, but I am am forever appreciative to folks who know how to do this, and to Silent Meowlook for doing their utmost. It takes tenacity, energy & heart.
 

BellaBlue82

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I work for an emergency vet hospital that used to take in patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This week we have 2 doctors out with covid and 3 techs out with covid. There is also a nasty flu going around so those that aren't out with covid have the flu. One doctor has worked 6 12 hour shifts in a row. Several of the techs have as well. We don't have a doctor after midnight so we can't take in patients after that. We have a tech on but they legally cannot admit patients without a doctor. There is no such thing as social distancing in vet medicine because we have to work together in extremely close contact, There is no getting around that. Everyone is vaccinated and boostered but people still get sick but thankfully not hospitalized. We have to turn patients away after a certain amount because there just isn't the staff to care for them properly. It is hard to turn people away but you can't take in an animal with seizures at 10pm if you know you won't have a doctor after 12 am. It is a bad situation for vets and for pet owners and most of all for pets.

One thing that pet owners could do that would help would be to only come in with true emergencies. Take their pets in to their regular vets at first sign of illness and not wait for it to be an emergency. If your pet isn't eating see your regular vet right away, instead of waiting until it has been going on for 4 days. An ear infection isn't an emergency. It is painful but not life threatening. It is sad to turn away a critical animal because all resources have been used with non critical emergencies.

It isn't the vets fault or the staff's fault. It is hard for them to turn patients away. It may not seem like it at the time but most have been dealing with this for over 2 years now and they are tired and burnt out and sick of being accused of being money hungry or uncaring. I will say that nobody goes into vet medicine because they want to get rich. It doesn't happen. It is hard unforgiving gut-wrenching work that eats away at your soul and the compensation is far less than most people make.
We appreciate all of you!! I can sympathize as I work for a healthcare company and I have seen many techs, nurses and doctors put others health in front of their own. Whether you're taking care of animals or humans, it takes a big heart and a lot of compassion to do what you do. ❤
 

iPappy

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We appreciate all of you!! I can sympathize as I work for a healthcare company and I have seen many techs, nurses and doctors put others health in front of their own. Whether you're taking care of animals or humans, it takes a big heart and a lot of compassion to do what you do. ❤
The burn out and suicide rate in healthcare for pets and people both is so alarming, and so sad.
 
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