During the weekday, our team of experienced, compassionate veterinary care specialists are on hand to help during an emergency. As a pet owner, however, you know that an accident or illness can strike suddenly, and not always during business hours. When you need veterinary care fast, it helps to have contact info, resources, and information on hand. Preparation and quick action can save your pet’s life.
In the event of an after-hours emergency, please call us at (757) 585-3494 and listen for instructions.
Handling Your Pet Before Reaching the Hospital
Once you have called a veterinary hospital that can take your pet right away, the next most important step is transporting them safely and efficiently.
If your pet is awake during the emergency, it’s best to assume that they’re in pain, anxious, and frightened. Even the gentlest of animals may bite or scratch when under stress, so it might be necessary to use a muzzle or travel kennel to keep both of you safe during the trip. Do not muzzle a pet that is vomiting.
For these specific pet emergency scenarios, there are few vital steps you can take before arriving at the veterinary facility.
Ingested Toxic Substance
- Call the ASPCA poison control hotline at (888) 426-4435 and follow their advice.
- To avoid injuring your pet further, transport them with great care and avoid sudden or jarring movements.
- Use a pet carrier or box to transport smaller animals. For large dogs, use a wooden plank, rug, blanket, or similar object as a stretcher.
- Apply gentle pressure with bandages, a cloth, or your hand.
- Don’t worry about cleaning the wound until after bleeding has stopped.
- Transport your pet with as little movement as possible.
- If you can, stabilize injuries with a splint before transporting your pet.
Perform artificial respiration on your pet by doing the following:
- First, check for any obstructions of the airway, including blood or mucus, and remove them to the best of your ability.
- Next, hold your pet’s mouth against yours and gently exhale once every 5-6 seconds. Don’t blow with too much force.
Perform CPR in combination with artificial respiration.
- Lay your pet on their right side. For big dog, press both hands firmly on the heart area about 70 times per minute. For smaller animals, put one hand on each side of the chest and press gently to avoid breaking their ribs.
- Keep your pet warm and quiet as you transport them.
- Spray your pet with cool water and place ice around their stomach, head, and neck. Stop when their body temperature cools to 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
Severe Vomiting and Diarrhea
- To prevent dangerous dehydration, give your pet plenty of water.
- Don’t try to force a pet to drink if they’re vomiting excessively.
- Put a blanket around your pet to prevent them from hurting themselves, but be aware they may bite reflexively.
- Try to keep them from flailing into corners or other hard objects.
Bee and Wasp Stings
- Use a tweezer to carefully remove stingers (wasps do not leave stingers).
- Apply a paste of baking soda and water to the stings.
- Use an ice pack to minimize pain and swelling.
- Comfort your pet, trying to keep them quiet and still.
Alternative Emergency Facilities
If you can’t get to Noah’s Ark Veterinary Hospital, here are some other emergency treatment sites in Southeastern Virginia.
- Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center
- Veterinary Referral and Critical Care
- Blue Pearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital
- Dogwood Emergency and Specialty Center
- Chesapeake Veterinary Cardiology Associates
Keeping Up with Your Pet’s Health
- Puppies need a series of distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, and corona virus vaccinations once every 3-4 weeks, starting at 6 weeks old until 20 weeks.
- Spay or neuter by 6 months of age.
- Feed your dog a healthy diet. Ask us about products we recommend.
- Make sure your dog gets enough exercise. Take long walks, run with your dog, or play fetch.
- Ideally, brush your dog’s teeth daily. You may also want to make use of specially-formulated dental treats.
- Heartworm and other parasite preventative medication
- Flea and tick control
- Bring your dog to the veterinarian for a checkup.
- Distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus vaccination (DHPP)
- Rabies vaccination (depending on vaccination status, it can also be once every three years)
- Bordetella vaccination
- Lyme disease vaccination
- Heartworm check
- Professional dental cleaning. Your dog may need cleanings more or less often, so ask us about your specific needs.
- A series of three distemper, rhinotrcheitis, and calci (FVRCP) combo vaccinations during the first 16 weeks of life, along with a booster at one year of age.
- First rabies shot by 6 months of age.
- Spay or neuter by 6 months of age.
- Feed your cat a healthy diet. Ask us about products we recommend.
- Find time to play with your cat so that they get regular exercise. Cat towers and toys can also provide them with an incentive to play on their own.
- Ideally, brush your cat’s teeth daily. You may also want to make use of specially-formulated dental treats.
- Heartworm preventative medication
- Flea and tick control
- Bring your cat to the veterinarian for a checkup.
- Distemper, rhinotrcheitis, and calci vaccination (FVRCP)
- Feline leukemia test and vaccination
- Professional dental cleaning. Your cat may need cleanings more or less often, so ask us about your specific pet’s needs.
This not-for-profit association represents over 89,000 American veterinarians.
The AAHA accredits veterinary hospitals that meet a high standard of care.
Ready.gov provides guidance in how to prepare your family, pets included, for emergencies.
To locate a lost pet that has been microchipped, enter their microchip ID here.
HomeAgain provides microchipping services to locate pets in the event that they get lost.
The AKC is a not-for-profit organization that registers purebred dogs and puts on regular dog sporting events. The website has resources for dog owners.
Catalyst Council is a non-profit entity whose website provides resources for cat owners.
This website provides caregiving information for owners of all types of pets.
Pet Clinic Forms