My pet needs urgent care!

Due to limited hours and resources coupled with very high demand for our services, it can be difficult for us to accomodate pets on an urgent basis at the ACSPCA Veterinary Clinic. However, veterinary emergency care facilities are associated with exceptionally high costs and very long wait times. Fortunately, less than 20% of sick pets who present to urgent care centers are actually experiencing a life-or-death emergency. In other words, even though your pet may need to be seen by a vet, odds are that he or she does not require immediate care at that moment. But how do you know whether your pet needs urgent care or not?
Our veterinarians have put together a short list of things to look for, when trying to decide whether or not your pet is experiencing a true emergency:
  • Unresponsiveness

  • Gums that are NOT nice bright carnation pink

  • Sudden and prolonged inability to stand or walk

  • Pain when pressing in on the abdomen from both sides

  • Greater than 30 full respirations per minute *at rest* for prolonged periods of time

  • Respiratory distress (or prolonged open-mouth breathing, in cats)

  • Vomiting more than 2x per hour for more than 8 consecutive hours

  • Repeatedly trying to vomit but nothing is coming up (ie. stomach bloat in dogs)

Emergency Urgent pet care
  • Complete anorexia (refusing all food) for more than 5 consecutive days

  • Copious diarrhea or vomiting that is pure, or mostly, blood (not specks of blood)

  • Complete inability to urinate (*especially male cats*)

  • Prolonged rectal temperature over 103°F (or under 98°F)

  • Swollen face/throat (allergic reaction) that is progressive and not responsive to benadryl

  • Known toxin ingestion (call POISON CONTROL 888.426.4435)

  • Seizures in non-epileptic animals, or cluster seizures

  • Continuously vocalizing in pain

If your pet fits into any of the above descriptions (especially more than one description), then he or she likely needs to be seen at the ER. However, if your pet does NOT fit into any of the above descriptions, it's likely fine to wait and seek assistance through your regular veterinarian. In the event of a TRUE EMERGENCY, we have 3 local options for emergency care:

"What if my pet doesn't have a life-threatening problem/illness, but I'd still like to be seen as soon as possible?"
If you are an existing client, please contact us and we will schedule you on our next available outpatient day (outpatients are seen every Friday, and one Thursday per month). If you are a NEW client, you must first apply for services by submitting the Online New Client Form.

Please note: In partnership with Vetster, we can now handle most urgent care requests via TELEMEDICINE!

The ACSPCA Veterinary Clinic has partnered with Vetster telemedicine services to provide 24/7 access to virtual veterinary care via video chat! Therefore, if your pet is uncomfortable and cannot wait for our next available outpatient appointment, you do have the option of scheduling a telemedicine appointment instead, using our unique portal: Use the promo code ATLATICSPCA10 for 10% off your appointment. Search for Dr. Suzanna Vaino by name, or connect with another NJ licensed veterinarian. Prescriptions can be called into either your "human" pharmacy, or our online veterinary pharmacy (depending on what medication(s) your pet needs). You do NOT need to be an existing client to use the telemedicine service--you just have to be a NJ resident. However, if you are a current client, rest assured that your Vetster medical records will be transferred into your ACSPCA chart for continuation of care.


Atlantic County SPCA


Implementation, hosting and maintenance by Joomla Connections, LLC