dog at the vet

Emergency Veterinarians & After Hours Care

Emergency veterinary hospitals prioritize and treat patients based on their symptoms or condition severity. Any patient needing medical attention but not in a life-threatening situation may be asked to wait.

An animal urgent care situation involves issues that need medical attention but are not life-threatening. These patients might be uncomfortable, but they are stable and can be seen at regular appointments.

Doctors in emergency hospitals use the patient severity index to decipher your pet’s condition. This index includes the following levels:

  • Level one: Resuscitation — the patient is seen before all others, exhibiting a severe physical trauma or cardiac arrest.
  • Level two: Emergent — these traumas are not life-threatening but are time-sensitive, including a venomous snake bite and heat stroke.
  • Level three: Urgent — these patients are seen after levels one and two are taken care of. Examples of urgent care include sudden illness, severe cuts, vomiting, trouble walking, allergic reactions, or difficulty urinating.
  • Level four: Non-urgent — minor cuts, prolonged low appetite, limping, fever and mild injuries are non-urgent conditions that can be treated after the first three levels.
  • Level five: Stable — the patient is uncomfortable but stable, experiencing diarrhea, low appetite, ear infection, or skin irritation.

As a rule of thumb, pets in the first two levels should be taken to the emergency room. Levels three through five can receive veterinary urgent care services.

Local Emergency Veterinary Recommended by Our Team

We accommodate emergency appointments during normal business hours. Please call our offices in advance if possible so we can prepare for your arrival and offer advice that may save your pet’s life. After regular business hours and on holidays, please see our recommended veterinary emergency clinics or hospitals.

Please call emergency hospitals directly for more information such as up-to-date hours. Some hospitals may require you to call ahead. See their website for more details about their animal emergency services.

Mason Dixon Animal Emergency Hospital
Open 24/7
(717) 432-6030

CARE Veterinary Center
Open 24/7
(301) 662-2273

Central Carroll Animal Emergency (CCAE)
Please call for hours

Pet ER Hunt Valley
Open 24/7

Urgent Vet Care
Please call for hours

Falls Roads Emergency
Open 24/7

Thrive Pet Urgent Care in Catonsville
Please call for hours

Veterinary Emergency Group
Open 24/7