If you experience a pet emergency after hours, please go immediately to one of the recommended centers below

No one knows your pet better than you. If you notice that they are acting or behaving differently, lethargic, panting excessivly, drinking a lot of water or not any, if their appetite has significantly changed, they are bleeding, or they just are not themselves please come in to see one of our veterinarians immediately. This is not the time to call to see if you should be seen; if your pet's behavior has changed enough for you to call then it's enough for you to question that something isn't right.  We see pets 6 days a week, appointments are preferred but we do take work-in appointments. To best serve your pet in an emergency, please call us before you arrive so we can prepare our staff and facility for your pet’s needs. 

After Hour Emergencies  (after 6PM M-F, after 5PM Sat and all day Sundays)

Please go immediately to one of the following Emergency Centers if your pet is experiencing a medical emergency and we are not open:

  • Veterinary Emergency Center (Cary Town)  |  3312 West Cary Street, Richmond  |  804.353.9000
  • Veterinary Emergency Center South (Midlothian)  |  2460 Colony Crossing Place, Midlothian  |  804.744.9800
  • Veterinary Referral & Critical Care Center (Manakin-Sabot)  |  1596 Hockett Road, Manakin-Sabot  |  804.784.8722
  • Dogwood Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center (Richmond)  |  5918 West Broad Street, Richmond  |  804.716.4700
  • Animal Medical Center (Midlothian)  |  13821 Fribble Way, Midlothian  |  804.639.3900

Life Threatening Medical Emergencies

What's considered a life threatening emergency? Below is a list of some, not all, of the medical issues we consider a life threatening emergency and would strongly recommend your pet get IMMEDIATE medical attention if they are experiencing these symptoms or are injured.

  • Severe Bleeding
  • Broken Legs
  • Pets hit by cars
  • Continuous Seizures
  • Inability to Deliver Puppies or Kittens
  • Contact us if labor contractions last for longer than one hour or if there is more than 15 minutes of labor with the fetus or membrane showing.

Abnormal Reaction to Vaccine(s)

On rare occasion, some animals may exhibit an abnormal reaction to vaccines.  If a reaction occurs it is usually within an hour of administration of the vaccine(s).  Signs of an abnormal reaction may include pain, lethargy, vomiting, hives, fever, or facial swelling.  It is imperative for you to notify the veterinarian immediately if any of these signs occur so that proper medical treatment can be prescribed/administered.  

Gastric Distention (Bloat) 

Bloat is typically seen in large, deep-chested breeds. Signs include a distended (large and swollen) abdomen, drooling due to difficulty swallowing, and an inability to get comfortable. This condition can rapidly lead to shock and death if not treated immediately.

Urinary Blockage

Usually seen in male cats, but can occur in male dogs and, less commonly, in female dogs and cats. Animals strain to urinate frequently with little or no urine produced. This emergency can lead to kidney failure, bladder rupture, and death, if not treated quickly.

Pyometra (infection of the uterus)

Signs include discharge from the vagina, excessive urination and drinking. By the time signs are visible, infection is already present and she may already be experiencing kidney failure and other serious changes. Emergency surgery is frequently necessary.


Anytime you suspect your pet has swallowed poison, you should contact us immediately. Some common household items that are poisonous to pets are: antifreeze, rat and mouse poison, ibuprofen, acetaminophen and chocolate. If you pet has ingested something not intended for consumption, please contact us immediately.

Heat Stroke

Signs include heavy panting and difficulty breathing after being left in a car, heavy exercise outside, or left outside without shade or protection. The tongue and mucous membranes will appear bright red. The saliva will become thick and tenacious, and the dog often vomits. If not treated immediately the pet will collapse, seizures will follow with the pet going into a coma, with death rapidly to follow. Immediate professional medical attention is necessary.

Non-Life Threatening Emergencies

This type of emergency comprises most cases seen at emergency clinics and is very long and diverse. Often the first sign in these types of emergencies is a behavior change. If you believe a significant change in behavior has occurred, seek veterinary attention soon. It is better for us to determine nothing is seriously wrong than for a true emergency to go untreated.


Remember that most pets are inquisitive and that young, teething pets frequently put foreign objects in their mouths. Attend obedience class and keep your pets controlled and away from traffic; spay and neuter all non-breeding animals; keep poisons away from pets and try and keep your pet calm before and after eating.