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Emergency and Hospitalization Frequently Asked Questions

If your pet has experienced a trauma, or needs immediate emergency veterinary care, please come directly to our facility at 451 Canyon Del Rey Blvd in Del Rey Oaks. If you have any questions, please call us at 831.899.7387 (PETS).

When does my pet need emergency care?
It is impossible to make an all-inclusive list of emergency conditions. Examples of conditions that can be considered an emergency include:

  • Ingestion of a foreign object or unknown substance
  • Inability to move or sudden weakness
  • Signs of extreme pain, such as whining or shaking
  • Swollen, hard abdomen that is painful to the touch
  • Straining to urinate (especially a male cat)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bleeding
  • Vomiting blood
  • Blood in the feces or urine
  • Serious wound
  • Suspected broken limb
  • Any injury to the eye
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Unusual or erratic behavior
  • Labor that does not progress
  • Signs of heatstroke

If you are unsure whether your pet’s condition is an emergency, please bring your pet to an emergency veterinarian for evaluation.

Will my pet be seen immediately? Do I need to make an appointment?
Appointments are not needed for emergency care at Pet Specialists of Monterey. If you feel your pet needs immediate attention, come immediately. A phone call is appreciated so that we can prepare for your arrival, but not necessary. If your pet needs medical attention but the condition is not urgent, you can call ahead to find out how busy the hospital is so you can try to arrive at a time when you will have a minimum wait. Unfortunately, as with all emergency care hospitals, circumstances can change quickly so the estimated wait time may change between the time you make your call and the time you arrive.

We will see pets as soon as possible, but immediate attention may not be possible if a pet more seriously ill or injured than your pet is present at the same time. We use a prioritization system called “triage” to prioritize the order in which a pet will be seen when more than one is awaiting care. The triage system is based solely on severity of illness or injury, so there will be occasions when a pet and owner will arrive first but may be seen after later-arriving but more emergent cases.

Will I be able to stay with my pet during emergency evaluation and care?
In most cases, you and your pet will be taken to a private examination room where a veterinary technician or assistant will take a brief history and measure vital signs before you meet the emergency doctor on duty. The doctor will complete a thorough examination and discuss findings and recommendations with you before initiating care and further evaluation.

Whenever possible, you will be allowed to stay with your pet while waiting and during initial evaluation by the doctor; however, in some circumstances, your pet will be taken directly to the emergency room area for evaluation. This may occur when your pet clearly has an urgent problem that threatens life or limb, or when the hospital has numerous patient emergencies and the doctor can most efficiently perform examination and make triage prioritization in the emergency room.

Most emergency care and evaluation will take place in the emergency room and procedures or surgery rooms. In accordance with California laws, and for your safety and that of your pet and other pets in the hospital, we cannot allow pet owners into hospital areas except for the waiting room and exam rooms.