Pet Hospitals
Pets & Animals

Emergency Preparedness – What Every Pet Owner Should Know About Pet Hospitals

December 14, 2023

Just like the human members of the family, pet owners need to be prepared for natural disasters such as fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. A pet evacuation plan, first aid kit and contact information for kennels, boarding facilities and pet-friendly hotels outside your local area are important in a disaster.


Vaccines work to introduce your pet’s immune system to diseases that could make it sick or even kill them. This forces the immune system to react, producing disease-fighting antibodies. Experts at a veterinary hospital in Cold Spring, Kentucky, agree that vaccinations have saved millions of lives and are a safe and effective way to protect your pet from serious and deadly diseases. However, some pets have severe reactions to vaccines. Knowing what to do is important if your pet experiences one of these reactions.


Your pet may need surgery for several reasons, from dental procedures like tooth removal to surgical repair of broken bones. Other surgeries are elective, such as spaying and neutering, while others are diagnostic, such as a mass biopsy. Many veterinarians now use laparoscopic surgery, which means a tiny incision and less pain. This also cuts down on the amount of sedation your pet needs. When your pet is ready to go home, a surgery nurse will review all post-op instructions with you, including exercise restrictions and medications. They will also give you an estimate of how long your pet will be sedated.

Emergency Care

While every pet owner hopes their pets never need emergency veterinary care, these emergencies happen. When general veterinary practices are closed, or the veterinarian is away for an extended period, pet owners must call a specialist to help their pets in crisis. The staff at an emergency vet will quickly assess your pet’s current condition and probably ask for a medical history. They will prioritize the pet’s problems and begin specific treatment procedures.

Laboratory Tests

Many veterinarians have in-house blood chemistry machines that can reveal information. However, some tests require a sample sent to an outside laboratory. These lab tests may uncover diseases or illnesses that the veterinary technician staff cannot detect during an initial evaluation. They are also important from a preventative perspective. Blood work can reveal a variety of diseases, including heartworm disease, thyroid disease and pancreatitis. Combined with a urinalysis, they provide a complete picture of what is happening inside your pet’s body.


When most pet owners think of veterinary radiographs, they probably envision X-ray images that show broken bones and foreign objects. However, veterinary radiographs can depict many other internal structures, including tissue, organs, bladder stones and tumors. Medical imaging is a critical tool for pinpointing a diagnosis. At WestVet, our board-certified veterinary radiologist works with our specialists and family veterinarians to ensure your pet receives the right care in the most timely manner.


Veterinary pharmacies provide pet owners with medications specifically formulated for animals. These medications may include antibiotics, pain relievers, or other treatments that help keep your pet healthy. Some veterinarians use compounding pharmacies to prepare medicines for animals that cannot take or tolerate standardized drugs. This practice is more expensive but can improve your pet’s health. When buying veterinary medications online, make sure you are dealing with a reputable seller. Look for a website certified by the NABP as a Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site (Vet-VIPPS). Also, check prices between online and brick-and-mortar pharmacies.

Waiting Area

For pet owners, waiting can feel like an eternity when their pet is hospitalized. Be patient and fill out all required hospital forms so the veterinary team can make the best decision for your pet. Providing a kids’ nook in the waiting area shows that the practice is family-friendly and helps to keep children entertained. Adding an ambient odor such as lavender may reduce stress levels for the pets in the waiting area.


Pet owners are encouraged to get pet insurance, which can help defer veterinary costs so that you don’t hesitate or even avoid getting your pet the care it requires. During the pandemic, many veterinary hospitals were overwhelmed and short on staff. In addition, some pet owners became uncivil and demanding. Heath focuses on how veterinarians with the utmost integrity and compassion should not take advantage of pet owners who are terrified of losing their pets or cannot afford costly medical care.

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