5 Tips For Arranging Care Between An Emergency Clinic And Your Primary Veterinarian

If you have a pet that is in critical condition due to an injury or illness, or if you have an emergency that occurs after regular working hours, you will likely be looking for the services of an emergency animal clinic. These clinics tend to be open during the evenings and weekends to give critical care to your pet when your primary veterinarian is not available. However, at some point, the care of your pet will transfer back to your primary veterinarian. Here are five tips to make that transition go smoothly for you, your pet, and the clinics providing the care for your pet. 

Work Out a Schedule of Care as Soon as Possible 

Most emergency clinics work during nights and weekends, although some offer 24-hour care. If your pet is hospitalized after their visit to an emergency clinic, it is likely that they will need 24-hour care for a period of time. This is generally arranged by splitting care between your primary veterinarian and the emergency clinic. For example, when the emergency clinic closes in the morning, you would transport your pet to your primary veterinarian, and when your primary veterinarian closes in the evening, you would take your pet back to the emergency clinic until they no longer need to be under medical supervision. 

It is important to arrange a care schedule as soon as possible. This lets your veterinarian know they should expect your pet to arrive during the early morning, when they are usually setting up their practice. It will also help you determine the best emergency clinic to use, since you may need one with extended hours to work with your primary veterinarian. 

Let Your Veterinarian Know About Your Emergency 

Whether you will be transferring care to your primary veterinarian or you will be taking your pet home, you should let your primary veterinarian know about your pet's visit to the emergency clinic. Your primary veterinarian can advise you on whether or not you should bring your pet in for a wellness checkup and further testing. 

Arrange Safe, Secure Transportation 

It is important that you transport your pet safely to and from the emergency clinic. This may involve putting you pet in a carrier or a cardboard box or strapping your pet to a supportive board if it has extensive injuries. When you are transporting your pet between the emergency clinic and your primary veterinarian's office, you should take similar measures to ensure your pet's safety. 

If you are unable to transport your pet safely, talk to the emergency clinic staff about options for pet transportation. It is likely that they work with a professional transportation and boarding service that can provide safe transportation for your pet. 

Make Sure the Emergency Clinic Forwards Your Pet's Results to Your Primary Veterinarian 

It is important that your primary veterinarian knows exactly what happened to your pet and how your pet was treated. The emergency clinic should offer to forward your animal's records to your primary veterinarian. If they do not offer this service, you should request a copy of your pet's records to take with you to your primary veterinarian. 

Keep a Copy of Your Pet's Records Available for the Emergency Clinic

It is also important for the emergency clinic to know your pet's general health history including vaccinations and medications that your pet has had. If you will not be able to reach your veterinarian after hours, you should keep a copy of your pet's medical file available for emergencies. If your pet is being transported to an emergency clinic for after-hours care from your veterinarian's office, make sure they send a full medical history with your pet. 

Communication between an emergency clinic and your primary veterinarian is critical for safe, fast care of your pet. For more information and tips, contact a local clinic like Animal Emergency Clinic