Our hospital has a designated Urgent Care Doctor Monday-Saturday that sees Walk-Ins and Urgent appointments. For any walk-in appointment, there will be a wait.
Urgent Care Patients are seen based on level of emergent need, more critical patients will be attended to first. Below are the guidelines that we follow to determine the needs of emergent care.
Level One — Resuscitation
The level-one or resuscitation category includes pets that arrive comatose or in respiratory and/or cardiac arrest. Immediate stabilization efforts are required. Updating the owner of the pet’s status within 5 minutes of resuscitation efforts is recommended. The owner must sign an emergency consent form, but life saving efforts often begin with the owner’s verbal authorization.
Level Two — Emergent Care
Pets that fall into level-two or emergent care status may have cardiovascular compromise, be in respiratory distress, have hypoglycemia, or be in a postictal state or seizuring. Most patients with trauma, toxicosis, or gastric dilatation-volvulus also fall into this category. Rapidly conducting an assessment and quickly obtaining a history are essential.
The goal is to start treating this pet within 2 to 5 minutes. Longer waiting times may decrease the pet’s chance of survival. An emergency consent form must be signed by the owner before treatment is initiated. The emergency consent form should include an estimate of the cost of initial life saving therapies and an explanation stating that the estimate covers only the first 15 to 30 minutes of diagnostic and therapeutic care. Updating the owner about the pet’s status within 5 minutes of stabilization efforts is advised.
Level Three — Urgent Care
Level-three or urgent care status indicates that the pet is in obvious mild discomfort and shows clinical signs that concern the owner. The patient’s temperature and pulse and respiration (TPR) rates or pain scale assessment (PSA) may or may not be within normal limits, but any abnormalities are not life threatening. Patients with small open wounds, inflammation of the skin of the ear, lameness, injury to a foot or footpad, and mild gastrointestinal disorders fall into this category. It is very important to identify the reason for the injury when obtaining a history because this will help determine the acuity level assignment. Any abnormalities related to trauma may quickly warrant reclassifying the patient at a higher level.
The goal should be to treat a pet in this category in less than 2 hours. A longer waiting time could create undue stress for the owner and may cause the pet’s condition to worsen. The staff should maintain contact with the owner while he or she is waiting and provide updates on the pet’s condition. Periodic assessment of the pet’s condition is recommended.
Level Four — Nonurgent Care
The level-four or nonurgent care situation is not life threatening, but the owner is anxious about a slight change in the pet’s behavior, appetite, or clinical signs related to a chronic condition. The pet exhibits no obvious signs of stress or discomfort, appears normal during the initial assessment (which includes TPR and PSA), may have experienced a change in its environment (e.g., a move or a new pet or baby in the household), or recently underwent a procedure or surgery. Patients in this category may have internal or external parasites, dermatitis, or food allergies.
The goal should be to treat this pet within 2 hours if possible, but longer waiting times most likely will not endanger the pet’s life. It is important that the staff maintain contact with the owner while he or she is waiting and provide updates on the pet’s condition as necessary.
Level Five — Convenient Care
Patients classified as level-five or convenient care status often present during off-hours or weekends because an owner’s personal or work schedule does not allow him or her the time to establish a relationship with a primary care veterinarian. Often, these pets present without clinical signs. The owner may state that he or she is concerned about the possibility of ectoparasites or intestinal parasites, a small tumor, a chronic condition, or mild dermatitis. In some cases, a media-generated concern, such as a product recall, is cited as the reason for the visit. Sometimes, euthanasia falls into this category of care; therefore, the emergency hospital should decide whether it will provide convenience euthanasia as part of its services.
Our Cutting Edge Digital Blood Diagnostic Equipment and Highly Reactive Team affords us the ability to perform blood panels in-house to accurately diagnose conditions like diabetes, kidney and liver disease, pancreatitis and various other diseases within 15 minutes.
In addition, we offer state-of-the-art advanced digital radiography allowing us to have x-rays thoroughly reviewed by a Board Certified Radiologist.
If your pet is experiencing the following symptoms/events, please go directly to Animal Emergency Center: Hit by a car, respiratory distress, suspected heat stroke, potential GDV (bloating), or a fracture with bone exposure.
The emergency center is more equipped to take care of true emergencies and can perform 24/7 care on your pet if needed without having to transfer the pet from our facility to theirs.
Animal Emergency Center
6425 S. Virginia St., Reno, NV 89511 | (775) 851-3600
Sierra Veterinary Specialists
555 Morrill Ave, Reno, NV 89512 | (775) 358-8555
During our open hours, we are here to perform all follow up care.
We are here to help. Feel free to contact our Veterinary team with any additional questions.
If your pet is at or has been at the emergency center, please let us know so we can ensure all medical records and case information is made available to us to ensure the highest quality of post-emergency treatment for your pet by our staff.