What constitutes an emergency?
This list is compiled of general examples, it is important to remember that less obvious emergencies are not less important. You know your pet best, and we rely on your instincts. If you are concerned about your pet in any way, please call us.
- Altered consciousness
- Difficult, labored breathing or rapid breathing
- Pale-colored gums or tongue
- Seizures, staggering, or stumbling
- Collapse or weakness
- Excessive vomiting or diarrhea
- Refusal to eat or drink normally
- Straining to urinate or pass stool
- Attempting to vomit, but cannot
- Bleeding or hemorrhage
- Lacerations or wounds
- Blood in vomit, stool or urine
- Blood from eyes, mouth or in saliva
- Any concern about the eyes or vision
- Non-food objects eaten or stuck on animal
- Exposure to poisonous plant or chemical
- Physically uncomfortable or painful
- Won’t lay down
- Won’t get up or move
- Abdomen is bloated
- Obviously painful
- Prolonged lethargy
- Anything that causes you to doubt that your pet is okay
Do I need to have an appointment?
Just like any human emergency room, we do not take appointments. We triage patients based off medical need, and then operate on a first come, first served basis.
What is the process for having my pet seen at your hospital?
It all starts with a phone call. If you suspect your pet is experiencing an emergency, please pick up the phone and call us, right away.
When you arrive at our hospital, your pet will be triaged, just as you would be if you went to a human emergency room. Your pet’s vital signs (such as weight, heart rate, respiratory rate, and gum color) will be assessed by our triage team. Then, your pet will be placed in line accordingly, and be monitored until a doctor is available to examine them. After the doctor is able to complete a full snout to tail exam, they will call you to discuss their recommendations for any treatments or diagnostics.
Once checked in, we ask you to leave the lobby as we will be communicating over the phone for the remainder of the visit.
It is important to remember that although we see pets in a first-come, first-served order, animals experiencing a life-threatening emergency will always be seen first, so you may incur a wait. And just like in a human emergency room, wait times are often longer on weekends and holidays.
What are your hours?
We are open and fully staffed 24/7 365 days a year. There is always at least 1 Doctor on staff at all times.
How long will it take for my pet to be seen by a Doctor?
Unfortunately, waiting periods in emergency medicine can be very unpredictable. Although we strive to see you and your pet as soon as possible, your actual waiting period will depend on the quantity and condition of patients in the hospital (inpatient as well as outpatient). Our veterinarians are frequently interrupted to handle immediately life-threatening situations, and this will cause delays in administering care to non-critical pets. Our level system helps estimate that wait time, however, it is just an estimate as the level may change drastically at any time and we will always treat the most urgent needs first.
Level 1: 3+ hours
Level 2: 6+ hours
Level 3: 12+ hours
Why are some pets examined by a Doctor before others, even if they haven't been waiting as long?
Just as in a human emergency room, patients are triaged when they come into our hospital. If your pet is stable and others are in a life-threatening situation, your pet may have to wait while more critical pets are treated urgently. We know it’s hard to wait, but we also know that if your pet is the one in crisis, you wouldn’t want it any other way.
Why can't I be present at all times while my pet is being treated?
Admittance to the treatment area of the hospital is restricted to authorized personnel only. This allows our staff to tend to hospitalized and outpatient pets as quickly and safely as possible, and to ensure privacy to all of our pet families.
Do you provide euthanasia services?
We strive to make the euthanasia process as smooth and comfortable as possible for you and your family. We offer those services at any time, and appointments are not necessary. If you would like to call ahead to get some paperwork taken care of you are welcome to do so.
If you would like to be present for the procedure, we will get you settled into a room. A member of our team will go over your wishes in regard to your pet’s aftercare. Then, we will bring your pet into the treatment area to have an IV catheter placed. Afterwards, your pet will be returned to you and at that time you will be able to spend as much time with them as you would like. When you are ready for the doctor, they will come in to perform the procedure.
Can someone bring my pet in on my behalf?
Financing your visit
How much will my visit cost?
Since medical needs vary so widely, it is impossible for us to estimate this prior to an examination with a Doctor. Once one of our veterinarians has had the opportunity to perform a thorough examination on your pet, we will prepare an estimate of recommended diagnostic tests and treatment.
Though we are open 24/7, our prices are always the same.
Do you have payment plan options?
Payment is expected at time of service. We accept cash, checks (with valid form of government-issued identification), Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, and Care Credit. Care Credit is a third-party credit card that can be used for veterinary expenses. Once approved, the funds are available same day. You can apply for Care Credit using the link found at the bottom of our webpage.
As Care Credit is a third-party entity, any questions regarding approval, payments, credit limit, etc. should be directed to them.
Referrals to RRAEH
What is the process for having my pet referred to your hospital for a referral appointment?
Your primary vet can go to the referral page of our website and fill out a referral form. This will be sent to our referral team and we will reach out to schedule the referral appointment. Even if you have an appointment set, if your pet needs to present on emergency, we can certainly do that too!
Will my family Veterinarian be notified of my visit?
We can put your family Veterinarian on file during check in and at the end of your visit they will receive your take home instructions and your pet’s medical record once it has been completed.
Do you see animals other than dogs and cats?
We are a small animal emergency room – while a large volume of our patients are dogs & cats, we can see other small animal pets on emergency basis.
For exotic/avian/pocket pets –
We do not have an exotic specialist on staff, but we are able to initiate treatment if your pet is in critical need. Just like with cats & dogs, it is important to follow up with an exotic vet and even do annual vet checkups for your pet.
For livestock/large animals –
We recommend reaching out to a large animal clinic. Typically, it is best to reach out to your primary care Veterinarian as a starting point.
What should I do if my pet ingested something potentially toxic?
If your pet has ingested a potentially toxic substance, please contact the Pet Poison Helpline at (800) 213-6680. For a small per-incident fee, a certified toxicologist is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide assistance and treatment recommendations.
Do you have a leash/carrier policy?
We do ask that you keep your pet contained on either a leash or in a carrier for the safety of your pet as well as others in the hospital. If you do not have one with you there are slip leads available in the lobby for you to borrow for the visit.
Can I give my pet human medications? (Benadryl, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, etc.)
Please understand that Red River Animal Emergency Hospital and Referral Center cannot give any medical advice over the phone. We are not familiar with your pet’s medical history or current medical conditions, and do not wish to endanger them in any way. Our general policy is to recommend NOT giving your pet any human medication without precise dosing instructions. Many OTC medications can be toxic and/or fatal to your dog or cat.
Do you offer vaccines, spay/neuter, and other preventative care services?
As we are an emergency facility, we do not offer preventative care services like vaccinations and spay/neuter. Please reach out to a primary care veterinarian for these services.
What is your Covid-19 policy?
We are currently observing the CDC’s guidelines. We ask that if you are not vaccinated you still wear a mask.
If you have questions regarding the protocol for having your pet seen if someone in your household has Covid-19, please call the hospital.
Do you have a Veterinarian that can come to my home? Do you have an ambulance/transportation service?
Unfortunately, we do not have the ability for our doctors to travel to homes or to transport pets to and from the hospital.
We are able to help you get your pet in/out of your vehicle once in the parking lot, should you need it.