Frequently Asked Questions
What constitutes an animal emergency?
This list is not complete, and 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 enough to call us, you should probably bring your pet in.
- Traumatic injury: hit by vehicle, puncture, bleeding, animal bite, burn
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Vomiting or diarrhea: repeatedly in a short period of time or consistently over a period of days
- Elimination issues: changes in frequency, straining to produce, any bloody discharge, increased thirst
- Possible ingestion of toxic substance
- Allergic reactions: swelling, hives, itching
- Lethargy: disinterest in food, water, or usual activities/toys
- Neurological abnormality: convulsion, seizure, unresponsive, unconscious, collapse, disorientation, inability to stand or walk, head tilt
- Pain: signs include limping, crying, sensitivity to touch, or excessive panting
- Post-surgery issues: slow recovery, irritation at incision site
- Breathing difficulties: coughing, choking, or gasping – watch for pale, blue, or gray mucous membranes
- Eye issues: any abnormality
What should I expect when I arrive at SMAEC?
What to expect when you arrive at SMAEC:
- Our Client Services Representative will greet you and your pet and assess the urgency of your pet’s condition. Although clients are generally admitted on a first-come, first-served basis, critically ill or injured patients will be seen immediately upon arrival.
- Our Client Services Team will gather basic information about you and your pet, ask you to sign a consent form agreeing to our general policies, and check you into one of South Metro Animal Emergency Care’s four exam rooms.
- After check-in, one of our skilled and knowledgeable Veterinary Technician’s will check your pet’s vital signs and talk with you about your pets history and current condition.
- Next, the SMAEC veterinarian will conduct a thorough examination. The emergency exam fee is $144.00; this does not include diagnostic tests, treatments, or procedures. If the veterinarian determines that further diagnostics or treatment are indicated, you will receive an estimate of additional costs involved and we will not proceed without your approval.
- If your pet needs to be admitted to the hospital, we’ll ask you to leave a deposit with our Client Services staff. We accept cash, checks processed through TeleCheck, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and CareCredit. You can call anytime, day or night, to check on your pet’s status or to arrange a visit. We will call you immediately if your pet’s condition changes, at shift change, or when your pet is ready to be discharged.
- When your pet is ready to be discharged, the Client Services staff will collect your final payment and a technician will give you any prescribed medications, and discharge instructions. At the end of their shift, the SMAEC veterinarian will complete your pet’s emergency record and fax or email it (and all diagnostics results) to your regular veterinarian.
What animals do you care for?
Do I need an appointment?
How much does an emergency exam cost?
Costs: Our emergency exam fee is $144.00. This is the only price we can quote before seeing your pet. Once our veterinarian has had the opportunity to perform a thorough examination, we will prepare an estimate of recommended diagnostic tests and treatment. A certified veterinary technician will review all options with you and get your consent before proceeding with care.
What forms of payment are accepted? Can I be billed?
Payment: All services must be paid in full before your pet is released from the hospital. For your convenience, we accept cash, checks (with valid form of government-issued identification), VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and CareCredit. Please review our policies for more information.