Emergency Care

OUR EMERGENCY NUMBER - 703-823-3601

VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital is here for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
You can count on our critical care team to be here when you need them the most.

Find out what might constitute an Emergency below.

• Difficulty Breathing - Noisy breathing, blue tongue or gums, abnormal panting, gasping for air, or very shallow breathing.
• Unstoppable Bleeding - Before transporting, apply pressure with a clean cloth. Do not use a tourniquet.
• Inability to Urinate or Defecate - Continuously straining with little or no result. Blood in stool or urine, painful urination or defecation.
• Heatstroke - Signs include: heavy panting, extreme weakness, a body temperature above 104F. Wrap your pet in cool, wet towels prior to transporting.
• Bloated or Distended Abdomen - With or without vomiting.
• Inability To Deliver Kittens or Puppies - Continuous contractions for more than 4 hours, or more than 2 hours between babies, or more than 15 minutes of labor with fetus or membranes protruding.
• Loss of balance, Unconsciousness, or Seizure - Tremors, staggering, convulsions, sudden blindness, fainting, tilting of the head, or sudden changes in behavior, such as unusual withdrawal or aggression.
• Pain - Especially continuous pain. Signs of pain in animals include whimpering, restlessness, crying, reluctance to move or change position, dilated pupils and a fast heart rate.
• Major Trauma or Injury - If your pet has fallen, been hit by a car, or has suffered wounds anywhere on the body, but especially to the eye, chest or abdomen, or has broken bones.
• Shock - If your pet shows signs of weakness, collapse, shallow breathing, rapid heartbeat, or weak pulses.
• Poisoning - If you believe your pet has been exposed to a poison, call first, then bring the container with you if you have it, or the commercial name or chemical name with a list of ingredients. Common poisoning: insecticides, snail bait, antifreeze, rat poison, over-the-counter drugs (Tylenol, ibuprofen, etc.), prescription medications, snake bites and some plants.
• Vomiting and/or Diarrhea - Excessive, continuous, or contains blood.
• Lameness - Continuous, not bearing weight on limb, or swollen limb.
• Eyes - Eye injuries, sudden blindness, cloudiness or abnormal discharge.
• Allergic Reactions - Swollen face, hives, red skin, difficulty breathing, severe itching or a rash.
• Diabetics - Shaking, excessive salivation, abnormal behavior, excessive vomiting, seizures.
• General - Severe lethargy, anorexia, fever greater than 104F or anything else that concerns you.

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