As a client services representative at Diley Hill ER, one of my primary tasks is answering telephone calls coming in to our hospital. A lot of calls start with “I have a quick question…”. Pet parents are hoping to get some guidance on whether they need to bring their pets in for emergency care or if they can wait until they can make an appointment with their regular veterinarian.

Our goal is to make sure your pet is taken care of when they are not feeling well. When you call us, we will ask a number of questions related to what your pet is currently experiencing. For example if your pet is vomiting, how long has he/she been vomiting, is your pet eating, experiencing diarrhea, does your pet have a tendency to eat things they shouldn’t, is your pet experiencing any other concerning symptoms, is your pet up to date on vaccines? These questions are important as it can help us pinpoint what may be going on, but we cannot make a diagnosis based on these questions. The vast majority of the time, we will recommend that your pet be seen for a few reasons:

  1. If you are concerned, we are concerned. You know your pet best. If you notice your pet not acting as they normally do, then your best option may be to have them examined to give yourself peace of mind.
  2. Some symptoms are so general, they could point to a number of different ailments. For example, vomiting may indicate a simple stomach ache, pancreatitis, parvovirus, or the presence of a foreign body with their GI system. Each of these requires different treatments and can only be determined by an exam and diagnostics, which may include radiographs and complete bloodwork, done by a veterinarian.
  3. Sometimes it is hard to describe what exactly you are seeing. What you might see as constipation in your male cat could be a urinary obstruction requiring emergency care. Again, we can only make these determinations with an exam and further diagnostics.
  4. Veterinarians must abide by legal guidelines that indicate a patient must be an established patient in order to advise or prescribe medication.

Our goal is to provide your pet with the best and safest care possible. This almost always involves allowing our doctors to do a physical exam, observing your pet and having discussions with you. We know you want what’s best for your pet … and we do too.