Urgent Care

As a pet owner, nothing is more upsetting than seeing your pet in pain. When your pet is injured or ill, you must choose between seeking out routine, urgent or emergency care.

Regardless of the exact situation, it’s essential to remain calm and assess your pet’s overall condition quickly and accurately so you can get them to the right veterinarian. Some practices are set up to provide medical care for conditions and issues that are not life-threatening, while others are equipped to handle severe cases.

Please note we are by appointment only and do not take walk-ins.

If your pet is experiencing an urgent medical condition, call our team at (843) 881-9915 for scheduling and immediate care.

What Is the Difference Between Pet Urgent Care vs. Emergency Care?

Your pet may have a low appetite or experience difficulty eliminating. If your pet hasn’t been acting like themself lately, it’s highly likely that the cause is connected to a medical issue. When you notice this behavior, it’s clear that your pet’s condition needs to be evaluated by a veterinarian. The key is determining when and where you should take them based on how they feel and act.

While some practices can overlap in what they offer, there is usually a distinct difference between urgent and emergency vet care. One way to quickly determine where you should take your pet is to ask yourself if their condition can wait until their next vet appointment, needs prompt attention or requires immediate care.

Unless you know a practice is a walk-in pet urgent care, you’ll most likely need an appointment. Here, your pet will be able to receive treatment for an injury or illness that requires prompt medical attention but is not life-threatening. Consider whether your pet is stable enough to wait for their appointment. Many weekend urgent cares for pets will also have later hours to accommodate pets’ needs.

Pets experiencing a life-threatening injury or illness need to be seen at an emergency veterinary hospital. Here, patients will be prioritized and seen based on their condition’s severity. Animals experiencing a time-sensitive emergency like cardiac arrest will be seen first. Pets with emergent yet less time-sensitive emergencies will be seen next. This group could apply to situations like allergic reactions.

Emergency veterinarians will continue to see patients depending on their severity. At lower priority levels, pets will have injuries and illnesses that are less urgent. They will be more stable and can wait a little longer to receive care. These pets may have conditions ranging from minor cuts to ear infections.

Conditions Treated at Urgent Care

Here are a few conditions that can be treated at a vet urgent care to help you differentiate the level of care your pet may need:

  • Skin allergies
  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Ear infections
  • Coughing
  • Abscess
  • Fever
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Superficial cuts

Conditions Requiring Emergency Care

Meanwhile, emergencies would involve situations such as:

  • Not eating or drinking for more than two days
  • Weak or rapid pulse
  • Choking
  • Bloating
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fall from a height
  • Difficulty giving birth
  • Serious trauma
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Repeated seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Excessive or hard-to-control bleeding

How Does Urgent Care Work?

When your pet experiences a severe injury or illness, you must remain calm so that your pet stays as soothed as possible. Even if your pet is usually docile and laid back, animals that are in pain can sometimes act out of character. If they are severely hurt, there’s a higher chance they could behave aggressively and try to scratch or bite you, especially if you try to move them.

Depending on the type of injury or illness, you can use a few strategies to help you safely transport your pet to the vet urgent care. For example, you may need to use a towel to cover their eyes, especially if your pet is a cat, to place them into their carrier. This precaution can prevent them from trying to bite or scratch you.

Just like at your routine veterinarian office, you and your pet will be asked to wait in either the waiting room or your vehicle until your appointment time.

Your veterinarian will likely recommend follow-up care after discharge to ensure your pet continues healing. They may also list signs that you should return to urgent care or go to an emergency veterinarian.

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you’ve noticed that something isn’t right with your pet, get them the veterinary care they need as soon as possible. To learn more about our urgent care services or to schedule an appointment, call Palmetto Veterinary Hospital at (843) 881-9915 today.

What's Next

  • 1

    Call us or schedule an
    appointment online.

  • 2

    Meet with a doctor for an
    initial exam.

  • 3

    Put a plan together
    for your pet.