Offering emergency care in your pet’s time of need

Although each animal is unique, there are several common indications that your pet may be in serious distress and in need of emergency care. This list does not cover every indication of an emergency situation.

If your animal is experiencing any of these problems, or if you are at all concerned with their behavior, please contact us immediately during our normal clinic hours at 503-588-2903.

If it is after hours, please call the Salem Veterinary Emergency Clinic at 503-588-8082 or VCA Salem at 503-1438.

These situations need immediate attention:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Major trauma – falls, hit-by-cars, large wounds, broken bones
  • Penetrating wounds anywhere (but especially in the chest or abdomen)
  • Seizure activity
  • Exposure to toxin or medication that was not prescribed – call poison control immediately at 888-426-4435
  • Staggering, stumbling, head-tilted, sudden blindness
  • Non-weight bearing on any limb
  • Ingestion of foreign material
  • Inflammation, swelling or other irritation to the eye(s)
  • Severe hives or severe itching
  • Has uncontrolled bleeding from any part of the body
  • Bloated, distended, swollen or painful abdomen
  • Inability to urinate or defecate
  • Inability to deliver puppies or kittens
  • Loss of balance or consciousness
  • Vomiting or diarrhea with blood or violent episodes


DO NOT give your pet any medications (Advil, Tylenol, aspirin, etc.) without checking with a veterinarian first. Many human drugs are toxic to animals and could preclude use of important medications to help your pet.

Even the gentlest pet may bite or scratch when hurt so please be very careful when handling your pet if they have been injured. Dogs may be transported using a large bedspread, blanket, or plywood as a stretcher. We recommend always transporting cats, rabbits, or rodents in a carrier or box with air holes. Please let us know if you require assistance getting your pet out of your vehicle and into the clinic.