Animal Rescue New Orleans: When to take your pet to the emergency clinic

By Charlotte Bass-Lilly

Special to The Advocate

Photo provided by ARNO -- Pita came to ARNO after living as a stray near an apartment complex. The family that fed Pita developed a great relationship with him but moved. Pita has a sweet personality with tabby and white coloring. Contact adoptfromarno@yahoo.com. The adoption fee is $85 and includes neuter, shots, a chip and a combo test.
Photo provided by ARNO -- Pita came to ARNO after living as a stray near an apartment complex. The family that fed Pita developed a great relationship with him but moved. Pita has a sweet personality with tabby and white coloring. Contact adoptfromarno@yahoo.com. The adoption fee is $85 and includes neuter, shots, a chip and a combo test.

All of us have faced this problem. Your beloved pet is sick, but you don’t know whether you are overreacting and should bring her to an after-hours emergency clinic or wait to call your vet during normal working hours.

Our worry and fear come from the obvious — they cannot tell us when something is wrong or how serious it is.

Ease your mind and call your vet’s office even if it’s close to closing. After business hours, call the emergency room and ask to speak to a veterinarian or his assistant. Even the vet’s assistants can help you decide if an emergency visit is necessary or wise.

Obviously, any abnormalities that you notice should be reported, and a visit to your regular veterinarian scheduled as soon as possible. But there are some flags of immediate care. If you notice any of the following, get immediate attention from a vet, no matter the hour:

Always be prepared. Have your veterinarian’s phone number and address handy, as well as an after-hours emergency clinic phone number and address, too. Call these numbers to make sure they are correct, and put them in your cellphone and on your fridge.

Charlotte Bass Lilly is CEO of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a 501c3 nonprofit. ARNO operates a volunteer-based, no-kill shelter in the Elmwood Industrial section of Jefferson Parish and depends upon the generosity of people from all over the country who have followed since Katrina. Contact ARNO at arno.advocate@gmail.com, http://www.animalrescueneworleans.org, or leave a message at (504) 571-1900.