2 Important Questions For Choosing The Right Animal Hospital

Posted on: 1 July 2015


As a responsible pet owner, it is obvious that you need to plan for the possible need for emergency medical treatment for your pet. However, if you have not selected a facility when your pet is healthy, you might not be able to find the best animal hospital during a pet emergency. Therefore, there are a few important questions to ask that can impact your pet's overall health.

Where Are X-rays And Diagnostics Processed?

Just as with your own medical care, planning ahead is essential for the best results. In an emergency situation, time is often a significant factor. As a result, you will remember that choosing a facility with an on-site x-ray and laboratory for blood could be the difference between life and death for a sick or injured animal. 

One example is that nausea and vomiting by your dog are symptoms of both accidental poisoning and of some bacterial infections. Without proper blood work, determining the appropriate steps is more difficult and takes more time. Unfortunately, time may not be on your side.

The good news is that by choosing an animal hospital with a lab on-site, you can typically get the blood tests back faster. Similar situations apply for the question of a sprained leg versus a fractured one, so on-site x-rays are equally useful in an emergency situation.

What Type Of Certification Does The Hospital Carry?

Obviously, every animal hospital will need to prove that they are in compliance with existing health and safety codes for the animals they treat. However, some facilities choose to go one step farther and obtain an accreditation from the American Animal Hospital Association, which is also known as AAHA. 

Facilities with the AAHA certification have established that they provide excellent services in a variety of ways, including:

  • Pain management techniques and policies
  • Emergency care
  • Surgery, medication and nursing care
  • Radiology and pathology
  • Diagnostic medicine
  • Communicable diseases
  • Dentistry
  • Pet medical libraries and medical records
  • Cleanliness and maintenance of the facility
  • Diagnostic and pharmacy
  • Dentistry 
  • Examination facilities     

In conclusion, visiting an animal hospital for emergency care is necessary for many domestic pets at least once in their lifetime. Unfortunately, if you wait too long to choose a facility, there may not be sufficient time to be sure that it is the best, most appropriate facility to see to your pet's needs. Therefore, it is a good idea to always plan ahead and know where you will take your animal if they ingest something poisonous, become ill unexpectedly or are severely injured.