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Veterinary Specialty Hospital - San Diego

Dog Holding a Stick at the Beach

Emergency/Critical Care

24-HR ER: (858) 875-7500

Our team is always available, day or night. We are open on holidays and weekends. If you have a concern, please call or bring your pet to our hospital.

Our emergency and critical care veterinarians are highly specialized in the treatment of patients who have sustained trauma, are critically ill, and require intensive, critical care. We also treat minor emergencies and provide care for patients in need of medical attention when your family vet is not available.

What to do in an Emergency


Emergency Patients

On arrival, please fill out the Client Registration Form and the ER Questionnaire.

Once we have received both forms, a member of our team will be in touch. A copy of both forms will be sent to your email.

What to Do if You Suspect Your Pet Has Eaten Something Toxic

Gather up any packaging or remains of anything that was eaten or suspected as having been eaten and bring it with you. Please don’t be shy; if it was marijuana or any other embarrassing (or illicit) product, please be honest with our team; it will speed up diagnosis and treatment.


The team in our emergency and critical care department works with other specialists and your primary care veterinarian to provide the comprehensive care your pet needs. Our emergency veterinarians and critical care specialists have extensive training in a complete range of emergency and critical care services and are supported by a team of experienced veterinary technicians.

Your family veterinarian may refer you to an emergency or critical care doctor for diagnosis and ongoing support of many conditions, including, but not limited to:


  • CT Scan

  • Fluoroscopy

  • MRI

  • Radiography (X-Rays)

  • Ultrasound

Emergency Services

  • Comprehensive Emergency Medical Exam

  • Surgical Services through Emergency/Critical Care

  • Acute pain

  • Continuous EKG monitoring

  • Dystocia management (difficulty giving birth)

  • Full cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), including defibrillation

  • Immune-related diseases

  • Infectious diseases

  • Kidney and liver disease

  • Neurologic problems

  • Peritonitis

  • Pneumonia and lung disease

  • Severe pancreatitis

  • Severe gastrointestinal emergencies (bloat)

  • Sepsis management

  • Seizure management

  • Toxicosis or poisonings

  • Trauma

  • Trouble breathing

  • Trouble walking

  • Trouble urinating


We recommend that you keep a pet-specific first aid kit in your car as a best practice, just as you would a human-first aid kit. Keep it in your kit for when you need to restock.

First Aid Kit Checklist

  • Pet Backpack or lunchbox

    • Place all the following items inside and remember to restock

  • Phone Numbers:

    • Your regular veterinarian, the closest emergency room, and Poison Control: (888) 426-4435

  • A spare leash

  • Self-cling bandage

  • Muzzle

  • Gauze pads

  • Gauze

  • Bandage tape

  • Ice pack

  • Cotton balls

  • Scissors

  • Saline solution

  • Tweezers

  • Rectal thermometer

  • Disposable gloves

  • Blanket

  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)

    • (If approved by a veterinarian)

  • Styptic powder (Kwik Stop)

  • Nail clippers

  • Flashlight

  • Rubbing alcohol

    • (To clean the thermometer)

  • Your pet's paperwork

    • Rabies certificate, Important Medical Records

Meet Our Team