Pet emergencies can happen at any time. The scary part is many occur when we least expect it, or we are not prepared. In the spirit of providing our clients with knowledge and information, the following are some helpful tips in case your pet is ever in need of emergency veterinary services.

Please remember that any first aid treatment administered to your pet should always be followed immediately by veterinary care. First aid is not a substitute for veterinary care, but rather a means of stabilizing your pet until he or she can receive treatment.

If you witness your pet consuming material that you suspect might be toxic, do not hesitate to seek emergency assistance, even if you do not notice any adverse effects.  Sometimes, even if poisoned, an animal may appear normal for several hours or for days after the incident.
Take 30 to 60 seconds to safely collect and have at hand any material involved. This may be of great benefit to your vet and/or APCC toxicologists, as they determine what poison or poisons are involved. In the event that you need to take your pet to a local veterinarian, be sure to take the product's container with you. Also, collect in a sealable plastic bag any material your pet may have vomited or chewed.

If our office is closed and/or Dr. Heekin is unavailable, you may call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.  The center is staffed with professional veterinary toxicologists 24/7/365. They can advise you whether there has been a significant toxic event, and can communicate with Dr. Heekin or Emergency Veterinarians.  The telephone number is (888) 426-4435. There is a $65 consultation fee for this service.

Be ready with the following information:

  • The species, breed, age, sex, weight and number of animals involved.
  • The animal's symptoms.
  • Information regarding the exposure, including the agent (if known), the amount of the agent involved and the time elapsed since the time of exposure.
  • Have the product container/packaging available for reference.

Please note: If your animal is having seizures, losing consciousness, is unconscious or is having difficulty breathing, telephone ahead and bring your pet immediately to your local veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic. If necessary, he or she may call the APCC.

Invest in an emergency first-aid kit for your pet.  The kit should contain:

  • A fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide, 3 percent USP (to induce vomiting)
  • A turkey baster, bulb syringe or large medicine syringe (to administer peroxide)
  • Saline eye solution
  • Artificial tear gel (to lubricate eyes after flushing)
  • Mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid (for bathing an animal after skin contamination)
  • Forceps (to remove stingers)
  • A muzzle (to protect against fear- or excitement-induced biting)
  • A can of your pet's favorite wet food
  • A pet carrier
  • A blanket to wrap an injured animal for transport.
  • Thermometer

After Hour Emergencies
Dr. Heekin is available by cell phone to her established clients. You may have concerns about an ongoing medical problem, or you may need advice for a minor problem until the hospital re-opens. Her number is 513.477.2145. If she is unavailable at the time you call, leave a message and she will return your call.

If you feel that your pet has a life-threatening emergency, there are several good after-hours emergency care facilities. These are ranked in order of geographic proximity to Heekin Animal Hospital. You may find that one emergency hospital is closest to your home. It is a good idea to identify that location and keep the phone number in a convenient location.

Greater Cincinnati Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Services
11 Beacon Drive, Wilder, KY 41076
*M-F 4pm-10pm, Weekends 8am-8pm*

3964 Red Bank Road, Cincinnati, OH 45227

Grady Veterinary Hospital
9211 Winton Road, Cincinnati, OH 45231

Cincinnati Animal Referral and Emergency
6995 East Kemper Road, Cincinnati, OH 45249