Is this an Emergency?

While we hope one never happens, pet owners can find their beloved furkids in the middle of a medical emergency with – of course – little to no notice. Some situations are obvious. Others, not as much. If it is something that will keep you up all night worrying if it’s an emergency – we consider it an emergency! We are able to see patients in an emergency during regular business hours. If you think your pet is having a medical emergency call or text us right away at (661) 248-7387. If you KNOW your pet is in a medical crisis get it in the car and bring the pet to the hospital. Have someone who is not driving call us on the way if possible.

If an emergency happens at any other time or on a public holiday please call:

Animal Emergency & Urgent Care in Bakersfield at (661) 322-6019

VCA Bakersfield (661) 327-4444

ACCESS Woodland Hills (818) 887-2262

Below is the worksheet we use as a guide for determining an emergency situation when clients call.


  • By other animals/larger dogs, coyotes, cats, raccoons, wild animals, humans, etc.


  • Have client apply steady pressure with clean rag or T-shirt for ride in.
  • Do not lift up or change the rag on the ride in (it disrupts clotting). If more rags are needed, just add new ones on top and apply more pressure.
  • Do not “wait and see.” We want to stop any bleeding before it gets out of control or there is a life-threatening level of blood loss.

Birthing Difficulty:

  • Being in labor longer than 30-40 minutes, straining, stuck babies, excessive bleeding following birth, etc.

Breathing Difficulty:

  • Can’t get breath, loud noises on inspiration, wheezing, pale/blue gums, shallow breaths, etc.
  • Does client know how to perform CPR if pet stops breathing on the way? [There is a video tutorial at the top of this page.]

Broken Bones:

  • Limbs, ribs, teeth/jaw, back, etc.


  • Have client try Heimlich maneuver. Check throat, and have someone else drive them in at the same time.


  •  Any persistent, excessive loose and/or bloody stools. Always try to bring in a stool sample with you.


** Possibility of rupture and/or blindness.

  • Anything to do with eye: foxtails, bulging out, scratches, rubbing at it a lot, swelling, redness, blinking a lot, tearing a lot, haziness, etc.


  •  Any kind of collapse, unwillingness or inability to move. Check gum color, if pale your pet may be anemic (low red blood cell count).

Impact Injuries:

** Pet may seem ok, however internal problems may not show immediately.

  •  Hit-By-Car, falling off deck or out of a tree/out window, kicked by a horse/human, etc.


**If possible have client bring in suspected poison’s container.

  • Antifreeze, rat/gopher/snail poison, etc., etc.
  • Pesticides, paint, plant fertilizers, etc., etc.
  • Human or pet medications, food potentially toxic to pets.
  • Have client call ASPCA Animal Poison Control for a case # ASAP on the way to the hospital.  (888) 426-4435 /

Seizuring (Seizing):

  •  Tell client to stay away from pet’s mouth. Keep calm and drive pet in.

Straining to Urinate/Defecate

  • If it is a cat straining to urinate, especially male, assume it is blocked until proven otherwise.
  • Client may just complain that pet appears constipated.

Swelling and/or Pain with or without blood:

  • Snake bites, spider bites, abscesses.
  • Any abdominal enlargement (bloat) or sudden discomfort (especially intact females)


  •  Any type of persistent vomiting: bile, food, looks like coffee grounds, blood, etc.

If your pet has a medical condition that may escalate into an emergency at any time, be sure to keep all medical records handy to take with you to an emergency clinic.