Not all pet injuries and illnesses require immediate medical attention. However, if your pet is experiencing any one of the below pet health emergency symptoms, please call or visit our animal hospital right away:
Not breathing or visibly struggling to breathe
Unresponsive or unable to rouse
Obvious broken bone
Gums or tongue are either bright red or blue
Bite or sting from a venomous snake or insect or that is causing a severe reaction
Bite from a stray animal or any animal whose vaccination history is unknown
Sudden paralysis of the back legs, particularly in cats
Seizures that last longer than a couple of minutes or multiple seizures in a row, or the first seizure in your pet
This list is not exhaustive and does not cover all possible emergency symptoms. If you have questions about your pet’s symptoms or are concerned that they may be experiencing an emergency, please call us at (615) 386-0107. The emergency care team at Nashville Veterinary Specialists is available to assist you 24/7. We have a team of emergency veterinarians on staff to make sure your pet gets the best possible critical care in Nashville, TN.
If your pet is currently experiencing an emergency, follow these steps to keep your pet safe and give them the best possible chance at a full recovery:
Remain as calm as possible. If you panic, you may forget something or even cause your pet to feel more stressed and scared than they probably already are.
If your pet is in an unsafe location, such as in the road or near a dangerous animal, carefully move them to a safe spot. Try not to move your pet more than is absolutely necessary, as too much movement may worsen their injuries.
Contact us at (615) 386-0107 right away. Let us know what is going on with your pet so that we know what to expect when you arrive.
Load your pet into your vehicle as carefully as possible. If necessary, use towels as a makeshift stretcher. Animals in severe pain may become aggressive, so you may need to loosely drape a soft cloth over your pet’s eyes to help them calm down.
Drive quickly and carefully to us and follow all instructions upon arrival.
When in doubt, take your pet straight to the emergency vet. We can help you assess the situation and make sure that your pet gets the care they need. Our emergency doctors are available at all times at our South Nashville animal hospital to see walk-in emergencies and provide care for our hospitalized patients.
Sometimes a pet many need to stay in the hospital for continuous care and monitoring. Our doctors, nurses, and veterinary support staff are in the hospital 24 hours a day to continually monitor and care for our patients. Treatments can be easily modified at any time to meet changing patient status.
The emergency doctors have training and experience in a broad area of veterinary medicine and surgery. The NVS emergency team sees a wide variety of medical problems ranging from minor infections to life threatening trauma. Surgeons, Neurologists, Oncologists, Cardiologists, and Internal Medicine specialists are also available to perform emergency surgery, advanced diagnostics - such as ultrasound, CT Scan, MRI, and endoscopy - or other specialized procedures.
If you have not checked in online prior to coming in, you can check in to ER Express once you arrive, and depending on the condition of your pet, we will either have a technician triage your pet to see if they need to be seen right away or if they are stable we will ask you to return home to wait until it is your pet's turn to be seen.
Reply “9” to cancel your registration at any time or feel free to call the hospital and let our receptionists know so we can take your pet out of the waiting queue.
We understand it can be confusing when your pet is sick if they need to be rushed into the hospital or not, so we always encourage you to call us at the hospital and we are always happy to answer your questions.
We try to take patients in the order they are checked in but they are also triaged by a three-tier system, with priority 1 patients always seen first.
Priority 1: May survive if life-saving measures are applied. *Examples: poisoning, collapse, bloat (GDV), active seizures, allergic reactions, traffic accident, difficulty breathing, urinary tract blockage, and heatstroke.
Priority 2: Likely to survive if care is given within hours. *Examples: closed fractures, diarrhea, actively vomiting, bowel obstruction, and urinary tract infections.
Priority 3: Non-life-threatening conditions. *Examples: skin conditions, lameness, abscess, minor wounds, sore eyes/ears, and chronic diseases.
Yes! Once we send you a text to head into the hospital, please text us your ETA so the team can prepare for your arrival. Don't forget to text ARRIVED once you're in the parking lot. Please be aware that changes may arise because critical patients do take priority.
If possible, we ask if someone outside of the household is able to bring your pet in to be seen. If no one else is available to bring your pet in and they need to be seen, we would proceed with curbside service and one of our technicians will wear appropriate PPE when accompanying your pet inside the hospital.