Emergency Care vs. Urgent Care

When your pet is sick, injured, or just off enough that you know that something isn’t quite right, it can be difficult to tell whether the situation requires immediate medical attention. Of course, some signs are clearer than others—think bleeding, open wounds, or continuous vomiting—but not all conditions are as obvious.

So, what’s the difference between urgent and emergency care? The answer isn’t always clear-cut, but generally speaking, emergency care is required for any life-threatening injury or illness that requires immediate hospitalization. Urgent care falls between emergency care and regular vet visits, in the somewhat nebulous area of “I know something’s wrong with my pet and it needs to be checked out by a vet ASAP.” 

If you’re ever in doubt about what qualifies for urgent versus emergency care, just contact us and we’ll help you figure it out. In the meantime, read on for a working list of pet ailments that can help you make a call in your care decision.


Call Advanced Animal Care Richmond at 859-625-5678 if your pet is in the red zone 

Our emergency facility Advanced Animal Care Richmond is staffed and equipped to respond to any medical or surgical need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. From simple as a bee sting to severe trauma, our staff are prepared to care for your pet and help you through a stressful time.

Additional Resources: 

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has supplementary information on pet first aid, as well as a downloadable guide of helpful tips.

Remember, you know your pet better than anyone else. If you notice changes in their behavior or patterns and sense that they’re acting unusual, you may be detecting the first signs of a health issue. Depending on the situation, you can consult your regular vet or visit urgent or emergency care. 

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center

24 Hour Phone Number: (888) 426-4435

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) is your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435. A consultation fee may apply.

Financial Concerns

We know that having a pet with emergency medical needs can be stressful. In addition to providing all the care needed, we will also work with your budget.We accept all major credit cards and have payment plans available thru Care Credit and ScratchPay.