While we hope you never need us on an emergency basis, you can rest assured that McGee Equine Clinic is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to provide emergency care to our clients. When in doubt, we always prefer that you call to discuss what is going on. Many times, we may be able to talk you through an emergency over the phone, whereas other times we suggest immediate intervention. Please NEVER give medications in an emergency without first consulting with the on-call veterinarian.
Often, the first thing we hear is “I’m not sure if it’s an emergency….”. We always tell our clients, that it’s difficult to tell over the phone, however, there are a few guidelines that can help determine if your large animal needs immediate care.
- Is he bleeding? If so, how much bleeding is there? Where is the bleeding coming from? Likely a true emergency
- Does he have a laceration (wound)? Does the laceration go completely through the skin edges? How big is the wound? Is the wound located near any joints? Wounds may or may not be an emergency based on the location, size, depth, etc.
- Is he colicking? *Please don’t give any medications before speaking with us*
- Is he choked? We can often give you advice over the phone, an emergency visit may or may not be needed.
- Is the horse down and unable to rise? Likely a true emergency, as the longer a horse remains down the worse the prognosis becomes.
- Is he non-weight bearing lame?
- Is his eye squinty or swollen? We suggest all eye issues be seen on an emergency basis, as the longer they remain untreated the worse they can become.
- Does he have a fever? Please take your animal’s rectal temperature before calling. Either a high or low temperature could be problematic.
- Is your mare giving birth? Horse labor is an explosive process. Once a mare’s water breaks, the foal should be delivered within 15 minutes. If your mare has been foaling for more than 15 minutes, and the foal has not yet been delivered this is a true emergency.
- Is your animal a sheep, goat, or camelid? Often these species do not show outward signs of being sick until they are severely ill. If you sheep/goat/camelid is “Not quite right” please call us ASAP because often illness in these species is a true emergency