Emergency & Urgent Care

Currently Experiencing an Emergency?
Dog in Doctor Costume

stop-sign-70x70If you are currently experiencing an Emergency with your pet please don’t hesitate to call us at (509) 547-3577 or bring you pet in to our facility (no appointment is needed) or your regular veterinarian’s office.


Below is a list of conditions that are recommended to be seen as soon as possible:
1. Severe bleeding or bleeding that hasn’t stopped within 5 minutes
  • Can be characterized by trauma, animal attack or bite wounds, lacerations, and/or puncture wounds.
  • If you notice that your pet is bleeding, depending on the location of the injury, gentle pressure with a clean towel is generally helpful to stop the flow of blood. Elevating the area can also help decrease blood flow. Wrap the area with a towel and tape and seek veterinary care immediately. If you notice even small amounts of bleeding when there has been no trauma or injury to provoke it, or bruising in the absence of injury, seek veterinary care as soon as possible.
2. Choking, difficulty breathing or nonstop coughing and gagging
  • Pets may cough for a variety of reasons, including allergies, tracheal collapse, lung and heart disease, or due to the lodging of a foreign material/object in the windpipe.
  • Persistent and severe coughing requires urgent medical attention.
3. Snake Bites
  • Snake bites/envenomation can be life threatening and pets that are suspected of being bit need to be seen by a Veterinarian immediately.
  • Clinical symptoms show severe pain and swelling at site of bite, difficulty breathing, muscular weakness, impaired vision, shock and bleeding.
4. Insect Bites or Stings
  • Bee stings may cause allergic reaction and severity of reaction varies up to anaphylactic which can be life threatening. Swelling, hives, redness and pain are some symptoms to be noted.
  • Spider bites (brown recluse and black widow) need to be seen immediately. Brown recluse spiders cause tissue damage around the bite itself which can become infected secondary to the bite. Black widows carry enough toxins in a bite that is lethal to a small mammal.
5. Bleeding from nose, mouth, rectum, coughing up blood, or blood in urine.
  • Trauma, nasal foreign bodies, dental disease (tooth root abscess), nasal tumors, infections (bacterial, fungal, parasitic), certain blood disorders, such as clotting abnormalities, excessively viscous blood, tick-borne diseases that can cause low platelet counts.
  • Excessive and/or nonstop bleeding is life threatening and needs to addressed immediately.
6. Inability to urinate or pass feces (stool) or obvious pain including vocalization associated with urinating or passing stool
  • Constipation and difficulty passing stool can be signs/symptoms of underlying disease including gastrointestinal obstruction and should be assessed by a Veterinarian as soon as possible.
  • Difficulty urinating, straining to urinate, blood in urine or discoloration are all symptoms of underlying conditions (bladder stones, UTI, masses and obstructions) that should be addressed by a Veterinarian.
  • Urinary obstructions are life threatening and pet should be seen IMMEDIATELY.
7. Injuries to your pet’s eye(s)
  • Animals with minor ocular trauma may show the following symptoms
    Increased blinking, squinting and tearing redness of the eye, corneal cloudiness
    minor bleeding from the eye or eyelids, bruising around the face and head protrusion of the third eyelid and pawing at the eye.
  • Animals with major ocular trauma show the following symptoms:
    Signs of extreme pain, reluctance to have the head touched or examined, closed and squinted eyelids, increased eye discharge (tearing, mucous strands or bleeding), significant bleeding within the eye with subsequent blindness, significant color changes of the eye such as corneal cloudiness and increased redness, deformities in the shape of the eye or structures around the eye.

Even the smallest eye injury (a tiny scratch, for example) can develop into an infected wound and loss of vision. Never gamble with your dog’s eyesight — always seek immediate treatment, even for minor eye injuries.

8. Toxin/Poison
  • Ingestion: Antifreeze, xylitol, chocolate, rodent poison, prescription medications, recreational drugs, plants, etc.
  • Inhalation: Carbon monoxide, insecticides, recreational drugs, etc.
  • Topical: Motor oil, paint or paint thinner, gasoline, tar, insecticides, over the counter flea and tick preventatives, etc.
  • Call the Pet Poison Helpline (1-855-213-6680), your veterinarian or our facility immediately upon ingestion or exposure to a known or possible toxin. Moreover, do not induce vomiting or offer any antidotes without the advice of a veterinarian, toxicologist, or poison control specialist.
9. Seizures, actively seizing and/or staggering
  • A seizure or convulsion is a sudden excessive firing of nerves in the brain. It results in a series of involuntary contractions of the voluntary muscles, abnormal sensations, abnormal behaviors, or some combination of these events. A seizure can last from seconds to minutes.
  • The severity of the seizure can vary between a far-away look and twitching in one part of the face to your dog/cat falling on their side, crying out, gnashing their teeth, urinating, defecating and paddling their limbs.
10. Other Emergencies
  • Fractured bones, severe lameness, inability to move leg(s), and obvious paralysis.
  • Obvious signs of pain or extreme anxiety (panting, pacing, vocalizing, increased body temperature)
  • Heat stress or heatstroke
  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea – more than 2 episodes in a 24-hour period, or either of these combined with obvious illness or any of the other problems listed here
  • Refusal to drink for 24 hours or more
  • Unconsciousness

The bottom line is that ANY concern about your pet’s health warrants, at minimum, a call to your veterinarian.

"Dear Dr. Erickson, I wanted to write and let you know how grateful I am that you were on duty the night I had to bring my Bailey in for a very bad dog bite. You were very patient with me and more importantly were so compassionate and provided excellent care for Bailey. I am so thankful that the Tri-Cities has immediate emergency care service. Bailey gets her final stitches out this Thursday and is back to her energetic, happy self. Again, I am so very grateful for you and your staff, Thank you!!"