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Emergency Veterinarians in San Francisco, CA

Injuries, illnesses, and other mishaps can happen at any moment, so it is crucial to have a list of emergency veterinary clinics in San Francisco ready. By preparing ahead, you can minimize the chances of survival of your beloved cat, dog, bird, or other kinds of pet. Finding a good emergency medical clinic is your best option to ensure that your pet receives top-notch medical attention. But how do you decide which emergency vet clinic is right for you? Here are some tips:

  • Seek guidance from a seasoned veterinarian

Your pet’s existing doctor can connect you with a reputable vet clinic. The search results nowadays often include a booking option plus the complete contact details and clinic hours of a clinic.

  • Consult with your pet’s vet

A lot of veterinarians in the city work with emergency clinics to provide better medical services to their patients. You may also use other platforms such as social media like Facebook and Instagram.

  • Recommendations from friends

If there are other pet owners among your extended family or circle of friends, they are a reliable source of sound advice. Ask for their referral and advice. To help you narrow down the list more, you must determine what sort of veterinarian to contact.


VCA San Francisco Veterinary Specialists

Number: 415-401-9200

Address: 600 Alabama St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Website: vcahospitals.com

Description: Our full-service hospital offers specialized care, diagnostics and treatment, including: internal medicine; surgery; oncology; nutrition; neurology and neurosurgery; cardiology; dermatology; dentistry; behavior; critical care and 24/7 emergency care for dogs and cats.

Hours of Operation:

  • Monday – Sunday: Open 24 Hours

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San Francisco SPCA Veterinary Hospital Mission

Number: 415-554-3030

Address: 201 Alabama St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Website: sfspca.org

Description: The SF SPCA Veterinary Hospitals provide a wide range of services for your pet, including routine check-ups, vaccinations, diagnostic testing, dental work, and emergency care. And all profits directly support animals in need as well as the many innovative programs that the SF SPCA provides to the broader San Francisco community.

Hours of Operation:

  • Monday – Sunday: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

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Animal Internal Medicine & Specialty Services

Number: 415-566-0540

Address: 1333 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122

Website: aimss-sf.com

Description: Emergencies can happen at any time, and when they occur after hours, when your family veterinarian is unavailable, it can be very stressful. With Animal Emergency Services (AES) you have the peace of mind that comes from knowing your companion will receive the best possible veterinary care.

Hours of Operation:

  • Monday – Sunday: Open 24 Hours

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What is an Emergency Veterinarian?

Veterinarians care for domesticated animals such as dogs, cats, and birds as well as other pets. After vet school, the animal doctor has the option to extend his study and training further. Below are some of the types of animal doctors you can choose from:

  • General practitioners.

This is primarily your pet’s veterinarian, who you frequently visit for minor illnesses and routine checkups. They also assist in emergencies particularly during office hours in addition to offering advice when such incidences arise. Your regular vet is the best person to seek help during an emergency, particularly during office hours. Most general practitioners are members of the American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA). Consult with your veterinarian to get a professional recommendation in case of an emergency.

  • Animal ER veterinarians

Animal ER veterinarians encounter a higher number of pet emergencies throughout their career and hence are efficiently able to handle emergencies on time. Equally, the animal ER veterinarians can use more specialized equipment and so become quite competent to handle emergencies very fast. Specialists undergo additional college training where they focus in one field of veterinary medicine, a process that stretches the entire education period to 12 or more years.

The additional education is aimed at focusing on one field of veterinary medicine. Also, most emergency vet clinics have qualified veterinarian practitioners available, as well as other medical professions such as surgeons, neurologist, cardiologists, and several others. As we generally know, a good specialist should provide quality and intense care for your pet. In San Francisco, there are some ACVECC-certified veterinarians.

What to expect at an emergency animal hospital

In an emergency clinic, a full physical examination is done on the pet focusing on numerous areas including; heart rate, chest, breathing rate, temperature, hydration, abdomen, mental state, gum color, and walking ability among others. The thorough exam is done to evaluate and then identify any other possible serious complications and internal injuries even when the problem is evident like a broken leg due to a car accident. The detailed physical examination covers many areas of the pet such as heart rate, breathing rate, temperature, gum color, hydration, mental state, ability to walk, abdomen, chest and many more.

The physical exam findings may trigger further diagnostic tests like blood work, urine analysis, x-rays, ultrasound, infectious diseases, parasites, and others. This full evaluation is intended to prepare an appropriate treatment plan based on the pet’s condition, and the plan may entail hospitalization, surgery or discharge to go home with medications.

Common animal emergencies

As much as possible, if you see any of the symptoms below, you must contact your pet’s veterinarian right away:

  • Loss of appetite accompanied by a bloated belly
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Body paralysis
  • Non-stop vomiting and pooping
  • Broken leg or arm
  • Severe trauma
  • Excretion problems
  • Severe seizure attacks

Unlike humans, pets are a lot better at hiding pain, which at times makes it hard to ascertain the full extent of disease or injury affecting them. Therefore whenever one suspects a deeper problem, it is essential to get help from your local veterinarian to help identify the extent of injury or sickness.

Emergency Vet Clinic Visit Costs

Although information by one pet insurance provider indicated an average cost ranging from $800 to $1,500 per visit across the country, the general charges of an emergency exam with necessary treatments and medications are about $300. However, the cost of an emergency vet visit varies highly based on the nature of the pet’s condition. For instance, a severe condition where a pet requires hospitalization or a major surgery will increase charges fast while intensive care services may cost $4,000 or more.

It is best to prepare in advance for the payment to enable fast treatment of your pet. The preparation involves choosing the most appropriate pet insurance plan. This should be done in consultation with veterinarians to advice on the best insurance policy for your pet.

Some pet insurance plans cover some or all costs, and others cover routine care. Further, many pet insurance policies include a condition for proper care of pets and vaccination. One popular insurance plan is Care Credit option, a credit line used frequently for peoples’ medical or dental expenses but which also offers medical coverage for pets. Another form is the traditional technique of setting aside small amounts of money on a monthly basis for an emergency fund.