Vet Emergency in Australia

Pets & Animals Blog

A vet emergency is a hospital with an emergency room set up for the critical care of animals. Such a hospital usually operates 24/7 and provides veterinary treatment to all pets and wildlife.

Just as in the human ER, pets in the vet emergency are attended to in order of priority depending on the severity of their illness or injury. In cases of critical conditions, the pet owner is required to call ahead of arrival to ensure the vet team is adequately prepared for the pet's arrival.

As a pet owner, you know your pet well and should be able to notice common signs of illness that can make you rush the pet to the emergency room. These signs include vomiting, diarrhoea, poor appetite, fatigue or drowsiness.

In emergency cases, the animal might display signs of difficulty in breathing, choking, unconsciousness, seizures, a swollen gut or general discomfort.

Triage and consultation

Upon arrival, your pet will first be attended to by a triage nurse to take its vitals and determine whether the pet has a life threatening condition. If the pet is critical, it is immediately transferred to the treatment area for emergency attention. If on the other hand, your pet is stable, you will wait in line for the next available veterinarian. It is at this stage that you also provide information on the pet and its condition for recording purposes. The veterinarian then examines the pet and prescribes a treatment plan based on the condition.


In more critical pet emergencies, your pet will be required to stay in the hospital for monitoring, laboratory tests or even surgery. You will have to sign a consent form for any procedures performed. This form authorizes the veterinary team to complete the treatments you consent to on the form. Once the owner leaves for home, the vet team is required to give updates on the pet's status.


Once cleared for discharge, the owner is provided with discharge instructions and medications if required. The veterinarian will also discuss with you on the care needed at home and whether the pet will be required to visit its general practitioner for follow up or specialist care.

Payment Options

Payment is expected to be made upon discharge and most facilities accept cash or electronic cards. In case you require financial assistance, please advise the vet emergency staff upon getting to the hospital. A deposit will be required, with all fees payable when your pet is discharged.

Facilities and Services offered

General services

  • Dental care
  • De-sexing
  • Vaccinations

Critical care monitoring

  • Central venous pressure
  • Intra-abdominal pressure monitoring
  • ECG
  • Direct and indirect blood pressure monitoring

Emergency surgery

  • Gastrointestinal accidents
  • Reproductive emergencies
  • Trauma management

Veterinarian Regulations

You will need a veterinary degree that meets the criteria of your state registration board in order to practice. Each state has a registration board, which you need to be registered in to work.

Registration boards investigate complaints against veterinarians and may impose disciplinary measures based on the terms of the legislation.

Australia is in the process of setting up national recognition of veterinary registration so that a home registered vet can work throughout the country.

Both state and local governments are tasked with crafting laws governing pets in Australia such as setting registration and identification rules for pets, and whether animals are welcome in public areas.


15 September 2017

Choosing a calm pet

My son is a bit nervous. I thought a pet would be a good solution for him but I knew that we needed to find a pet with the right temperament so that it didn't stress him out anymore. Originally I didn't know much about how to assess animal temperaments so I spent some time looking at different ways of assessing animal 'personalities' and talking to some animal experts about the most calm options for pets. This blog has some of the information that I have picked up over my search as well as pictures of our beautiful new pet cat!