October 2008 Issue

Finding Emergency Care

Owners should prepare ahead of time to cope effectively with life-or-death situations. Here's some help.

Perhaps the most important characteristic of a responsible cat owner is the ability to distinguish the signs of minor feline illnesses from those calling for an immediate trip to the nearest animal emergency care facility. Cat owners should be equipped ahead of time to deal promptly with such a crisis. They should know precisely where the clinic is located, the speediest route to get there, how to transport the afflicted animal, what documents they should take to the facility ó and what to expect to happen upon arrival. Feline emergency cases are by no means rare, says Gretchen Schoeffler, DVM, chief of emergency and critical care services at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals (CUHA). She and her colleagues typically treat as many as 10 or 15 severely ill cats each week in the hospitalís emergency unit, which, like most such facilities in the U.S., is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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