Companion animal emergencies

Our vet clinic at Roseworthy offers a 24/7 Emergency Service. Please call us on 08 8313 1999 prior to your arrival. This allows us to appropriately triage your pet and prepare for their arrival. 


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Equine emergencies

The Roseworthy Veterinary Hospital offers 24-hour 7-day service for equine emergencies.

Equine emergency service

Production animal emergencies

The Roseworthy Veterinary Hospital offers 24-hour 7-day service for livestock and hobby farm animal emergencies.

Farm and herd emergency service

About emergencies

  • What is an emergency?

    An emergency is anything out of the ordinary, no matter what species. Generally an emergency falls into the following categories.

    If you are unsure if your pet or animal’s situation is an emergency, please contact the clinic. We will advise you of the best possible course of action.

    Examples of emergencies

    • A medical emergency as a result of an accident, poisoning or trauma of some kind. i.e.:
      • Snake bite or seen with a snake
      • Chocolate toxicity
      • Rat poison or snail bait ingestion
      • Ingesting poisonous plants
      • Severe diarrhoea, vomiting or abdominal pain
      • Hit by a car or other trauma
      • Eye injuries
      • Grass seeds penetrating eyes, up noses or in ears
      • Bleeding profusely from any area
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Lethargy, lack of appetite and generally unwell
    • Horses and farm animals down in a paddock
      • Animals with difficult or prolonged birthing times
      • Husbandry issues with animals post birthing
  • How to travel safe with a distressed pet

    Travelling with a distressed pet can be difficult to manage and it will help if you remain calm and safe yourself.

    We’ve prepared some tips on how to best travel with a pet that requires emergency care.

    1. Always phone before leaving as we can prepare for your arrival and advise how to best prepare your pet for transport.
    2. Animals in an emergency situation may change their demeanour. Try not to put yourself in any danger of being bitten or trampled on.
    3. Always travel with another person if possible, one to drive and one to look after the pet.
    4. If there is any bleeding place a towel directly over the wound with pressure.
    5. If it is an eye injury don’t put anything in the eye.
    6. If an animal has a grass seed in an ear or nose don’t put anything in those areas.
    7. If an animal is fitting or convulsing try not to stimulate it with noise.
    8. If there are obvious broken bones, support the area impacted and try to keep the animal quiet and relaxed.
    9. A blanket can be used as a stretcher to lift your pet out of a vehicle.
    10. If it is a large animal such as a horse or cow, animal call outs may be seen in the field or at the hospital depending on the medical emergency.
  • What happens if my pet is admitted to hospital?


    When you bring your pet into the hospital, our vets and nurses will use a triage system if there are multiple emergencies.

    We’ll undertake short medical assessment to measure your pet’s vital signs and determine which pets require critical attention. Cases will be seen in order of emergency.

    At this time, please let us know about any medications, pre-existing medical conditions or historical information that may be useful during the diagnosis or treatment.

    Intensive care

    If you present an animal to the hospital in an emergency situation there is a high chance that it will be admitted to the intensive care unit for further care or observation. If this happens, you can expect the following:

    • A veterinarian will explain to you a current assessment of the condition of your pet.
    • We’ll discuss with you the plan for the next few hours.
    • Any costs associated with your visit will be presented as an estimation only.
    • We’ll ask you to sign a consent form for any procedures, treatments or surgeries which are necessary.
    • Unfortunately we cannot accept any blankets or toys as these may get lost in transition.
    What is intensive care?

    An intensive care unit (ICU) is a dedicated space where vets, nurses and students work together to treat your animal. These areas are in all of our health centres. The ICU is under constant monitoring from nurses and veterinarians who provide life saving procedures and care to your pet.

    If you would like to visit your pet in ICU, our staff are happy to discuss this with you.

  • What happens if my pet passes away?

    Saying goodbye

    Sadly, some animals that visit us in an emergency either pass away or are euthanised with your consent. We can help you with a decision to either:

    We respect what ever decision you make and can help you arrange any of the above options.

  • How much will emergency treatment cost?

    The cost for the emergency treatment of pets and animals varies.

    Costs are unavoidable and emergency conditions and treatments generally require greater resources and treatment in comparison to a general check-up or scheduled procedure.

    Any costs associated with your visit will be presented as an estimation only. Many animals require additional care or therapies and this can change the estimation. When we contact you with a progress report about your animal, we can provide an update.

    We understand at times you may have financial restraints. Our staff promote the use of the credit options with a company called Vetpay.

    All accounts must be finalised prior to discharging your animal. If your pet requires return visits or further treatment, we can provide further information about any ongoing costs associated with this.

    Pet insurance

    Pet insurance is a valuable asset especially when your pet has an accident or is unwell. Some policies also include wellness packages.

    If you have your pet insurance policy details available, please bring to the hospital as you might be eligible for reimbursements.