After-Hours Emergencies for Dogs & Cats
If your dog or cat is experiencing a veterinary emergency contact one of these animal emergency hospitals.
After-Hours Emergencies for Exotic Pets
If your exotic pet is experiencing a veterinary emergency contact one of these animal emergency hospitals.
Emergency Veterinary Services
If your pet is showing symptoms or behaviors that are causing you to be concerned about their health or safety, contact our veterinary hospital as soon as possible. If it is outside of our regular hours, contact the after-hours emergency hospital location listed above.
The reliable and compassionate team at Des Moines Veterinary Hospital offers veterinary care for pets in most emergency situations. Animals are our passion, we take pride in providing quality medical care when your pet needs it most.
Steps to Take In A Pet Emergency
If you are experiencing a veterinary emergency, follow the steps below.
- Call Ahead If Possible - During our regular hospital hours, contact us right away for more information. If it is outside of our hours, call the emergency hospital location listed above to let them know that you are on your way.
- Follow Instructions Provided - When you call to let the emergency pet hospital know you are on your way, instructions may be provided to help you apply first aid or otherwise make your pet as comfortable. Follow these instructions carefully.
- Remain Calm - Keep calm and stay careful around your pet. When an animal is in pain, they will often react quite negatively towards people trying to help[ them by scratching or biting.
- Bring Your Pet In For Care - Do not put yourself at risk! Safely bring your pet to our Des Moines veterinary clinic or the after-hours emergency vet location above.
Read through our most frequently asked questions below to learn more about bringing your pet in for an emergency appointment at Des Moines Veterinary Hospital.
- Do I need to call ahead?
Due to overwhelming demand for our standard veterinary services Des Moines Veterinary Hospital is unable to provide emergency care at this time. If your pet is experiencing a medical emergency or requires urgent care please contact one of the emergency animal hospitals shown above.
- What situations require emergency veterinary care?
The following situations are examples of emergencies that require immediate care:
- Obvious signs of pain or extreme anxiety
- Severe bleeding or bleeding that doesn't stop
- Refusal to drink for 24 hours or more
- Seizures and/or staggering
- Choking, difficulty breathing, or continuous coughing/gagging
- Fractured bones or severe lameness
- Bleeding from nose, mouth, rectum, or blood in the urine
- Inability to urinate or pass feces, or pain associated with urinating or passing feces
- Severe vomiting or diarrhea; 2+ episodes in 24-hours
- Heat stress or heatstroke
- Injuries to the eye(s)
- Your pet has ingested something poisonous (such as antifreeze, xylitol, chocolate, rodent poison, etc.)
- How long will we have to wait to see the vet?
Our Des Moines animal hospital is just like a human doctor's office—it can be unpredictable and you may have to wait.
We cannot predict what cases we will see and when they will arrive. If possible, call ahead to find out whether we are able to provide emergency care for your dog or cat.
If we can't fit in an emergency appointment into our veterinary team's schedule, we recommend that you visit the emergency veterinary hospital detailed on this page.
- What happens if my pet needs to stay in the hospital?
Some veterinary emergencies require intensive overnight care. At Des Moines Veterinary Hospital we provide overnight care for animals in need.
While in our care, our dedicated team will treat your pet as if they were our own.
- What types of animals do you treat?
Our veterinarians are experienced with providing emergency care to dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, amphibians, small and mammals.