Emergency Veterinary Care (where to go if your dog has an emergency at 10pm)

Posted on October 04, 2017

A few weeks ago, my husband was adding some pipes to our master bathroom when he accidentally stabbed himself in the eye with a ruler.  I don't know much about plumbing, but I do know that you generally want to avoid stabbing your eye with a ruler. 


Or anything, really.   

My husband didn't go to the doctor that night because he "wasn't sure" he needed to, and because he wanted to watch the Washington Nationals play baseball on TV.  The man has priorities.  One of our top priorities is the health and safety of our pets.  We have four dogs and four cats... can you have eight top priorities? 

Nine, if you count Washington Nationals baseball?

Ten, if you count your wife...?

When David was finally examined by a doctor the next day, he was diagnosed with a minor corneal abrasion.  Yes, my husband delayed treating a Minor Corneal Abrasion.  

In order to watch a Major League Game.

When one of our animals is sick or injured we go to the veterinarian immediately (regardless of what baseball games are being televised).  We are fortunate to have four 24-hour animal hospitals and one urgent care veterinary facility in Charlotte, because sickness and injury do not always happen within daytime office hours.  Visit an emergency vet if your dog has ingested a toxin, been hit by a car or experienced any other life-threatening trauma.  Just like a human emergency room, your pet will be triaged upon arrival and wait times can vary.  It's smart to call ahead and determine which facility will be able to see your dog fastest.  

Animal Medical Hospital (AMH) - AAHA Accredited

Location:  3832 Monroe Rd. (a few miles East of Uptown Charlotte)

Hours:  24/7

Phone:  704.334.4684

Website:  animalmedical.net

Emergency exam fee:  $66 (weekdays 7a-8p, weekends 7a-6p) / $95 (until 12a) / $115 (12a-7a)

What they do:  This 13 doctor practice is a full service veterinary facility owned and lead by a husband-wife team.  Animal Medical Hospital provides routine medical care during daytime hours and is also open to receive walk-in emergencies 24 hours a day, every day of the year.  

Why you will like it:  AMH is less than 20 minutes from anywhere within the I-485 loop so you can get there quickly in an emergency.  Also, the AMH lobby is entertaining!  You can watch TV, browse through a large selection of magazines and books (I like the one on art history), or watch adoptable kittens play while you wait. 

Tip:  The lobby entrance includes 2 sets of double doors which are locked at night.  Save time by calling AMH when you are about a mile away, so they can be ready to buzz you in (and hold the doors if you need assistance) immediately upon arrival.

Long Animal Hospital & Emergency Center - AAHA Accredited

Location:  2523 South Blvd (a few miles South of Uptown Charlotte)

Hours:  24/7

Phone:  704.523.2996

Website:  longanimal.com

Emergency exam fee:  $60 (weekdays 6:45a-8p, Saturday 7a-3p) / $100 (until 12a) / $120 (12p-7a) 

What they do:  This 9 doctor practice is owned and lead by a father-son team.  Long Animal Hospital provides routine medical care during daytime hours, and is also open to receive walk-in emergencies 24 hours a day, every day of the year.  This article from Long Animal Hospital gives more information about "How to Recognize a Pet Emergency". 

Why you will like it:  Although Long Animal Hospital has been operating since 1948, they built and moved into a beautiful new facility in 2014.  The lower floor of Long Animal Hospital houses the Canine Physical Rehabilitation Center where non-slip floors, a therapeutic laser, and an underwater treadmill can help dogs recover post surgery or injury.  

Tip:  Because Dr. Brian Killough is a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner and Dr. Frances Deller is a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist, Long Animal Hospital can be an especially valuable resource if your dog has post-trauma mobility issues.

Carolina Veterinary Specialists (CVS) - VECCS Certified

Location:  3 area locations (Huntersville = 12117 Statesville Rd / Charlotte = 2225 Township Rd / Matthews = 4099 Campus Ridge Rd)

Hours:  24/7

Phone:  Huntersville =  704.949.1100 / Charlotte = 704.504.9608 / Matthews = 704.815.3939 )

Website:  carolinavet.com

Emergency exam Fee: $104

What they do:  CVS is a 24 hour emergency facility and referral hospital that works in conjunction with your primary veterinarian.  Because CVS does not offer vaccines or general wellness check-ups, they are equipped to receive emergency cases 24/7.  Specialists in the areas of Cardiology, Neurology, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Radiology and Internal Medicine are available by appointment, with a referral from your primary veterinarian.  

CVS operates 2 different charity funds benefiting pet owners who require financial assistance to provide veterinary care for their pet.  Click here to review eligibility requirements or make a donation.

Why you will like it:  CVS is the gold standard for emergency veterinary care in our city.  They have "the most experienced emergency veterinary team in North Carolina" and operate 3 Charlotte area locations. 

Tip:  If your dog is having trouble walking, call ahead to have CVS staff meet you in the parking lot with a stretcher.

Charlotte Animal Referral & Emergency (CARE)

Location:  3726 Latrobe Dr (a few miles East of Uptown Charlotte)

Hours:  24/7

Phone:  704.457.2300

Website:  carecharlotte.com

Emergency exam fee:  $90

What they do:  Like CVS, CARE is devoted exclusively to emergency and specialty services.  Emergency cases are welcome anytime, and specialists in the areas of Cardiology, Neurology, Oncology, Ophthalmology and Internal Medicine are available by appointment, with a referral from your primary veterinarian. 

Why you will like it:  This state-of-the-art facility is centrally located and so well designed that CARE was recently recognized as a Merit Award winner in the Veterinary Economics 2017 Hospital Design Competition.  The large lobby has separate waiting areas for dogs and cats to minimize noise and stress.  CARE also offers (human) drinks and snacks, upholstered chairs, big TVs and free Wi-Fi to keep you comfortable and entertained!

Tip:  To expedite the check-in process, CARE suggests bringing a list of medications your dog is currently taking. 

UrgentVet Pet Clinic

Location:  2 area locations (Belmont = 600-A Park Street / Ft. Mill = 870 Gold Hill Rd)

Hours:  Weekdays 3p-11p, weekends 10a-8p, holidays 12p-8p

Phone:  704.825.8868 (Belmont), 803.486.2550 (Ft. Mill)

Website:  urgentvet.com

Emergency exam fee:  $74

What they do:  Dr. Jim Dobies and his team work nights, weekends and holidays so they are available to care for your pet when your primary care veterinarian can't.  They "provide prompt, effective relief for cases that are not serious enough for an emergency hospital, but are too pressing to wait for an appointment the next business day."

When to bring your dog:  As Dr. Dobies explains on Charlotte Today, UrgentVet is a good choice for pets that are sick or hurt, but not in mortal danger.  If your dog is vomiting, suffering from a UTI or has a broken toenail, UrgentVet should be able to diagnose and treat the problem. 

Why you will like it:  With an average wait time under 1 hour and an average patient visit under $250, UrgentVet offers a faster and cheaper experience than you will find at a 24-hour Emergency vet.

Tip:  You can pre-register online to save time in the waiting room.

So if a Puptown Charlotte guest or one of my pets is unwell, we can visit one of these facilities to access veterinary care at any time of day or night.  I just hope my husband isn't planning any plumbing work during the World Series.