Large Animal Emergency Services

The doctors and staff at Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital understand that medical emergencies for a beloved pet
can, and often do, happen outside of normal business hours. This is why our medical staff is available 24 hours a day,
seven days a week to make sure you and your pets have access to the best emergency care possible from a team that
knows your pet and his/her medical history.

Large Animal Emergency VetWhen Should I Seek Emergency Care for My Horse or Large Animal?

When an animal is cut or bleeding, it's obvious there is a problem. But in cases of colic, illness, or a more subtle injury, it may not be as apparent. That's why it's important to know your animal's normal vital signs, including temperature, pulse, and respiration (TPR), as well as its normal behavior patterns. There will be individual variations in each animal's vital signs and behavior. Therefore you must also be a good observer so that you readily recognize changes that can be signs of ill health.

Some general situations in which you should seek emergency care for your animal are:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Acute abdominal swelling
  • Lack of appetite or abnormal drinking
  • Excessive vomiting, diarrehea, or choke
  • Bleeding
  • Exhibits symptoms of heat stroke
  • Seizures
  • High or low vital signs (temperature for horses exceeds 102.5°, temperatures of more than 103° indicate a serious disorder; check with your veterinarian for normal temperatures of other large animals)
  • Inability to urinate or defecate

Many accidents can be prevented by taking the time to evaluate your horses' and large animals' environment and removing potential hazards. Also, assess your management routines to make them safer. Make feed changes gradually to lessen the risk for colic and bloat. Mentally rehearse your emergency action plan. Preparation will help you stay calm in the event of a real emergency. Keep our phone number – (661) 832-1150 – and your first aid kit handy. In an emergency, time is critical. Don't be concerned about overreacting or annoying the veterinarian. By acting quickly and promptly, you can minimize the consequences of an injury or illness. Your animal's health and well-being depend on it.