What to Expect in an Emergency

We offer after hours, weekend and holiday emergency care when every minute counts to save lives. 

What to Expect in an Emergency

When you arrive at our hospital in an emergency situation, a specially trained licensed veterinary technician will assess your pet’s condition and ask for a brief summary of your pet’s illness or injury. Your pet will then be taken to the treatment area where an emergency doctor will make a quick assessment.

If the doctor feels that your pet is stable, then your pet will be returned to the waiting room to wait with you. Our client care representative at the front desk will ask for your name and your pet’s name to begin a record of your visit.

A technician will then take you to an exam room for a complete history. After the emergency doctor has discussed the medical history with the technician, they will come to your room to discuss your pet’s illness or injury. Any further care needed will be determined with you during this discussion.

If your pet is very ill, the client care representative may ask you to sign an emergency stabilization form that will allow our team to start treating your pet immediately. A doctor will then come to the waiting room to speak with you as soon as possible after tests and/or treatments have been started.

All of our patients are evaluated by triage. This process helps our Emergency Service decide which patients should be treated first. Patients with critical or life-threatening conditions are given top priority.

Your Pet’s Care Team

While your pet is under the care of our Emergency Service, he or she will be cared for by the following veterinary professionals:

  • An emergency veterinarian will lead your care team;
  • A licensed veterinary technician who is specially trained in emergency care will monitor your pet’s condition;
  • A veterinary assistant will provide supportive care for your pet;
  • Additional team members include board-certified specialists and client and patient advocates.

Waiting Period

We work hard to provide prompt care, but non-critical patients may experience a wait. Your wait time would depend on several factors:

  • The nature of your pet’s condition
  • How busy the Emergency Service is when you arrive
  • The number of pets requiring immediate treatment for serious conditions

After your pet has been seen by a veterinarian you will need to wait for test results or further treatment.


Your care team will discuss your pet’s discharge plan with you. Specific instructions for follow-up care will be provided in writing along with any needed prescriptions and/or medications. Your family veterinarian will receive a copy of your pet’s medical record. Your bill will be given to you at the time of discharge.

We Want Your Feedback!

We want you to feel that your pet received excellent care so that you feel confident visiting our hospital and recommending us to others. You can ask to speak to a client advocate, who is specially trained to listen to your concerns and address them. If you have any questions after you go home, we’re here to help. You can call us at (845) 692-0260.

Before you leave our doors to make sure you have:

  • Written discharge instructions
  • Prescriptions and/or medications if needed
  • All your questions answered!

Get in touch with us

Guardian Veterinary Emergency provides life-saving emergency services for pets throughout Orange County and beyond. Our hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday 24 hours; all major holidays 24 hours.