VCA Sacramento Veterinary Referral Center

What is a pet emergency?

If an animal is seriously ill or injured, it needs emergency care immediately. Bring your pet in to see us if any of the following should occur.

  • Difficulty Breathing: Noisy breathing, blue tongue or gums, abnormal panting, gasping for air, or very shallow breathing.
  • Unstoppable Bleeding: Before transporting, apply pressure to wound area with a clean cloth. Do not use a tourniquet.
  • Inability to Urinate or Defecate: Continuously straining with little or no result. Blood in stool or in urine, painful urination or defecation.
  • Heatstroke: Signs include heavy panting, extreme weakness, body temperature above 104° F. Wrap your pet in cool, wet towels prior to transporting.
  • Bloated or Distended Abdomen (With or Without Vomiting)
  • Inability to Deliver Kittens or Puppies: Continuous contractions for more than 1 hour or more than 2 hours between babies or more than 15 minutes of labor with fetus or membranes protruding.
  • Loss of Balance, Unconsciousness, or Seizure: Tremors, staggering, convulsions, sudden blindness, fainting, tilting of the head, or sudden changes in behavior, such as unusual withdrawal or aggression.
  • Pain: Especially continuous pain. Signs of pain in animals include whimpering, restlessness, crying, and reluctance to move or change position, dilated pupils and a fast heart rate.
  • Major Trauma or Injury: If your pet has fallen, been hit by a car, or has suffered wounds anywhere on the body, especially to the eye, chest or abdomen or has broken bones.
  • Shock: If your pet show signs of weakness, collapses, shallow breathing, rapid heartbeat, or weak pulse.
  • Poisoning: If you believe your pet has been exposed to poison, call first, and then bring the container with you if you have it, or the commercial name or chemical name for the list of ingredients. Common poisoning in pets include ingestion of insecticides, snail bait, anti-freeze, rat poison, over-the-counter drugs (Tylenol, ibuprofen, etc.), prescription medications, snakebites, and some plants.
  • Vomiting and/or Diarrhea: Excessive, continuous, or contains blood.
  • Lameness: Continuous, not baring weight on limb, or swollen limb.
  • Eyes: Eye injuries, sudden blindness, cloudiness or abnormal discharge.
  • Allergic Reactions: Swollen face, hives, red skin, difficulty breathing, severe itching or a rash.
  • Diabetics: Shaking, excessive salivation, abnormal behavior, excessive vomiting, or seizures.
  • General: Severe lethargy, decreased appetite, temperature greater than 104° F or anything else that concerns you.

General Practice

We have over 600 animal hospitals in 41 states and 4 Canadian provinces that are staffed by more than 3,000 fully-qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 400 being board-certified specialists.

The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments such as wellness, spay/neuter, advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), internal medicine, oncology, ophthalmology, dermatology, cardiology, neurology, boarding, and grooming. Services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

Find a VCA General Care Animal Hospital near you:


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Emergency Care

We are located at 9801 Old Winery Place in Sacramento. Our hospital is open 24 hours a day every day to help care for your emergency needs. Our emergency fee is $135. If you are planning to come in on emergency, please call (916)362-3111 so that we are ready for you.

If your pet has swallowed a medication or toxic substance, you can call Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 for the most up to date information and immediate assistance. The cost of the service is $65.