All pet owners should know how to find their closest emergency veterinary clinic.
BEFORE you have an emergency, call your vet and ask what to do about after hours emergencies. Often, if it is after hours and you call the main office number for the vet, information about what to do in an emergency is on the veterinarians answering machine. Every vet has a plan for clients who have late night or weekend emergencies, even in the most remote areas.
Most veterinary emergency clinics are only open during off hours. Some can provide very sophisticated care, from advanced Xray techniques, rapid blood testing, ultrasound, surgery, and critical care services. They will diagnose and provide medical or surgical support and stabilize your pet until your regular vet opens.
They are often more expensive than your usual vet, but may have financing available on site.
Many will answer questions that you may have over the phone, if you are not sure if your pet is having a true emergency situation. They can't provide a diagnosis over the phone, but may be able to help you decide if your pet should be seen immediately, or if you could wait for your regular vet to open.
If you do not have an emergency vet clinic in your area, your own vet often alternates "on call" time for emergencies with other area vets.
Know and post emergency veterinary care information (with phone numbers and directions) prominently in your home, so you can have easy access to it in a panic situation. Your pet will thank you for being prepared.