FAQs

What is considered an emergency?
If you are at all concerned for the wellbeing of your pet, please seek medical attention. Many clients contact their primary veterinarians within business house before coming to Pet+E.R. Your veterinarian may recommend coming to us immediately, especially if they cannot see your pet quickly. If there is an emergency after normal business hours, on weekends or a holiday, visit one of our two locations in Towson or Columbia.
If my pet is admitted to the hospital, do I get to visit them?
Having your pet hospitalized is a stressful event for both you and your pet. We encourage visitations and are happy to accommodate them. That being said, prolonged visitations can interfere with patient care. Our goal is to have your pet healthy and back home with you as quickly as possible. Please be sure to call ahead, prior to visiting, to avoid excessive wait times.
What are my payment options?

Pet+E.R. accepts cash, checks, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover and Care Credit, an emergency credit card. Click here for more information on Care Credit.

If your pet requires hospitalization, the doctor will provide you with a treatment plan for emergency services and care. A payment deposit is required, which consists of the entire low end of the estimate amount. For example, if the estimate range is $500 to $1000, you will be asked to leave payment of $500 in order for your pet to be hospitalized. Updated estimates are created every 12-24 hours, depending on your pet’s case, and you are provided a financial update daily to determine whether additional funds are required for treatment.

If your pet is seen as an outpatient and does not require hospitalization, but you need to leave Pet+E.R. to grab a bite to eat or run an errand, we require a deposit in the amount equal to the services authorized on our Initial Diagnostic Authorization form, which is presented to you for your approval during your pet’s triage upon arrival.

Do you communicate with my primary veterinarian?

Yes! Your primary veterinarian will receive a copy of your pet’s complete medical file from Pet+E.R., using a software called VitusVet that automatically shares records between practices. We ask that they call us so that we can review the case with them and we ask that you continue follow up medical care with them. Although we serve an important role in your pet’s medical care, we cannot replace your relationship with your primary veterinarian! If you’d like to have 24/7 access to your pet’s records, download our app. Just search VitusVet in iTunes or Google Play.

What sort of communication can I expect if my pet is in the hospital?

Medical updates are given twice a day unless there is a change in your pet’s status. Our technicians are available to speak with clients anytime.

How much does it cost to be seen at Pet+E.R.?

The emergency examination fee is $95.00. This includes physical examination and consultation. Once your pet is assessed, the veterinarian will give you a treatment plan that includes cost of the care and diagnosis. The cost of care will vary depending on the medical condition and treatment.

Why do some pets and clients get seen before my pet when I have been here longer?

Your pet and their wellbeing is very important to us. Pet+E.R.’s triage process functions similarly to a human emergency room. Patients are triaged and seen in order of the severity of their medical condition. Please remember even if other pets look outwardly normal, they can have life threatening medical conditions. Our staff is well trained to assess your pet and to involve the veterinarian as soon as possible in critical patients. We understand that waiting can be frustrating and stressful, but we appreciate your patience as we provide care to all the pets who need us.

What is the process of treating my pet once I bring him/her in to Pet+E.R.?

Visit our “Coming to Pet+E.R.” page for more information on our process.

What are your hours of emergency services?

We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our hospital is never closed.

Do you see ALL animals at your emergency room?

Our hospital is equipped for emergency and critical care for cats and dogs. Exotic species as well as small mammals are seen by doctor’s discretion and experience. We are happy to refer you to several exotic veterinarians but our hospital is unfortunately not equipped for proper long-term hospitalization of such species.

How can I be seen at your hospital?

Our emergency service does not require you to make an appointment. Please contact us in Towson at 410.252.8387 and in Columbia at 410.441.3304, or come to our facility with your pet –(directions to Towson and Columbia). If your pet is sick and was seen by your primary veterinarian, please call and see if your records can be faxed to our hospital. This can help facilitate your pet’s continued medical care and can avoid repeating some diagnostic tests. It also allows our doctors an opportunity to have an open dialogue with your primary veterinarian regarding your pet’s health. We ask, when able, that you call prior to your arrival so that we may be prepared for your visit. We are an emergency hospital and can not substitute your primary veterinarian’s long-term care.

What are the signs my pet is having an emergency?

If your pet is experiencing any of the following:

  • Collapse, even if they seem to recover from it
  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea
  • Bleeding or abnormal bruising
  • Loss of appetite for more than 24 hours
  • Unable to urinate or defecate or straining with no production of urine or feces
  • Rapid breathing with increased effort
  • Any sort of respiratory distress
  • Severe coughing or excessive salivation
  • Ingestion of over the counter medication or toxins such as rat poison, snail bait, chocolate
  • Trauma (example: hit by a car, falls from a window, etc.)
What should I do if my pet is doing those things? (see question above)

Seek immediate veterinary attention. Contact your primary veterinarian if it is during business hours, or contact one of Pet+E.R.’s two locations. It is important to transport your pet with as little stress as possible. Avoid putting your face or hands near your pet’s mouth, as while in distress they may accidentally bite you. If your pet has eaten toxins, over-the-counter medication or items such as chocolate, bring the labels and containers with you to the animal hospital. If your pet has a cut or is bleeding profusely apply pressure using a clean cloth. Remember, safety first – be sure to drive safely and obey the speed limit.

If my pet is admitted to the hospital, can I leave their blankets and toys?

We typically recommend that you do not bring personal belongings to Pet+E.R. Our hospital is fully equipped with bedding that will be changed frequently. We have a high volume of laundry, and things can easily be misplaced or lost, therefore we cannot guarantee return of personal belongings.