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Veterinary Specialty Hospital - North County

Get in Line

Get in Line for the ER

Is Your Pet Having an Emergency?

  1. Call Us - If it's critical, we'll ask you to come in to the ER immediately.

  2. Get in Line - If your pet is not critical, save your space in line and wait at home.

  3. Wait at Home - We'll text you if your visit time changes and when it's time to come in to the hospital.

  4. Exam - Upon arrival, follow our posted curbside info to let us know you are here.

  5. Treatment - A doctor will call to review your pet's exam and next steps for care

If your pet is in stable, non-critical condition, but needs to be seen by a doctor, please check in to our emergency room online, from home.

After you provide a few relevant details you’ll get an estimated visit time based on our current emergency room patient volume. This will allow you to wait at home until it’s your turn to be seen. We’ll text you when it’s time to come in and update you of any changes if your visit time is pushed back due to newly arrived patients in life-threating condition.

Curbside Care

Video - What to Expect: Process and Staps

Watch this short video to get a quick overview of the steps involved with getting in line for the ER.

Reserve your estimated visit time

If your pet is in stable condition, please fill out the form and reserve your estimated visit time. Visit times are calculated in real-time, and are based on the number of other non-critical patients waiting to be seen.

Please remember this is an estimated time, not an appointment.

We are using a line management service to estimate wait times for non-critical veterinary emergencies. Waiting can be stressful for everybody involved, this service enables you and your pet to wait more comfortably at home. We’ll text you when it’s time to come in, and update you of any changes to your estimated time.

For your safety and ours we are following COVID safety guidelines to limit the spread of the disease. As a result we are not inviting clients into our hospital at this time.

When it's time

We always treat pets we assess to be in critical condition right away, as a result if a more critical pet arrives close to your estimated visit time, and your pet is in a more stable condition, your estimated visit time may change. We will keep you informed of any changes via text message.

  • When you arrive for your visit, please confirm that you are here.

  • You will be asked to fill out check-in paperwork.

  • Once we receive your completed forms, a technician will assess your pet and either bring him or her in to see a veterinarian, or give you an updated estimate.

Thank you for helping us to do our part to keep our team and your family safe. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

How will I know if my pet is in critical condition?


Below is a list of conditions that may require immediate care. If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, please call us and come in right away.

If your pet is assessed to be in stable condition when you arrive, we will add you to our triage line.

  • Severe bleeding, or bleeding that doesn’t stop within five minutes.

  • Bleeding from nose, mouth, rectum, coughing up blood, or blood in urine.

  • Choking, difficulty breathing, or nonstop coughing and gagging.

  • Inability to urinate or pass feces (stool), or obvious pain associated with urinating or passing stool.

  • Injuries to your pet’s eye(s).

  • You suspect or know your pet has eaten something poisonous (such as antifreeze, xylitol, chocolate, rodent poison, etc.).

  • Seizures and/or staggering.

  • Fractured bones, severe lameness, or inability to move leg(s).

  • Obvious signs of pain or extreme anxiety.

  • Heat stress or heatstroke.

  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea – more than two episodes in a 24-hour period, or either of these combined with obvious illness or any of the other problems listed here.

  • Refusal to drink for 24 hours or more.

  • Unconsciousness.

My pet is in critical condition, what should I do?

Calling in advance can help our team be prepared for your arrival.

If you believe your pet is in critical condition and needs immediate care, please call, and come to the hospital right away. When you arrive, please call us or follow specific guidance on the signs in the parking when you arrive.