Emergency Pet Care

At Hill & Harbour Veterinary Center, we understand that emergencies don’t wait for a convenient moment. When your beloved pet faces a crisis, we are the beacon of hope offering emergency pet care that goes beyond the expected.

dog with open mouth

Recognizing Pet Emergencies

Does your pet require emergency vet care? If your pet is experiencing any of the following symptoms during business hours, please call us immediately at (401) 398-7807. If your pet’s symptoms occur after hours, please reach out to Ocean State Veterinary Specialists at (401) 886-8767, as they are open 24/7 and located 5 miles from our veterinary hospital.

Breathing Problems

Any noticeable breathing abnormality in your pet is considered an emergency. These abnormalities include rapid or labored breath, moist lung sounds, decreased lung sounds, or blue gums (which indicates a lack of oxygen in the blood).

Poison Ingestion

If your pet has ingested a poison or known toxin, immediately contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. A consultation fee may apply. Please have as much of the following information available for your phone call:

  • What did the animal ingest?
  • How much of it did the animal ingest?
  • How long ago did the animal ingest it?
  • It is also useful to have the packaging available for the product the pet has ingested.

Poison Control will advise you of the next steps.

Urinary Emergency

A pet that can’t urinate or is straining to urinate could indicate a urinary obstruction, which can quickly become life threatening. Please contact a veterinarian right away if your pet is unable to urinate.

Non-Productive Retching or Vomiting

Nonproductive retching or vomiting is a warning signal that something is wrong. It requires an immediate trip to your veterinarian, as it could be a sign of a condition known as bloat. This condition causes the stomach twist on itself, cutting off the openings to the esophagus and the intestine.


If this is the first time your pet experiences a seizure, or the seizure lasts longer than usual, you should contact your veterinarian. Signs of a seizure may include:

  • Running in circles
  • Falling to the floor immediately, instead of laying down as usual
  • Twitching
  • Stiff muscles
  • Going completely unconscious
  • Being unable to look at you or anything else
  • Urinating or defecating uncontrollably

While it can be scary to witness a seizure in your pet, it is important to remain calm.

Difficult Labor

If your pet is in labor for over one hour and does not produced a puppy or kitten, she may require emergency veterinary care. You should be prepared to tell your veterinary the following information:

  • How long has your pet been in labor
  • The number babies has your pet birthed
  • Time that has elapsed since the last baby

If your pet is not experiencing any of those symptoms but you have concerns, we are still here to help! Contact us any time to discuss your pet’s health.