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You’ve just had an impossibly long day at work. After working overtime, you get stuck in traffic and pull into your driveway well past supper. All you want to do is get into your pyjamas and get into bed.

You open your front door, walk in the entryway, and step in something squishy and are met with an odour that can only be described as pungent. You turn on the light, expecting to see the culprit look up at you with their big, happy eyes, filled with elation their best friend is home. Your initial thought of scolding them for making a mess on the hallway carpet is stricken from your head like a line on a completed grocery list.

Your faithful companion is laying on the floor, surrounded by a grotesque mess. They raise their head and mournfully try to wag their tail; a stark contrast to the usual loud and boisterous greeting you receive every day.

You know something is terribly wrong. After a glance into the kitchen, you see what was once a full pack of ant traps, formerly filled with peanut butter-flavoured poison, strewn and chewed on the floor in front of the cupboards under the sink. You know a trip to the vets is in order – immediately.

Life had been busy these past couple years. Your dog rarely leaves the house and yard, so shots were never really high on the priority list. Your best friend always seemed to be in the best of health, which you attribute to the high-quality food your feed him every day. His coat always shines, his nose is always cold, and you’ve been lucky because there hasn’t been an emergency that required vet care.

You struggle to remember the name of your vet, pull it up on your phone and make the frantic call. You hear an after-hours message and call the number read out on the recording.

When the answering service answers, they tell you to head to the office and that the vet on-call will meet you there. Wrapping your pet in a blanket, you head out with hopes everything will be ok.

Little do you know; the majority of vets won’t see patients on an emergency basis if they haven’t seen the animal in the past two years. The time spent driving to your local in-town vet could have been better utilized driving to a 24-hour veterinarian clinic, but you had no idea.

Many vets abide by this policy, especially after-hours, for many reasons. It’s very difficult for a veterinarian to act in an emergency when they aren’t aware of the history of the patient. Though you’re sure of what your dog consumed, a vet that hasn’t seen your pet in over two years doesn’t know what other underlying issues could possibly be lurking, and can be hesitant to act on their instinct alone.

Emergency veterinarian clinics are designed for critical care situations, and veterinarians and vet techs employed at a 24-hour care facility are trained to deal with life-and-death situations and see them on a daily basis. Animals are triaged at an emergency vet clinic, exactly like in a human hospital according to severity of injury or illness. Visiting an emergency clinic may seem more harrowing than a visit to the local vet’s office, but sometimes, it’s the only option.

There are 24-hour veterinarian clinics within an hour and a half from most places in Chatham-Kent, located in Windsor and London. If an emergency befalls your beloved fur friend, a quick google search will provide a better and faster option if you know it’s been at least two years since you’ve last visited your regular veterinarian. When minutes matter, it’s important to know the right call to make.

24 Hours Veterinary Clinics 

Walker Road Animal Hospital

 3577 Walker Rd, Windsor, ON

Phone: 519-972-9000


London Regional Veterinary Emergency and Referral Hospital

41 Adelaide St N, London, ON

Phone: 519-432-3300