FAQs for Pet Owners
Video – What to Expect: Process and Steps
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.
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.
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.
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.
You have several locations in the area, which one should I use?
You can visit whichever animal emergency and specialty center is most convenient for you. Your pet’s information can be accessed from any location as our medical records and images are linked. This is a huge benefit as the transfer of information is immediate and eliminates unnecessary repeat diagnostics.
Do I need to make an appointment to see a doctor?
Specialty consultations are available by appointment, but your pet can be seen at any time if you have an emergency. If your pet is already hospitalized and needs a specialist consultation, we will arrange the consult internally.
How do I reach a doctor to talk about my pet?
We are open 24 hours a day, every day. You can call at any time day or night to speak directly with a member of the medical team taking care of your pet. Please let our client care representative know who you are and your pet’s name so he/she can connect you with the team caring for your pet.
Some exceptions: Our doctors are in rounds from 8 am to 10 am daily to ensure that the entire hospital is aware of your pet’s needs and plan. Doctors will not be available to take phone calls during this time.
Please designate ONE family member to be the point person who will receive updates on your pet. This allows our staff to spend more time caring for your pet. Your calls may be answered by a member of our support staff. This is done in order to offer you an answer to your question as quickly as possible.
Our doctors will call you with an update on your hospitalized pet at least once daily. Other phone calls for updates will be directed to your pet’s assigned nurse. You will be called by your pet’s doctor if there is any change in their status or plan. In addition, we will provide a daily update to your referring veterinarian, so they continue to be an integral part of your pet’s care.
Can I visit my pet while they are in the hospital?
We are currently allowing clients to visit in our hospitals on a limited basis; special consideration is being given for extenuating circumstances. If you do enter the ICU, masks are required. Please wear a mask at all times while interacting with our team members face to face. We also encourage clients to visit with their pet virtually via FaceTime, or ask a team member to email pictures.
How long do sutures/staples stay in after my pet’s surgery?
Sutures/staples are usually removed 10-14 days following the surgical procedure.
What should I do, I found an injured wild bird, rabbit, etc.?
Calling 311 or Animal Care & Control is usually the best option. Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn also has great information about wild animals on their website.
Contact information for these organizations is available on our contact us page.
Why we encourage a collaborative environment
At many specialty and emergency hospitals, each service is a separate business or department. At Premier we believe that each patient should benefit from the collective knowledge and expertise of our entire team of specialists and emergency doctors every case, every day.
Do you board pets?
No, we do not board pets, but we can recommend places that do.
Do you offer payment plans?
Payment is required at the time of service. We also offer Wells Fargo Health Advantage and accept Care Credit to allow for extended payments. More information on their programs is available here. These plans are health-specific credit cards and all decisions for amounts of credit and eligibility are outside of our control.
What is Ethos Veterinary Health and why should I choose Premier for my pet’s care?
Ethos Veterinary Health is a network of specialty and emergency hospitals with individual sister hospitals throughout the US. Ethos aims to deliver an innovative approach to veterinary medicine and through our non-profit, Ethos Discovery and its clinical trials, provide positive outcomes for pets and their human companions. Learn more here. Premier Veterinary Group was one of the four founding veterinary hospital groups who joined forces to create Ethos Veterinary Health in December 2015.
Like other veterinary specialty and emergency centers, we have the advanced tools and diagnostics (CT, ultrasound, digital radiography.) and training (board-certified specialists, dedicated emergency doctors, etc.) as well as unparalleled passion to provide optimal care for your pet. What differentiates us from the others is our intense focus on providing great customer service. Our goal is to make sure that every pet, every family, and every one of our referring veterinarians have a Premier experience, each and every time!