My pet is having an emergency and Frontier is closed! What do I do?

As available as your Frontier Family is, we are not a 24-hour hospital.  So what should you do if your pet is having an emergency and Frontier is closed?

  1. If your pet is having a critical emergency, go to the facility that is closest to your geographical location for stabilization. Examples of a critical emergency are:
  • Massive hemorrhage – bleeding
  • Anaphylaxis/Shock – loss of consciousness, pale gums, loss of consciousness, etc.
  • Acute trauma – a car accident, fall, wildlife or larger pet attack, etc.
  • Acute respiratory distress – choking, drowning, anaphylaxis, etc.
  • Massive seizure activity/cluster seizures – i.e., seizures that are not stopping and/or occurring back to back
  • Heat stroke
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Essentially any condition in which you, the pet owner, are panicking.


  1. Find your closest emergency clinic. Portland Metro options, in alphabetical order:


  1. If you are unsure how critical your pet’s emergency is, all of these facilities can help triage your problem over the phone. Call and talk to them about your situation.


For example, if Maximus, your 100lb dog, ate one chocolate Hershey’s kiss – he’ll probably be OK.  But if little 5lb Tiny ate a Hershey’s BAR – you need to come in.


  1. If it’s not a critical emergency, take a moment to decide which facility best meets your pet’s needs. As part of the veterinary community, we have good relationships with all these emergency clinics – after all, they are helping look after our patients when we cannot.  However, there may be some criteria that will help you pick the best ER for your situation.  Ask yourself the following 3 questions:


  • Does your pet have several medical conditions or a serious chronic condition?
  • Does your pet already have or need specialist care?
  • Do you suspect your emergency situation needs specialist or surgical care?


If you answer “yes” to any of this, consider the following referral 24/7 hospitals with specialty care:

  • Columbia River Veterinary Specialists
  • Dove Lewis ER and ICU
  • VCA Northwest Veterinary Hospital

In particular, Frontier veterinarians have a strong and long-standing relationship with Dove Lewis, so you’ll often hear us recommend Dove Lewis care.   They are open 24/7, have specialists on staff at all times, and are very good at working with us while your pet is being cared for and after discharge.


  1. You are at the emergency hospital – now what? 
  • Make sure you are getting all of your questions answered appropriately.
  • Tell the ER that your regular veterinarian is Frontier Veterinary Hospital, as well as the name of your primary veterinarian if you have one (ie,  Palmer, Dr. Yung, etc.)
  • Records of the visit should be forwarded to us by the next morning, HOWEVER sometimes due to the chaos and busyness of an ER night we have incidences in which records have not come to us.  So please do not assume that we are automatically aware of your visit.  If you have concerns, please call our office and we can always request records if we did not receive any.
  • If your pet is discharged, you should feel confident that you understand your pet’s discharge instructions and the recommendations for follow-up reassessment by your primary care veterinarian.
  • If your pet is hospitalized:
    • You have every right to request that your regular veterinarian is personally updated.  Again, if we are not receiving the records of your visit, we won’t know that our favorite Labrador retriever Spot ate that toy (again!).
    • You have every right to request a transfer back to Frontier, if appropriate.  This may be a decision between you and your Frontier veterinarian.
    • If the ER does not have specialists on staff, you still have the right to request specialist care and transfer or referral to a specialist.
  • Call us if you have questions or need advice. Your Frontier veterinarian and family are here for you 7 days a week to help you make decisions (we are closed on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas).

We value our patients as family, so please don’t hesitate to call if any questions – even if your pet is not under our direct care!

What's Next

  • 1

    Call us or schedule an appointment online.

  • 2

    Meet with a doctor for an initial exam.

  • 3

    Put a plan together for your pet.