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Pet Emergency and Critical Care


If your pet is ever in need of emergency vet attention or you are simply worried about their health, call or bring them into one of our animal emergency centres. Our experienced team of emergency veterinarians and nurses can diagnose your pet and provide the proper care.

No appointment is necessary; please just visit us or call ahead.

Remember, our highly experienced team of vets are here for you when you need it the most – 24 hours, 7 days a week, across the country.

About Emergency

Our Emergency hospitals are open either 24 hours a day or throughout the evening, 365 days a year - when you need it the most.

They are managed by experienced emergency and critical care (ECC) veterinarians and vet nurses to help your pet when an emergency arises.

In an emergency situation, call or visit your local AREN emergency centre.

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Equipment our emergency vets can access

Our team has access to the latest human-grade technology, including:

  • 24-hour dedicated intensive care unit with mechanical ventilator support
  • Full in-house laboratoryAdvanced imaging suite
  • Fully equipped dedicated surgical theatres
  • Comprehensively stocked on-site pharmacy

The Emergency Process

Upon arrival at one of our emergency centres, our vet nurse team will triage your pet, just like in a hospital emergency department for humans.

Patients are then seen in order of importance. An experienced emergency and critical care (ECC) veterinarian will discuss your pet's circumstances and outline your options for treatment and approximate costs.


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If your pet is admitted to hospital for treatment, you will be asked to sign a consent form and leave a deposit in order for treatment to proceed. Our team of ECC vets and nurses will keep in touch with you during the course of your pet's stay and are ready to answer any questions you may have.

If ongoing care is required or your pet requires further treatment by a specialist or consultant, we will work closely with your veterinarian or our specialist team to ensure a coordinated approach to your pet’s care.


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What constitutes a vet emergency?

If you are ever worried or concerned about your pet, do not hesitate to contact one of our emergency centres at any time.
An emergency for your pet may include sudden illness, not eating, vomiting, heavy breathing, rapid breathing, seizures or collapse.
Accidents can also happen at any time of the day or night. Your pet could be  hit by a car, sustain an injury at the park, get in a fight with another cat or dog, get bitten by a snake, suffer from tick paralysis or ingest a poison. Our emergency veterinary team is highly trained in these specific areas of emergency pet medicine.
Pets may be poisoned by chocolate, grapes, anti-inflammatory medications such as Nurofen, other human medications, illicit drugs, snail bait, rat bait, macadamia nuts or rotten food or rubbish. If you are concerned about any sudden or urgent condition, contact us or come straight to the hospital.

Conditions that may require emergency assessment and treatment include:

  • Snake bite or suspected snake bite
  • Sudden collapse
  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vehicular trauma
  • Ingestion of a poisonous substance
  • Severe pain or lameness, including suspected fractured bones
  • Severe bleeding or bleeding that lasts more than a few minutes
  • Suspected over-heating or heat stroke
  • Inability to urinate or defaecate
  • Continued coughing, gagging or retching
  • Ataxia or paralysis
  • Continued vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Refusal to eat or drink for more than 24-hours
  • Eye injuries
  • Difficulty whelping or giving birth

This is not an exhaustive list. If you are worried about your pet’s health, you should contact your local vet during business hours or our emergency service after-hours.

Please remember you don’t need a referral or appointment to attend our ARH emergency hospitals outside regular veterinarian hours. Please phone us anytime, day or night, or go directly to your closest hospital.


Our Network

Our Animal Referral & Emergency Network is the largest specialty and referral network in Australia, consisting of more than 20 sites. With more than 1,200 dedicated team members, including approximately 600 nurses and almost 400 veterinarians (including specialists and registrars), we provide exceptional care for your pets. Count on us for expert medical attention and comprehensive veterinary services.