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SAGE Veterinary Centers

24/7 Emergency Veterinarians

Each SAGE hospital provides emergency care 24/7, including holidays.

Please call one of our primary veterinarians if your pet is experiencing an emergency during regular office hours. If they feel that a referral to one of our specialists is warranted, or that your pet should be seen at SAGE immediately, they will call the closest facility directly and set up the patient as an immediate referral. Regardless of the time of day, you should call ahead when possible, so our team can begin to prepare for your arrival.

What is an Emergency?

SAGE Emergency is available 24/7, including holidays to help your pet.

Any of the following are reasons to call or come in to see us:

  • Changes to oral gum color

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Allergic reaction (hives, facial swelling, severe itching or red eyes)

  • Exposure to any chemicals

  • Ingestion of foreign material

  • Weakness/changes in alertness

  • Seizures, loss of balance, and inability to walk

  • Trembling or shaking

  • Pain, discomfort, or lameness

  • Straining to urinate

  • Distended or bloated abdomen

  • Persistent vomiting, diarrhea, or non-productive retching

  • Ingestion of toxins, poisonous plants, or household medications

  • Difficulty delivering kittens or puppies

  • Exposure to high temperatures

  • Bleeding

  • Hit by car

  • Fall from height

  • Bite wounds from other animals

  • Broken bones

  • Behavior changes or actions that just don’t feel right in your mind

Why SAGE in an Emergency?

SAGE Veterinary Centers is a multi-location practice dedicated to providing the highest level of care. Our hospitals include more than 80 highly-trained veterinarians and a team of knowledgeable, compassionate support staff. Our emergency team is comprised of seasoned doctors who are dedicated to the field of emergency medicine.

Most of our Emergency veterinarians have interned for an additional year after veterinary school, and several have completed three-year residencies and are board-certified specialists in Emergency and Critical Care.

Our emergency services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

A trip to the ER can be routine or involved. Often problems can be solved in one visit and your pet can return home. We treat many illnesses that require routine testing and medications.

With a good home care plan set in place by our team, you will be fine to leave with your pet and recheck with your primary veterinarian in a few days.

When the problem is more involved, and especially if life-threatening, our critical care equipment and expertise come into play.

Critical care is the continuous support and monitoring of the animal’s needs. Those needs can include oxygen delivery, IV fluids, blood or plasma transfusions, surgery, nutritional delivery and, of course, TLC.

Two Veterinarians with a Corgi (Dog) Taking an X-Ray

Urgent Care for Minor Illnesses

SAGE also offers same-day Urgent Care services at our Redwood City hospital for concerning, but not critical health issues.

Our Urgent Care department helps us reduce wait times for patients, and provides our clients with added convenience.


Common causes for visits to the emergency room include persistent vomiting or diarrhea, ingestion of chemicals or toxins, and trauma, such as being hit by a car.

Don’t hesitate to see a veterinarian if you suspect your pet is in distress.

Urgent Care Examples

Urgent Care services will provide same-day appointments for clients who are seeking immediate care for non-emergency issues.

Here are some examples of Urgent Care appointments:

  • Coughing or sneezing

  • Superficial cuts or wounds

  • Minor vomiting or diarrhea

  • Weakness or changes in alertness

  • Loss of appetite

  • Trembling or shaking

  • Discomfort or mild lameness

  • Tick removal

  • Ear and skin infections

  • Irritated or red eyes

  • Any signs that are troubling to you or your pet

In human medicine, urgent care provides a convenient way for patients to be seen for problems that may not warrant a trip to the ER.

SAGE’s Urgent Care department fills the same need for your pet.

A patient experiencing an emergency never needs an appointment to be seen.

We practice triage, which is the process of sorting patients based on the severity of their condition. Sometimes this means we must attend to animals not in their order of arrival, but in their order of need.

ASPCA Poison Control

The ASPCA Poison Control Hotline is a resource for pet owners who worry their pet has ingested something that could be toxic. They have a major database of known toxins, their effects, and how they should be treated.

Please note there is a fee for their consultation by phone, at (888) 426-4435.

Pet Poison Helpline

The Pet Poison Helpline also provides 24-hour pet poison control services.

Please note there is a fee for their consultation by phone, at (888) 426-4435.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Urgent Care and Emergency Care?

The difference between Urgent Care and the Emergency Room is the severity of the health problem.

If the condition is life-threatening, go to the Emergency Room.

If the condition is a minor illness or injury, take advantage of the same-day convenience of setting an appointment with our Urgent Care department.

How long will I have to wait to be seen if it is an emergency?

Upon arrival, a veterinary technician will triage your pet. The technician will assess the degree of urgency and take a brief history. They will evaluate your pet’s breathing patterns and heart rhythm, and will check for obvious signs of trauma, fractures, or injuries.

The seriousness of your pet’s medical condition will determine how quickly a doctor will meet with you. A patient that arrives after you may be seen first due to the nature of their condition.

Our goal is to provide the best possible care and treatment for your pet as quickly as we can.