Important Terms about Emergency Service Veterinarians
Because you never know when your pet may become injured or seriously ill, it's best to figure out beforehand where you will take the animal if and when that happens. Many locales have emergency veterinary hospitals, usually open 24 hours, for just these occasions. They can provide surgery to dogs, cats, and other animals. As you research the 24 hour veterinary clinics in your area, you may be confused by some of the terms you encounter, so below we'll define some of them.
Rabies - An extremely dangerous viral infection that is almost always fatal if untreated. Usually spread by the bite of infected animals, often bats, it can be cured if treatment is promptly sought.
Heartworm - A parasitic worm that can damage internal organs. Though most commonly associated with dogs, it can afflict cats as well.
Euthanasia - The process in which a veterinarian administers a lethal injection to an ailing animal, as a way of allowing it to die peacefully. Colloquially, this is known as "putting to sleep" an animal.
Triage - The method, used in hospitals and clinics, of determining the order in which animals should receive emergency services.
Neutering - Removing an animal's reproductive capacity. In males, this is called castration. In females, it is called spaying. Dogs and cats are frequently neutered to prevent animal overpopulation.
DVM - Short for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
Microchip - A tiny computer chip with tracking capabilities, usually injected with a syringe, implanted in domestic animals to ensure they can be recovered if they become lost.
Endoscopy - A procedure where the veterinarian looks inside an animal's body to see its internal organs. The device used to do this is called an endoscope.