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Northfield Veterinary Center

Emergency and Critical Care


If your pet has a veterinary emergency, you want exceptional care from knowledgeable veterinary professionals who truly care about your pet. Our Northfield Veterinary Center team knows that pets can need help at all hours, so we have medical staff onsite 24/7 and provide emergency care during our regular business hours, from 8 a.m. until midnight daily. You can always contact our phone triage line if you are unsure whether your pet needs emergency attention.


Emergency veterinary bills can be expensive, but when you choose Northfield Veterinary Center as your primary care veterinarian, your pet will receive emergency care at general practice prices.

Signs that constitute a pet emergency

You can always contact our Northfield Veterinary Center team to ask questions about the care your pet needs, but signs that indicate your four-legged family member needs emergency veterinary care include:

Severe bleeding that doesn’t stop after five minutes

You know or suspect your pet ingested a toxin

You know or suspect your pet ingested a foreign body

Difficulty breathing

Collapse or unconsciousness

Severe trauma (e.g., hit by a car, a fall from an elevated height, bite wounds)

Seizures, including first-time occurrences, episodes lasting more than three minutes, or multiple seizures in one day

Inability or straining to urinate

Fractures or joint dislocations

Lacerations or puncture wounds

Obvious signs of pain (e.g., vocalization, hiding, shaking)

Bleeding from the nose, mouth, or rectum, or blood in the urine or feces

Heat stress or heatstroke

Severe vomiting or diarrhea, especially when combined with other illness signs, such as fever, lethargy, abdominal distention, or pain

Pregnancy complications

Critical care for pets

Veterinary emergency and critical care are closely intertwined, but they differ in that emergency medicine focuses on urgent needs for injuries or illnesses, while critical care involves ongoing care to help affected pets recover.

Pets may be admitted to our critical care unit in these situations:

  • After an emergency — After your pet has been stabilized and treated by emergency services, but they are not healthy enough to go home, they will be admitted to the critical care unit for observation, treatment, and around-the-clock care.

  • Post-surgery — If your pet undergoes a complex surgery or is considered high-risk for postoperative complications, our critical care team can provide the necessary monitoring and care.

  • For chronic conditions — If your pet’s chronic condition, such as cancer or diabetes, cannot be managed at home, they may require hospitalization in our critical care unit to ensure they receive the appropriate care.

Our critical care unit is equipped with life-supporting technology and equipment, so we can care for pets in a sterile, quiet environment. Our advanced monitoring and treatment capabilities include:

  • Blood pressure and blood flow monitoring

  • Intravenous and subcutaneous fluid therapy

  • Ventilation support

  • Oxygen therapy

  • Catheterization

  • Nutritional support

  • Pain control

Call our Northfield Veterinary Center team if your pet needs emergency care, or you have concerns about their condition and are unsure about the type of care they need.