*No emergency fee until midnight!

Emergency Vet Services near Langley

At Mainland Animal Emergency Clinic we’ve seen animals come in with all sorts of injuries and illnesses. Some injuries are due to accidents and encounters with other animals such as snakes and racoons. Others just got a little curious and tasted something they shouldn’t have and reacted adversely. If you notice that your pet is acting unusual, they could be experiencing a medical emergency.

View the list of common medical emergencies that we treat at our after-hours animal hospital:


  • Involves only outer layer of skin (superficial wound)
  • Most treated at home, if large/infected should be treated by your vet
  • Clean the area with warm water and remove any dirt, debris
  • Keep clean and dry to prevent infection (a buster collar, that you can get from your vet, will keep your pet from licking the area)
  • Monitor closely (watch for signs of pain, redness, swelling or discharge)

Artificial Respiration

  • Consult your veterinarian immediately if your pet stops breathing
  • Check to see if there is anything lodged in the airway. If so, attempt to remove the object (please see choking)
  • Clean the area with warm water and remove any dirt, debris
  • If airway is clear, check if the animal is breathing
  • If there is no breathing, and there is a pulse, begin artificial respiration (rescue breathing). To do, extend neck (so airway is straight, not blocked), close the mouth (cover if small cat/dog), place your mouth over pets nose and blow (3-5 breaths) until you see the chest expand (do not over force air into lungs). Check for a pulse and if breathing on own. If not breathing continue 12-20 x/min (Press belly every few minutes to expel air that has been forced into the stomach)
  • If there is no breathing, and there is a pulse, begin artificial respiration (rescue breathing). To do, extend neck (so airway is straight, not blocked), close the mouth (cover if small cat/dog), place your mouth over pets nose and blow (3-5 breaths) until you see the chest expand (do not over force air into lungs). Check for a pulse and if breathing on own. If not breathing continue 12-20 x/min (Press belly every few minutes to expel air that has been forced into the stomach)
  • If there is no breathing, and there is a pulse, begin artificial respiration (rescue breathing). To do, extend neck (so airway is straight, not blocked), close the mouth (cover if small cat/dog), place your mouth over pets nose and blow (3-5 breaths) until you see the chest expand (do not over force air into lungs). Check for a pulse and if breathing on own. If not breathing continue 12-20 x/min (Press belly every few minutes to expel air that has been forced into the stomach)


  • Gestation period for cats/dogs is about 58-64 days. After 45 days x-rays should be taken, so you know how many to expect
  • For dogs, pups should come one every 45-60 min., with 10-30 min. contractions.
  • If she is straining for more than an hour, or takes more than a 4 hr break between pups consult your veterinarian
  • For cats, the process tends to be quicker though they can take up to 24 hours to birth an entire litter
  • Problems to watch for include: more than 30-60 min. strong contractions with no birth, mother seems to be in pain, newborn stuck in birth canal, green colored or foul smelling discharge, or more than 65 days of gestation have passed. Consult your Vet immediately if any of these problems arise
  • Help clean pup’s or kitten’s airways and place them back to start nursing

Bite Wounds

  • Use caution when handling or approaching animal as they may be frightened or in pain (use muzzle if needed)
  • Flush wound with saline/warm water and apply pressure if there is bleeding (if cloth becomes soaked do not remove, place another over)
  • Limbs may require light bandages (do not cut off circulation)
  • Chest/abdomen wounds, potentially very serious, could penetrate the body cavity, cover with a clean cloth and bring to your vet
  • Proper antibiotics need to be administered to prevent infection


  • Occurs when the stomach rotates on its own axis, pinches off entrances and exits causing the stomach to fill with gas
  • This can occur very rapidly, be very painful and can be fatal within hours resulting in death
  • Occurs usually in large breeds, dogs that are exercised after large meals, or dogs that have a tendency to be agitated or nervous
  • Symptoms include: dry heaving (occasional vomit of foamy fluid), hard distended abdomen or severe pain in abdomen
  • Seek veterinary care immediately if bloat occurs

Bones / Toys

  • Bones are not ideal to give to dogs, they can cause fractured teeth or injury to the enamel, ingesting the bone/fragments can cause constipation, painful bowel movements and splinters or marrow bones can get caught in the lower jaw
  • Chicken, pork and fish bones are especially bad, if you feel the need to give a bone choose a large beef leg bone or knuckle bone, although will still ware down teeth to the pulp (possible infection)
  • Some toys that are also not ideal for dogs include: Frisbees (causes fractured or worn teeth), hard rubber balls (airway obstruction), soft rubber/tennis balls (intestinal obstructions), or rawhide chew sticks (obstruction if ingested)


  • Flush injury site with cool water, gently apply ice pack wrapped in soft, clean towel
  • Seek veterinary assistance immediately


  • Check to see if airway is blocked by foreign object
  • If so and visible carefully (not to get bitten) attempt to remove the object (you may use pliers or tweezers) if animal is not breathing
  • If animal can still pass breath, bring to your veterinarian immediately to be removed with proper equipment
  • If the object is not visible, or unable to dislodge you may need to begin chest compressions. Stand behind the animal and ball your fists under the sternum. Use gentle but firm thrusts upwards, forcing air out of the lungs to dislodge the object
  • Even if compressions are successful seek veterinary care to ensure that there are no complications


  • Applied if the animal is unconscious, not breathing and has no pulse
  • If the animal is not breathing, check if there is a heartbeat by listening to the chest (area where the elbow touches the ribs). If no heartbeat is present (or pulse), begin rescue breathing (see artificial respiration)
  • Then, after initial 5 breaths check for pulse – if still no pulse, begin chest compressions
  • Large dog breeds should be laying on their right side down (if not can still be applied left side down). Place hands, one over the other, over the highest part of the chest walls. Depress the rib cage (2-4 inches), repeat 80-100 x per min. REMEMBER to give 2 rescue breaths after every 12 compressions
  • Continue until you cannot continue, you arrive at your veterinary hospital or the animal is breathing on its own


  • Flush wound with saline/warm water to remove all dirt/debris
  • If bleeding, apply pressure with clean cloth; if bleeding will not stop apply bandage (do not cut off circulation)
  • Seek veterinary care as cuts could be more serious than they appear


  • Call your veterinarian for advice. Symptoms could be potentially serious
  • Diarrhea combined with weakness, vomiting, pain, or agitation requires immediate medical attention
  • Withhold food for 12-24 hours, and supply plenty of fresh water as animal can quickly become dehydrated
  • If diarrhea persists for more than 24-48 hours, or other symptoms are present seek veterinary care

Eye Injuries

  • Eye injuries can easily lead to permanent damage such as blindness or scarring
  • You can flush eye with saline to remove foreign objects
  • If there is any squinting, blood, or raised third eyelids seek immediate veterinary care
  • Treating eye injuries at home is not recommended


  • Use caution (muzzle if necessary) when approaching as animal may be in pain, frightened or react badly
  • Look for any bleeding, if you find any, apply mild pressure with a clean cloth or bandage
  • Use a large board or blanket as a stretcher and give support to any fractured limbs (do not pull fractured limbs)
  • The key to dealing with fractures is to prevent movement of the limb, as it can cause further tissue damage
  • If there is a lot of movement to the fractured site or the limb is particularly unstable you can wrap the leg in newspaper or magazine, tape it in place, and tape a thick board to the limb to immobilize it
  • Transport to your veterinarian immediately


  • Remove animal from cold, check for low body temp. If hypothermia is present (lower than 98F) wrap animal with blankets
  • Usually affects ear tips, paws (footpads), tail, and scrotum
  • Skin is pale or bluish in early stages (difficult to detect on pigmented skin), and with time, loss of sensation and may develop, dark scabs, severe blisters, and tissue may slough off
  • Clinical signs depend on severity and may include shivering (not if temp. is below 90F), dullness, weakness, low heart rate, pale gums, shallow/ slow breathing, and coma or collapse.
  • For frostbite apply warm, moist compresses to the area. If paws or large areas are affected, submerge these areas in warm water (102-103F) for 10-15 minutes, gently dry. DO NOT RUB, this will cause more tissue damage, and do not use dry heat (hair dryers, heating pads)
  • Seek veterinary care immediately

Heat Exhaustion / Heat Stroke

  • Can be caused by: the environment (temp. humidity, shelter, lack of water), physical factors (breed, weight, age, exercise), or medical (medications, pre-existing illness). This occurs when an animal cannot keep its core body temperature in a safe range (>106F)
  • Clinical signs depend on severity and may include restlessness, excessive panting, bright red gums, lethargy, weakness, wobbly gait, vomiting and diarrhea
  • If left untreated may progress to blindness, seizures, collapse, coma, and death
  • Treatment needs to be started ASAP. Remove the animal from heat and continuously spray or pour (avoid complete submersion) cold water all over the coat (belly and groin area as well). If available use a fan to help cool the animal
  • If possible take rectal temperature and stop cooling at 103F
  • Seek veterinary care ASAP (continue cooling on way with air conditioning)

Hit By Car

  • Protect yourself from any traffic before administering first aid
  • To avoid getting bitten or scratched muzzle dogs (mesh muzzle so dog can breathe), and put a blanket over cats
  • Check how alert the animal is, also check breathing rate. If unconscious and not breathing check for a pulse. (See CPR section if there is no breathing or pulse)
  • If possible check gum color (do not attempt on muzzled dog or fearful cat) pale gums may be a sign of shock or bleeding
  • Check for wounds or external bleeding, if there is bleeding and it is spurting, not oozing, apply direct pressure using clean cloth or gauze. If severe bleeding is on the leg, chest or belly, place a clean wrap over the site. Do not use tourniquets. If animal bleeds through a bandage DO NOT remove, place another over top.
  • Check for abnormal positions of the limbs, but DO NOT straighten or reposition. If bone is visible rinse with clean water and place a clean bandage over the wound
  • Seek veterinary care ASAP
  • Transport on a board or a stretcher (blanket). Make sure they are supported and cannot fall off. Cats or small dogs can be placed in a box or carrier
  • All hit by cars should be seen by your veterinarian, regardless how slight the symptoms might be

Hot Spots

  • Lesions due to self-inflicted trauma (licking, scratching, biting) brought on by an irritant (fleas, allergies, insect or tick bites, skin infection or grooming complications). More common in dogs
  • Typically lesions are moist, red tender, itchy and have a foul smell. Hair loss may occur (may not be seen in thick coats), they may be in multiple areas and increase rapidly in size
  • Treatment includes stopping the irritant and scratching, controlling the infection, and if possible, removal of inciting cause
  • Home care includes cleaning the area with tepid water and a mild vet-approved solution, and preventing the animal from licking and biting the affected area (cool compresses may temporarily relieve the area but usually oral and topical medications are prescribed, drying agents and antibiotics may also be recommended)

Insect Bites

  • Allergic reactions are common among cats/dogs to bees, hornets, yellow jackets, wasps, and spiders. Most bites occur on the face, ears, or paws
  • Signs of a reaction include swelling/redness around eyes, eyelids, muzzle, nose and ears, swollen paw, or trouble breathing in more severe cases
  • Look for the stinger and try to remove with tweezers (if available)
  • Seek veterinary care, as an allergy medication will need to be injected. Ask about home treatments for the future (antihistamines)


  • Puncture wounds may occur from fights, or trauma from sharp objects. They are usually deeper than they seem, and infection may be serious. Seek veterinary care ASAP
  • To avoid getting bitten or scratched muzzle dogs (mesh muzzle so dog can breathe), and put a blanket over cats
  • Clean wound with tepid water or saline solution. Any puncture on the chest or belly should be covered with a clean cloth/gauze and a light wrap applied. DO NOT attempt to probe the wound. If the object is still in place, DO NOT attempt to remove, this could cause further tissue damage


  • Signs of poisoning are varied, often non-specific, and may be delayed, depending on the type of toxin ingested. Common sources include: medications, household cleaners, insecticides/pesticides, chemicals and plants
  • If you know the animal ingested something that may be toxic call the poison control immediately and seek veterinary care (if possible bring the container or label of the product, or a sample if its plant material)
  • NEVER INDUCE VOMITING WITHOUT THE ADVICE OF A VETERINARIAN. Certain toxins may cause more damage or complications if the animal vomits


  • Can occur for many reasons (medical conditions, heatstroke, poisoning, etc.)
  • Signs include: salivation, loss of bowel movements, mild-severe muscle twitches, and loss of consciousness
  • Move your pet away from any harmful objects. Use a blanket for padding/protection. DO NOT restrain animal during seizure, time how long it lasts, usually 2-3 minutes, more serious if they last longer than 10 minutes
  • Afterwards keep the animal calm, cool and quiet (keep the area quiet)
  • Call your veterinarian ASAP


  • Can occur with serious injury or fright
  • Signs include: irregular breathing or dilated pupils. Keep animal gently restrained, quiet and warm
  • Call your veterinarian ASAP

Skunk Spray

  • Not an emergency; however it is a good idea to have a recipe around to remove the smell. The recipe is enough to wash a large breed dog, avoid the eyes, mouth and nose. Use saline for the eyes if needed
  • 1 liter hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 4 liters warm water
  • 1 teaspoon dish soap

Snake Bite

  • Signs include: rapid swelling, skin punctures, pain, weakness, or shock
  • Stop all exercise (to slow the venom), then clean area. Some venom can damage nerves or tissue on contact
  • Call your veterinarian ASAP

Toenail Break

  • Stop bleeding by applying styptic powder, cornstarch or white ivory soap. The nail may need to be trimmed to prevent further bleeding
  • Seek veterinary care as there is a possibility of infection and antibiotics may need to be administered

Urination Blockage

  • Usually caused by mineral plugs, or stones that block the urinary outflow (urethra). Males are usually more prone than females, and Dalmatians are at a higher risk
  • Early signs include: straining to urinate with little urine produced, small drops of blood, excessive licking at the pupace or vulva or frequent trips to urinate. As the blockage becomes more severe, waste products build up in the blood stream, and animal may exhibit signs of vomiting, weakness, lethargy, disorientation, collapse and death
  • Inability to urinate is life threatening and must be treated ASAP
  • If there are any abnormalities in your pets urination routine seek immediate veterinary care


  • Occurs for many reasons and can be life threatening or of little consequence
  • If your pet is alert, not distressed, and vomits only a couple of times, homecare should be sufficient. (Only you can decide how distressed your pet is) Do not offer anything by mouth for 4-6 hours, and then introduce small amounts of water/ice chips. If there is no vomiting, offer a small amount of bland food 12 hours after the vomiting has stopped
  • If it has not stopped seek veterinary care ASAP
  • Signs to watch for include: animal appears distressed, blood in vomit, the pet ingested medication or a foreign object, toxic material/plants, there is non-productive retching and/or vomiting; there is a swollen belly; there is weakness, lethargy, or collapse; if the gums are pale, blush or dark red; if the pet has a pre-existing disease; or if there is a fever (>103F) or a low body temp

If your pet is afflicted with any of the medical issues listed on this page, please do not wait! Contact us immediately to have your pet assessed so they can receive timely treatment which could save their life!



  • Diagnostic & exams
  • Pet x-rays
  • Trauma services
  • Critical care services
  • Pet poisoning & allergic reactions
  • Pet surgery