Emergency Care

Emergency Care 2019-08-19T15:42:06-07:00


  • 24-Emergency care VCA NWVS Clackamas Oregon 503-656-3999
  • ASPCA Animal Poison Control (888)-426-4435
  • Pet Poison Helpline (855)-764-7661

Planning for emergency care

Clatsop county is a rural area there are NO 24-hour emergency hospitals here. In the past, local vets have provided a make-shift on-call service called “the rotation.” This has largely fallen apart for many reasons, among them: safety of the veterinarians, finances, and professional exhaustion. Veterinarians are not required to provide emergency care, but may do this at their discretion. We as residents of rural areas have chosen to live in an area without all the services of a big city. This includes out-of-hours emergency veterinary services. Because of this, it is up to the animal’s owner to have an emergency plan in place should an animal emergency arise. This means a drive to Portland may be required.

As a pet owner it is IMPERATIVE that you PREPARE a plan should an animal emergency arise. Just showing up at a veterinary hospital is not always the best way forward and may result in critical loss of time getting care to your animal. This page provides information on making your plan.

  • Oregon State Law requires four exams: https://www.oregon.gov/OVMEB/Pages/practice_act.aspx. Emergency hospitals will likely require an exam prior to advice or treatment.
  • If a vet chooses or is able to provide emergency service, this does not mean the clinic is open for business. This means staffing will be minimal and limited care will likely be provided. If more care is required than the vet is able to provide, expect a referral to a 24-hour emergency hospital located in Portland/Vancouver area (contacts above).
  • You are encouraged to locate a 24-hour emergency clinic in the Portland area in advance of animal emergencies and have a general idea of where they are so you can find them when you need them.
  • Emergency care is more expensive than normal care and it is recommended that each pet owner have $2000-$3500 set aside for emergency pet care. Be prepared to settle the bill at check out or leave a down payment based upon an estimate if the animal is admitted. Some clinics accept Care Credit.
  • It is recommended to familiarize yourself with emergency clinics in the Portland area. The emergency clinic in the Portland area that AAH refers to is VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Clackamas (503) 656-3999. Other clinics may refer to other emergency hospitals in the Portland area.
  • If there is suspected poisoning, call ASPCA Animal Poison Control (888)-426-4435 or Pet Poison Helpline (855)-764-7661.

Notes about emergency care

  • If you are a keeper of exotic animals, it is STRONGLY recommended you find a veterinarian in the Portland/Vancouver area to help you in the event of an emergency. There is no emergency service for exotics locally.
  • Should you have an unexpected animal death, it is advised to place the body in a cool place and cover it. Astoria Animal Hospital provides cremation services and accepts animal under 200 pounds for cremation during normal business hours. We can provide cremation estimates over the phone based on a guessed weight but the accurate weight will determine the final cremation cost.  NOTE: estimates are NOT QUOTES.
  • When boarding your animals or having a friend care for them in your absence, please make a dedicated plan for both care and payment of care. This is very important for both care and their required medications.
  • Please have your pets well labeled with tags and/or microchips and have the number of pets inside your home in the event of a local disaster such as an earthquake.
  • Please incorporate both large and small animals in your disaster planning.

Veterinarians working to provide after-hours care are doing so on a voluntary basis. Please note that after-hour policies, prices, and services offered are unique to each hospital and may change without notice.