Emergency Care

The Long Beach Animal Hospital is open 7 days per week until midnight. We are available to provide emergency care for your pet any time one of our doctors is present. Always call us first, because this will allow us to be better prepared for your arrival.

After midnight we have a recording on our phone at 562-434-9966 to tell you where to take your pet if you have an emergency.

Some things to watch for that might indicate an emergency situation:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unresponsive to you
  • Neurologic signs like seizures or circling
  • Crying in extreme pain
  • A cut or wound that does not stop bleeding
  • Your pet has fallen a substantial height or has been hit by a vehicle
  • Seeing your pet eat an known toxin like chocolate, antifreeze, rat poison or lillies (in cats)
  • If your pet has eaten your prescription medication

Emergencies take precedence over regular appointments, and we will stop whatever we are doing to assist your pet. Always call us before coming in to make sure we have a doctor available and help us prepare for your arrival. We might give you suggestions on something you should do at home before you bring your pet to us.

Emergency Preparedness

You should have a first aid kit available at all times.

Have the Animal Poison Control phone number available also.

For a list of common poisons follow this link on our web site.

Emergency Assessment

When you first arrive with an emergency your pet will be taken into the treatment area for a rapid assessment of your pets cardiovascular status and other important physiologic parameters. During that time one of our staff will be talking to you regarding the history of the emergency.

Any immediate problems like low body temperature, seizures, or bleeding, will be assessed and treated immediately, along with treatment for shock with IV fluids and placement in our oxygen cage.

After this rapid assessment our doctor will talk to you regarding your pet’s status. At that time he/she will talk about treatment or any needed diagnostic tests.

The most common immediate tests we perform for emergencies are:

Blood Glucose

On many emergencies we need to determine the blood glucose (sugar) level, especially in young animals, diabetic animals, those with liver disease, those that have ingested certain toxins, and those that are on specific drugs.

We do this rapidly with a special glucose meter that gives us an answer in under a minute. The number of 78 on this test might be normal, it all depends on the species we are checking and the disease process suspected. For a humanoid this would be considered very high. This shows you cannot always extrapolate animal health to human health.

Pulse Oximeter

This is an important test for pets that have heart disease, lung disease or are having any type of breathing difficulty. It measures the oxygen saturation of the hemoglobin in the red blood cells. It is quick and painless, and gives us valuable information

We like to see animals have a number in the 90’s, although this varies by species. In the video on the right this pet is 92 %. If the number is low we will administer 100% oxygen until we determine the cause and correct that problem.

Blood Pressure

In many emergency cases where we are concerned that a pet is in shock from trauma we will check the blood pressure. In cases of shock we are checking to make sure the blood pressure is not low. It is used differently than in people regarding heart disease, and the number blood pressure number in animals is usually much higher than a person.

The final number of 168 on this cat is slightly high, and it needs to be confirmed with more readings. To learn more about high blood pressure follow this link to our hypertension page.

Blood Analysis Machine

We use state-of-the-art Idexx in-house analyzers that need only a small amount of blood to give us immediate and detailed information on your pet’s internal status. They give us results within a few minutes, which is important when there is an emergency.

We use the Idexx ProCyte Dx Hematology Analyzer for our in-hospital CBC’s (complete Blood Cell Counts). This allows us to assess the red blood cells and white blood cells. With this test we can determine if your pet is anemic and if your pet is fighting a viral or bacterial infection.

We use the Idexx Catalyst One analyzer to check your pets internal organs, the protein levels, and electrolytes, crucial information in an emergency. Up to 30 tests can be performed as determined by our doctors. This analyzer is important when we suspect a problem with the liver, and kidneys, along with checking for diabetes mellitus, sodium and potassium levels, and the status of your pet’s immune system.

Digital Radiology

Within a few minutes we can have an assessment of some of the internal organs of your pet. In the case of trauma we are concerned with broken bones, damage to the chest, and damage to the internal organs.

The details we see with the advent of digital radiography allows us to assess the internal organs to a much greater detail than in the recent past. Follow this Digital Radiography  link to learn much more about radiographs, and to learn how we use them to make a diagnosis.

Student Learning Radiology

Emergency Treatment

Once we determine the problem and treatment we can provide a wide array of medical or surgical services.

One of the first and most important things we do is warm up pets that are hypothermic. We have a special unit that keeps towels and fluids warm at all times. It is always filled with towels and ready to go at all times.

Supplemental warmth with towels and fluids is crucial for hypothermic pets like this cat

Once a pet is stabilized we can address other problems. These problems include lacerations, broken bones, burns, poisoning, bleeding and internal organ damage.

This rabbit is getting a splint put on its front leg due to a fracture. This type of injury is painful, and the splint will decrease the pain in addition to starting the healing process. Click here to learn more.

Sometimes we need to go right into surgery to correct a major problem. Sterile surgery packs are always available for immediate use. Click link to learn more about surgery

Some of those emergency surgeries lead to wonderful results just like these pups when we perform a C-section

In addition to warming up a hypothermic pet, IV (intravenous fluids) are important to treat for shock and help support important internal organs. You can learn much more about fluids by clicking here.

We can also hospitalize your pet if needed and have a technician that lives in our building treat your pet through the night. In addition to these examples we can provide a wide array of other medical and surgical services.


Access our library on general information on the health of pets.


Monday - Friday 7:30AM - 10:00PM
Saturday 8:00AM - 10:00PM
Sunday 10:00AM - 10:00PM


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Meet some of the clients that have brought their pets to us recently.