Emergency

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ER doctor with techsThe emergency service at CARE is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help with your pet’s urgent needs. Emergencies can range from life-threatening injuries to simple illnesses that just can’t wait until your veterinary office opens. Our staff is trained in emergency assessment, diagnosis and treatment so that your pet can feel better as soon as possible.

The emergency visit begins with an assessment of the severity of the illness and whether urgent treatment is needed. For some pets with less serious illnesses, this might mean waiting while our doctors attend to an animal with more immediate needs. Your stay with us also can vary depending on what tests need to be performed and whether the pet needs to remain in our hospital.

Due to high case volume, wait times are extremely variable and may be extended, especially for less critical patients. Cases will be seen in the order of severity, with the most critical being prioritized. See below for Triage Priority Levels.

Triage Priority Levels: 1, 2, 3

Caring for the Most Critical Patients First

Triage Level 1: Emergency

Pets will be triaged on arrival*:

  • Birthing difficulties
  • Bleeding (excessive)
  • Bloat (GDV)/swollen abdomen
  • Blocked cat/unable to urinate
  • Breathing difficulty/choking
  • Collapse
  • Eye trauma
  • Heatstroke
  • Hit by car
  • Seizures (active)
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Snake bite
  • Shock
  • Toxic ingestion
  • Trauma

*Partial list – please discuss your pet’s situation with our team.

Triage Level 2: Urgent

Wait times may apply based on the amount of Level 1 cases:

  • Bowel obstruction/constipation
  • Broken bone
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Hind limb paralysis
  • Hives/facial swelling
  • Laceration
  • Pain/restlessness
  • Vomiting/retching

Triage Level 3: Important

Wait times may be prolonged based on the amount of Level 1 and Level 2 cases:

  • Abscess
  • Anorexia/not eating
  • Blood in urine
  • Chronic diseases
  • Ear infection
  • Eye irritation
  • Generalized pain/restless
  • Lameness
  • Minor wounds
  • Skin conditions
We will try our best to communicate wait times and we appreciate your patience as we work diligently to provide each patient with the care they deserve.
What We Ask of You

We know you are waiting and ask that you approach our healthcare providers with the same kindness and respect that you treat your family and friends. Your support is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for allowing us the privilege of caring for your precious pet.

Triage Priority Levels: 1, 2, 3

Caring for the Most Critical Patients First

Triage Level 1: Emergency

Pets will be triaged on arrival*:

  • Birthing difficulties
  • Bleeding (excessive)
  • Bloat (GDV)/swollen abdomen
  • Blocked cat/unable to urinate
  • Breathing difficulty/choking
  • Collapse
  • Eye trauma
  • Heatstroke
  • Hit by car
  • Seizures (active)
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Snake bite
  • Shock
  • Toxic ingestion
  • Trauma

*Partial list – please discuss your pet’s situation with our team.

Triage Level 2: Urgent

Wait times may apply based on the amount of Level 1 cases:

  • Bowel obstruction/constipation
  • Broken bone
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Hind limb paralysis
  • Hives/facial swelling
  • Laceration
  • Pain/restlessness
  • Vomiting/retching

Triage Level 3: Important

Wait times may be prolonged based on the amount of Level 1 and Level 2 cases:

  • Abscess
  • Anorexia/not eating
  • Blood in urine
  • Chronic diseases
  • Ear infection
  • Eye irritation
  • Generalized pain/restless
  • Lameness
  • Minor wounds
  • Skin conditions
Please advise the front desk if the condition of your pet significantly changes while you are waiting.
What We Ask of You

We know you are waiting and ask that you approach our healthcare providers with the same kindness and respect that you treat your family and friends. Your support is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for allowing us the privilege of caring for your precious pet.

Hospital Admit Guide

If your pet is admitted for hospitalization at CARE, please review our Hospital Admit Guide to help answer questions about your pet’s stay.

Our Emergency Doctors

Stories

8th Anniversary logo

Originally posted 6/18/23

The Miraculous Rescue of Wendy

As part of CARE Charlotte’s 8th anniversary celebration, we are sharing some heartwarming stories about our patients. Our latest feature is Wendy Nofsinger, a Frenchie who went through incredible trauma and lived to tell the tale (tail? wink).

Wendy feature

In early March of 2023, Wendy’s entire right side was run over by a truck. She was rushed to the closest emergency pet clinic, where vets determined that her liver was bleeding profusely, her diaphragm was ruptured, and seventy percent of her intestines were pushed into her chest cavity. She was losing blood at an alarming rate, and she could not breathe well enough on her own to sustain life.

Given the severity of the situation, the staff at that clinic transferred the little dog by pet ambulance to CARE. Her family quickly agreed to surgery, although Wendy’s chance of survival was alarmingly slim.

What followed was an utterly amazing feat. A highly skilled team of 10 techs and four doctors worked together to save Wendy. They auto-transfused the blood from her liver, just barely keeping up with her blood loss. They performed manual ventilation because the automatic ventilator could not do the job well enough. And in just over two hours, this highly skilled, synergistic team repaired several liver lacerations, put all Wendy’s intestines back where they belonged, and closed the hole in her diaphragm.

Miraculously, Wendy survived the surgery and recovered remarkably quickly. “She’s very agile,” her owner, Sara, says barely two months after the accident. “She races and jumps and goes on long walks. My neighbors are astounded when they see her, because a lot of them saw her the way she was right after surgery, and they can’t believe that this dog looks as amazing as she does.”

When recounting that fateful day, Sara says, “Having a well oiled machine like CARE, where every person is an expert in what they do, is the reason my dog is alive and thriving.”

» Read more 8th Anniversary Stories here

CSR Profiles

Janae Clark, CSR - ER Lead

Janae Clark

CSR – ER Lead

Started

March 2022

Favorite part of the job

“Being able to help a client when they’re stressed or scared by providing good customer service when they come in for emergency situations.”

What she wishes people knew about the job

“It can be more involved than people realize being the go-between with clients and doctors/techs.”

Her furry family

Two shorthair cats: a black one named Santana (3), and a grey tabby named Sage (2).

What people might be surprised to learn

Besides karaoke (she rarely sings a song twice), Janae loves to read. “I am currently reading about 20 books at the same time. I normally read one chapter at a time out of each book until I’m finished or until one really captures me, and then I’ll binge that one book until it’s over.”

This is one of seven spotlights on some of CARE’s Client Services Representatives.

» Read more CSR Profiles here

Cailey Burdette, CSR - Daytime Lead

Cailey Burdette

CSR – Daytime Lead

Started

2021

Favorite part of the job

“Definitely getting to know the clients and their pets. It can be very stressful to bring your pet to a specialty & emergency hospital. Being able to provide a space to help them feel comfortable and confident in knowing their pet is receiving great care is very rewarding.”

Something she wishes people knew about the job

“Every day, there is something new happening, and you have to learn quickly how to adapt. Being one of the first to speak with a client about their pet who is having a true emergency, it can be hard to not carry those things with me every day. There is a lot of emotional resilience happening in the background to keep me going when working.”

Her furry family

A cat named Winston, who mostly goes by “Shrimp.” “He is a 2.5-year-old big fluff ball who loves to be held like a baby. I have had him since he was 3-months-old.”

What people might be surprised to know

“I love learning about technology! About a year ago, I built a computer from scratch. It was very challenging, but being able to see something I built work just like a store-bought computer is so awesome.”

This is one of seven spotlights on some of CARE’s Client Services Representatives.

» Read more CSR Profiles here

Nilson Rodriguez, CSR

Nilson Rodriguez

CSR

Started

April 2021

Favorite part of the job

“Working easily and diligently with my co-workers.”

Something he wishes people knew about the job

“I do really want clients to know that we are 100% wanting to help them and their pets out the best we can. I always tell them to call us with any question or request they have, while we don’t have a lot of power medical or administration wise, we do an excellent job connecting them with the people that do and see ourselves as their representatives in the hospital.”

His furry family

“I live with a 6-year-old dark sable German Shepherd named Virgil who is very energetic, friendly, and quite goofy.”

What people might be surprised to know

“When I was a kid, I traveled to Central America once a year from ages 6 to 12 (I’m from Honduras), and at some point in my life, I plan on traveling around the world as I’m interested in foreign indigenous cultures!”

This is one of seven spotlights on some of CARE’s Client Services Representatives.

» Read more CSR Profiles here

Vet Tech Profiles

Nigel Green, Shift Lead for Emergency and Intensive Care Unit

Nigel Green

Shift Lead for Emergency and Intensive Care Unit

Job responsibilities

Triages patients and floats as help between ER and ICU. Ensures the doctors have all they need. Helps with procedures such as sedation. Conducts monthly check-ins with teammates and holds monthly team meetings. Oversees the flow of patients. Troubleshoots IT.

Vet Tech education

Most of his vet tech skills came from on-the-job training. “I started with a veterinary general practitioner who took me under her wing 12 years ago. I then branched into emergency medicine.”

Bio info

He’s originally from Connecticut and moved to Charlotte at the end of 2019. He and his husband have two human children and two dog children.

What appeals to him about ER/ICU work?

The factor of the unknown, and it’s never the same day twice. “It could be the craziest day of your career, or it could be a calm one. I wanted to be challenged and to avoid going on auto-pilot.”

The first pet that I had on my own

Astro, a pit bull who was brought in by animal control and had been hit by a car. I fell in love with this dog and knew he was the one I wanted to fight for. He’s become a model (often seen in CARE photos) and is a regular blood donor.”

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?

Traveling to countries and experiencing different people, cultures, and food. His two favorite places so far are Sydney, Australia (“a bucket-list trip”) and visiting Vietnam. “They have such a rich sense of history and are genuine and friendly to anyone who visits. Also, great food.”

Originally posted as part of CARE’s celebration of National Veterinary Technician Week (Oct. 16-22, 2022).

» Read more Vet Tech Profiles here

Stories

CARE 7th Anniversary

Originally posted 6/22/22

Indy and his life-threatening emergency

CARE Charlotte is celebrating its 7th anniversary by sharing seven stories of thriving patients.

Today’s thriver: Indy, who almost died from anaphylaxis. Dr. Jill Pascarella works in the ER and cares for pets at their most challenging moment.

CARE 7th Anniversary ER Story

On Dec. 29, 2020, Indy skipped dinner, says Anthony Morris. This wasn’t unusual since Indy has IBD, managed with a prescription diet. He later threw up before going to bed. Again, not too alarming since pets occasionally may throw up.

The following day, Anthony found Indy cold and not moving. He couldn’t tell if Indy had been outside or not. They headed directly to CARE. Anthony knew they were in good hands there since Indy had previously been in CARE for a GI surgery earlier in the year.

“This was a true emergency! He was in anaphylactic shock, and we were told that he was just minutes away from death,” says Anthony. “Honestly, we weren’t expecting him to come out of CARE alive. The fact that he did and is still in good health is a miracle, in our opinion.”

Dr. Jill Pascarella was on duty that day. Indy was hospitalized and treated for anaphylaxis. “He made a remarkable recovery while hospitalized,” she said.

Anthony says the playful, affectionate Indy soon returned to taking LONG walks and lounging around the house.

The Morris family wants people to know CARE is the best place to trust with their pet’s health. The talented, skilled professionals have a great way of explaining medical issues that might be complicated or confusing, Anthony says. “They break it down into easy-to-understand terms. They are also very realistic about expectations and what exactly is needed for treatment.”

» Read more 7th Anniversary Stories here

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