Supporting pets in good times and bad: Preventing emergencies and what to do when the worst happens

At San Marco Animal Hospital, we live up to our name. We provide complete hospital services, including emergency and critical care. Our talented veterinarians and staff also work with clients from across the greater Jacksonville, Florida, area to prevent the need for urgent care and to keep their beloved dogs and cats happy and healthy.

We make it easy and affordable to keep up with the routine visits that support excellent health with an array of in-house wellness plans (for puppies, kittens, and adult cats and dogs) and with payment options like financing through CareCredit®. Pet parents have considerable peace of mind in both our abilities and in their ability to afford the best care for their family members on four legs.

An ounce of prevention …

The ingestion of poisonous or toxic plants, cleaning products, and other household items are some of the many reasons our vets see pets for emergency care. During routine well visits, we discuss off-limit things with pet parents. Flowers like lilies, for instance, have no place in the home as all parts of the plant are highly poisonous to cats. We can discuss ways to properly store trash and medications of all kinds (for both humans and pets). Regularly inventory items in your home and ensure there are truly out of curious, jumping, stubborn, and always hungry pets’ reach.

Before heading out for a walk, always do a quick check. Be sure the harness is buckled correctly and fits right. The same goes for the collar. We recommend the “two-finger” rule. By that, the collar should be sufficiently snug yet not so tight that you cannot fit two fingers underneath and between the material and your pup’s fur. Ensure leashes are properly attached. Check that tags are secure and legible. Of course, we also recommend microchipping your pet in the event that a tag is damaged, falls off, or your pet otherwise escapes. Also, never leave a pet who is tethered to a stake unsupervised.

In our often oppressive Florida humidity, limiting pets’ time outdoors and in the sun is critical. Always provide a sanctuary of cool shade and plenty of fresh water. Even as temps cool in the winter, it can be dangerous for pets left in cars. On a 70-degree day, temps inside vehicles can reach 90 degrees. Either do not take them along or bring someone else with you who can stay in the (air-conditioned) car with your pup.

When accidents happen

Contact us immediately if you think your pet has ingested something potentially harmful. It is also helpful to have information such as the name or description of the potential toxin and how long it’s been since your pet may have consumed or come in contact with it. Collect the suspected item’s packaging and any materials that may have been chewed or expelled. Please bring these items with you to our hospital (in a sealed bag as necessary).

It is always best to see your pets when they are healthy and to keep them that way! However, our hospital also has an array of in-house lab, therapeutic services, and capabilities to get your pup or cat back to feeling their best in no time. We are also accessible, open seven days a week, and accept transfers from other facilities to ensure round-the-clock observation and care. Call San Marco Animal Hospital at 904-399-5557 today with questions or to schedule an appointment at our office in Jacksonville, FL.

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We understand you and your pet.