Emergency Services

Winchelsea Veterinary Services, located in Nanaimo B.C., provides 24 hour emergency service for established clients and referrals from veterinary colleagues. We routinely travel to Port Alberni and to Ladysmith, but will consider other locations on a case-by-case basis.

Deciding what is an emergency for our pets can sometimes be difficult, especially in the absence of visible trauma, pain or distress. Fortunately, we always have a veterinarian on-call to help you with this! If you believe you have an emergency situation, PLEASE CALL THE CLINIC at 250-667-5534 as we cannot guarantee timely response to text messages or email requests. If the emergency is outside of our scope of practice as a mobile service, we will advise on access to other veterinary emergency services in our region.

Questions we will ask when you call:

What? What is the emergency and how did it occur.

Who? Who is the patient – be ready to provide details on species, breed, gender and age.

When? When did your first notice the emergency.

Where? Where is the patient located – town, neighborhood, farm.

Emergency need-to-knows:
Please be ready to provide answers to these common questions, as these details can help us determine the state of the patient.

Horses: 

  • Is the horse standing or lying down?
  • Is the horse quiet or in distress?
  • Is there a fever? A normal body temperature for a horse is 37.5 degrees Celsius, plus or minus 0.5 degrees.
  • Is the patient’s pulse elevated? A horse at rest normally has a pulse of 24 to 40 beats per minute.
  • Is the patient’s respiratory rate elevated? A normal respiratory rate for a horse ranges from 4 – 12 breathes per minute.
  • Do you hear gut sounds on both sides of the body? Monitoring gut sounds can be helpful in determining the severity of a colic episode.
  • What color are the gums? Healthy mucous membranes should be moist and a pale pink in color. Blanched or purple/blue gums are unhealthy.

Dogs & Cats: 

  • Is the animal aware of and interacting with its family and surroundings?
  • Is there a fever? A normal body temperature for a dog is 38.5 degrees Celsius, plus or minus 0.5 degrees.
  • Is the patient’s pulse elevated?
    • A normal pulse rate for dogs can range between 60-120 beats per minute, however this is breed dependent.
    • A normal pulse rate for cats can change between 110-140 beats per minute.
  • What color are the gums? Healthy gums should be moist and a pale pink in color, unless it is naturally pigmented.

For emergencies regarding other species, please contact the veterinarian on call at (250)-667-5534 and we will do our best to assist you.