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Old 09.11.2014, 16:01
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In case you have a pet emergency.

I'm not sure what the form is here in Switzerland when you have an out of hours pet emergency, friday night, sunday morning, holidays, maybe someone can comment,

I believe if you are home and close to your vet, you call them first, if you are away from home maybe this website will help.

I found this website searching tierpraxis regionalen Notfalldienst schweiz / vet? regional emergency ch

Does anyone have any experience with this?

Re a pet ambulance, does this exist in switzerland? the tierambulanz seems more a praxis than an ambulance service.

As an alternative does anyone have experience with taxis, will they transport a sick pet, a dog?

Some rescue services in other countries will rescue your dog from a mountain if your dog falls ill. Is this possible here, could i call a number if my dog got sick on a hike?
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Old 09.11.2014, 16:58
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Re: In case you have a pet emergency.

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I'm not sure what the form is here in Switzerland when you have an out of hours pet emergency, friday night, sunday morning, holidays, maybe someone can comment,

I believe if you are home and close to your vet, you call them first, if you are away from home maybe this website will help.

I found this website searching tierpraxis regionalen Notfalldienst schweiz / vet? regional emergency ch

Does anyone have any experience with this?
I have spent too many nights at the emergency clinic...

What one should do depends on the nature of the emergency, one's confidence in one's own ability to judge the level of emergency.

Most practices will have a cover group where area vets band together so that one vet covers each day of the week on a rota basis. One should first call one's own vet's practice number; there is likely a recording telling you who is on call that evening and giving the number to reach them. Some practices will automatically switch to an answering service who will then tell you which vet to call.

If one is not sure whether this is or is not an emergency, this is the best way to go. The on-call vet usually calls you back, discusses the situation, then will give advise or ask you to come into his/her practice.

Alternatively, there are several 24/7 emergency clinics; these usually are larger clinics which have the advantage of all the specialist equipment and expertise on hand. These are already staffed after-hours, so there is less 'push-back', less lost time, which sometimes one might (unfortunately) encounter when calling a vet who has to go and open up his practice when you are not one of his usual clients.

Because most of my emergencies will require specialist care (given the known health issues of my crew), I usually go straight to the hospital. There are two 24/7 clinics I go to, which I go to depends on the nature of the emergency. Always call the hospital first. As with the on-call rota, the vet will discuss the situation with you and give you further instructions.

In Hunenberg ZG:
http://www.ennetseeklinik.ch/site/index.cfm

And the Tierspital in Zürich
http://www.tierspital.uzh.ch/index.html

Hopefully other posters will add their 24/7 emergency clinic details.

It should be noted that when time is of the essence - for instance, gastric torsion - go to the closest vet, even if you later have to transfer to the hospital.

---

It's a good idea to to discuss the 'what ifs' with your own vet during a regular appointment, make sure you understand the set-up, who to call when, have the appropriate addresses programmed into your GPS, etc. Be prepared.


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As an alternative does anyone have experience with taxis, will they transport a sick pet, a dog?
Taxis are hit and miss - some will, many won't. If you rely on taxis, look in advance for a service that will transport animals, and from time to time check that they will still do so. Be prepared to bring seat covers, cleaning materials, etc. as some taxis will not pick your animal up without them. And be prepared to pay a cleaning fee if necessary.

FYI, sometimes one can get thrown off the train/tram when one's pet is sick as well.

The dogs are the reason a car is a necessity to me - in an emergency there simply is not time to call a cab, a friend, take a convoluted train/bus route, etc.

If one does not have a car, one really needs to work out an emergency transport plan (friends, taxis, etc.) well in advance.

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Some rescue services in other countries will rescue your dog from a mountain if your dog falls ill. Is this possible here, could i call a number if my dog got sick on a hike?
According to REGA, in the case where a person is injured:

Sollte es zu einem Einsatz für einen Patienten mit einem vierbeinigen Begleiter kommen, liegt der Entscheid, ob der Hund im Helikopter mitfliegen kann, bei der Crew. Diese muss auch die Grösse des Tieres und die medizinischen Umstände berücksichtigen. Sollte es nicht möglich sein, den Hund zu transportieren, wird man sich auf jeden Fall darum kümmern, dass dieser auf direktem Weg nach Hause kommt oder Ihnen vertrauten Personen übergeben wird.


Roughly: it's up to the rescue crew to decide if your dog can be transported, or not. This will depend on the size of the animal, and the medical situation.

(My note: one reason never to hike alone. Always have a second person with you, doG forbid that you would have to leave your dog on the mountain...)

REGA famously transports injured cows... but I could not find anything that says if REGA will transport an injured dog. Does anyone know?

I've had to hike down a mountain with an injured 30kg collie. When hiking with dogs, always carry a first aid pack, including materials that can be made into a stretcher or carry harness. We made a simple stretcher out of ripstop nylon, a simple length of fabric with channels sewn into the sides. We slip our trekking poles into the channels - voila, a stretcher. Rolls up small, fits in the hiking pack. The dogs hike in Ruffwear harnesses rather than just a collar/lead, as these can be strapped to us if a carry harness is necessary.

And it goes without saying, make sure you know basic canine first aid. One should also look up the nearest emergency vet practice before starting out hiking in an unfamiliar area. Some vets offer a first-aid seminar from time to time - ask your vet or trainer.

---

Good thread Cath - these are questions every pet owner should ask and research well ahead of time.


ETA:

For those who have not yet reached a functional level of local language skills, make sure you learn the basic 'this is an emergency' conversation. Even if your own vet speaks English, chances are that the answering service or other gate-keeper does not. Also make sure you know the D/F/I for common emergency-type symptoms.

Last edited by meloncollie; 09.11.2014 at 17:28.
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Old 10.11.2014, 09:16
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Re: In case you have a pet emergency.

I live in the area and can vouch for Ennetsee Klinik. They are more of a 24/7 ER unit for furry beasts. I have had to use their weekend or after hours emergency facilities on several occasions. They really are very good and have saved my kitty several times over.

Using their emergency services is not cheap, but then I like my cat.
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Old 10.11.2014, 10:45
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Re: In case you have a pet emergency.

I've used Tierspital Zurich, Tierspital Bern (only place in the country that does dialysis for animals btw) and most recently the Ennetseeklinik. All excellent. Ennetseeklinik was a bit more expensive than the others, but then it's the one that's a private outfit and not associated with a university. OTOH it's less of a labyrinth and doesn't have as many patients through its door. It's really down to which is closer to you as the vets in all 3 establishments care greatly about their patients IME
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Old 10.11.2014, 11:59
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Re: In case you have a pet emergency.

meloncollie this is great information, and the question raised is equally awesome - this is something we all need to have in the back of our minds if we are pet parents.

About assessing the situation; we have purchased a medical handbook on cats written by a vet especially for owners, where we can look up symptoms etc and hopefully get a rough idea of what the situation is in case of emergency. Our vet also takes round-the-clock emergency calls. (Dr. Karl Güller in Bern)

We don't own a car either, however there is a mobility parking lot situated a mere 3 minute walk from our apartment, and we usually have no trouble getting a car from there, even on short notice (except for weekends in the daytime). If you don't already have Mobility, look into it - of course you would ideally need to be two people to transport a sick pet - one driving, one taking care/keeping an eye on the patient - it's also super great value and useful for many other purposes!
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Old 10.11.2014, 18:18
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Re: In case you have a pet emergency.

Another FYI: Many, perhaps most, practices will charge a fee for after-hours emergencies. This is usually somewhere in the CHF 100-200 neighborhood.


---

Found this re: the question of REGA and transporting injured pets:
http://www.rega.ch/de/rega-unterstuetzen/faq.aspx

Besteht die Möglichkeit, meinem Hund - wie der Landwirt sein Rindvieh - in der Familiengönnerschaft miteinzuschliessen?

Nein, denn die Rega bezweckt, in Not geratenen und hilfsbedürftigen Menschen zu helfen. Deswegen operiert sie mit qualitativ hoch stehenden Mitteln und einer ausgebildeten Besatzung mit Notarzt. Ein Rega-Einsatz gilt somit grundsätzlich Menschen. Für die Rettung von Tieren (mit Ausnahme der Nutztiere in der Berglandwirtschaft) sind andere Organisationen zuständig.


Roughly:

Is it possible to enroll my dog in the family membership, as the farmer does his cows?

No, Rega aims to help people in need. They operate with a crew highly trained for (human) medical emergencies. Rega rescue applies in principle only to people. For the rescue of animals (with the exception of livestock in mountain farming) other organizations are responsible.


---

I've tried to find which other organizations would offer mountain rescue of an injured dog, but so far Google is not being my friend today. Some discussion boards recommend getting in touch with a SAC club, some with private helicopter firms... I assume a private rescue operation would be quite expensive.

Just underscores the need to consider your four footed friend in following basic safety rules when hiking in the mountains, and to be prepared.

---

Please post any other mountain rescue ideas if you have them, folks, as well as the contact details of other 24/7 emergency clinics, and animal taxi services.


ETA:

Just realized that Tierrettungsdienst (ZH and surrounding areas) will also transport your pet - it's not just for injured strays.

http://www.tierrettungsdienst.ch/h/tierrettung_7.php

However, do think about timing. Their (voluntary) helpers might be on the other side of the city, out on other calls, etc. We pet owners should all have a plan in place for quick local transport in case of a time-critical emergency.

Last edited by meloncollie; 10.11.2014 at 19:55.
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Old 11.11.2014, 00:33
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Re: In case you have a pet emergency.

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I'm not sure what the form is here in Switzerland when you have an out of hours pet emergency, friday night, sunday morning, holidays, maybe someone can comment...
My experience with emergencies outside of regular opening hours is that the resources available at local vets after hours varies greatly. In many cases it may make more sense just to go to an animal hospital. I think it really depends on the nature and severity of the emergency and the distance to a nearest hospital.

I know in the Baden area, for example, that the local vets alternate providing after hours care and the name of the vet on call during weekends and holidays is published in local papers.
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Old 11.11.2014, 15:41
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Re: In case you have a pet emergency.

I can recommend the clinic in Aarau region - Tierklinik Aarau West, it has a very good emergency team
http://www.tierklinikaw.ch/index.cfm...=0&hpn=1&sbn=5

We've had experience there with two of our cats and with a leguan, they have a big choice of specialists during out of office hours. Sometimes is worth just giving a call and getting an advice.
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Old 11.11.2014, 16:31
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Re: In case you have a pet emergency.

I also highly recommend Tierklinik Aarau West.

My local vet in Basel referred me to them when one of my babies was super sick and he couldn't diagnose. They were wonderful. Everyone spoke English to me, explained all procedures in detail (as I like it coming from the US), and kept looking until they found the problem. My dog went through an MRI and endoscopy. Even after referring me back to my local vet, they kept checking in to see her progress. In short, they were wonderful to deal with during a very scary and difficult time.
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Old 11.11.2014, 23:33
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Re: In case you have a pet emergency.

Another vote for Aarau West - although we are from ZH, we usually go there - to dr. Schellenberg. My dog choose him (she likes him very much) so we have followed him from Tierspital Zürich. He is a great vet and he speaks excellent English.

We also go to Tierspital Zürich when necessary. I always had best experiences with dr. Glaus.
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Old 12.11.2014, 10:28
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Re: In case you have a pet emergency.

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I always had best experiences with dr. Glaus.
A veritable saint.

Herr Dr Professor, head of the department - yet he himself worked all through the night with St. Swimbo. He was so kind to let us stay so that we could be with her through the end. A brilliant vet, and a very good man.
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Old 12.11.2014, 10:35
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Re: In case you have a pet emergency.

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My experience with emergencies outside of regular opening hours is that the resources available at local vets after hours varies greatly. In many cases it may make more sense just to go to an animal hospital. I think it really depends on the nature and severity of the emergency and the distance to a nearest hospital.

I know in the Baden area, for example, that the local vets alternate providing after hours care and the name of the vet on call during weekends and holidays is published in local papers.
This is how it works here too. You can find out the number of the emergency vet either by phoning your regular vet or ringing the number published in the local paper every week. As you say the facilities offered after hours varies very greatly depending on the vet.

As far as I know the neares animal hospital to us is in Bern so it makes more sense to contact the local emergency vet first unless the emergency vet is further away ( which in our case is entirely possible).
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Old 12.11.2014, 14:45
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Re: In case you have a pet emergency.

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He was so kind to let us stay so that we could be with her through the end. A brilliant vet, and a very good man.
Every vet I've seen in Switzerland has been strong on the importance and therapeutic value of the bond between animal and owner - not always the case in the UK I found. I actually think the veterinary system here is the best value shy of the GA
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Old 17.11.2014, 12:25
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Re: In case you have a pet emergency.

Ah, I remember when we first arrived in CH and we were also thinking about this...

I figured out my dogs' Vet, hospital, emergency, medicine, food before I even thought about ours

I couldn't find an emergency hospital for pets in our area. So, I did the next best thing and looked for a vet with emergency services/hours.

The Vet I chose is well equipped, and can handle emergencies. On the first visit, I spoke to the Vet about what to do in emergency situations.

Fortunately, my Vet is open half-day on Saturday, and a couple of evenings during the week. For late night calls, or Sunday emergencies you would call the office. Someone is always there to answer. You tell them the emergency, and they will guide you on the phone as to whether the dog should come in. If so, they will ask when you will arrive, and a veterinarian will be there ready for you and your pet. The same is done in the case of your pet's death (with my Veterinarian's office anyway).

There is an emergency fee that is added to any service done during an emergency visit (100ch at my Vet).

I hope this is helpful.
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Old 17.11.2014, 12:56
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Re: In case you have a pet emergency.

I also wanted to add on in regards to hiking with your dog.

I made up a couple of first aid kits that were designed for all of us, dogs included. One small kit that we would fit in a backpack and would carry that while hiking, and one larger first aid kit that we kept in our car.

The idea I had was that if something were to happen while hiking, the smaller kit was for minor problems or a quick fix until we could get to the car where the larger kit had more items for serious emergencies.

I always pack a thin light weight picnic cloth/blanket that could be used to drag a person or dog out of harms way if they were unconscious or could not move. The blanket could also be used to transport the dog, and keep it warm or from going into shock.

We also have a thicker blanket in the car that is part of the larger first aid kit. This can be used to make the person or dog comfortable. Help with heavy bleeding, used to apply pressure.

Inside my smaller kit I include:
CPR and basic first aid instructions
Plasters
gloves
scissors
disinfecting wipes
tweezers
Lots of gauze of all shapes and size and thickness, sterile gauze and cotton pads.
Gauze wrap/tape.
Allergy tablets used for us and the dogs (and dosing instructions for the dogs)
Pain medication (Aspirin)
Burn Salve
Itch cream
Wound Cream
A lighter
A marker
Bug Repellent
Sun Cream
Toilet paper

It's a good idea to bring enough water for every person hiking, and every dog, and keep extra water in the car.

On hot days, I would bring a thin medium sized absorbent dish towel and soak that in water from the stream/river and put that on my dog to help cool them off quickly if I thought they were too hot.

Hmm, there's many other things, but I can't think of them all .
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Old 18.11.2014, 09:41
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Re: In case you have a pet emergency.

All excellent advice. We are in Vaud, and our vet gave us a 24/7 emergency number where 6 clinics in our area are connected. You don't always know which one is on call but if you call the number they will tell you where to go. Our care has been excellent at these clinics. Some poison berries she ate off a tree, etc, sometimes in the middle of the night! We have a car, but if you don't, suggest making plans with people who have dogs (and a car) and build a network. I have taken my neighbor (who does not have a car) and her dog to emergency a couple of times in the middle of the night. If you have a dog, it seems that people don't hesitate to help, so a network is important. And for very major injuries, the clinic in Bern is great. I have helped my neighbor with her dog there, and supposedly it is the best in CH for major situations.
Also, think about where you take the dog and potential dangers. We love to go on hikes with her in the woods, but we never take her to the mountains as she is a small dog and doesn't do well with high altitudes. We learned this every time we go over the pass driving and she pukes!
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Old 23.11.2014, 14:20
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Re: In case you have a pet emergency.

just a little note to give some idea of the practicalities of having a sick large pet and not living in a large city.

vet emergency numbers
i tested my local vets by calling their numbers out of hours and the message is in all 4 cases (even myvet in cham) in swiss german, the numbers can be hard to understand because they don't say 4 1 3 2, they say fourty one, thirtytwo, in swiss german, even with german, only a little bit of stress with make this discombobulating.
you can ask at your vet at opening times, which melloncollie advises and i agree with, the problem is this number may change, this weekend its a certain vets number to call, it could be another one another week?
to avoid a problem learn your swiss german numbers? its only 10.

transporting a largish pet without a car
i bought the stroller attachment to the bike trailer, half a bag of frolic and a quarter pound of cheddar and she's more comfortable in it. It means i can bike her to the vet or get her to the train or bus station.
find a few routes to the vet, when my dog was sick the main bike route was closed for 3 days.
i haven't called the taxis to find out if they will take a sick dog but i do have a mattress protector that may swing it in our favour, not sure why as i am not incontinent...

communications when you are not in a big town.
if your not in a big town and your internet goes down you may find yourself quite blind with no vet numbers, no way to find out where the nearest vet is, which is why have
a) backup internet plan
look at the map on monzoon and you will see hotspots, you can download the ap on your iPad,
- it shows you free access (restaurants hotels)
- you can also buy hourly weekly monthly access.
- mcDs, Starbucks, migros (not exactly after hours or in a small town)
- google now, before there is a problem for local hotels with free wifi in their restaurants so you know where they are (they tend to be open after hours)
b) find your local vet on the map before there is a problem
c) put/sync vet numbers in your Skype, iPad, phone
d) check your phone has enough money in it, (you can run out unknowingly) if you are a Skype user rather than a mobile user.(you need internet to upload more money)

There are some times when everything can be stacked against you and the final hurdle is knowing when to and being able to ask someone for help.
If you are some combination of characteristics that make it hard for you to ask a neighbour for help, i suspect thats a lot of us. Maybe be aware you don't minimise the level of illness of your dog for this reason.

If you have single neighbours without cars, it would be nice, as one of my kindly neighbours did, to offer to take them to the vet if there is a problem.
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Old 24.11.2014, 16:21
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Re: In case you have a pet emergency.

Hey Cath-
How rural are you? Close to a farm? I heard also, if you are in that type of rural area, make friends with the farmers, take your dog around -- in an emergency they are willing to help and know vets asap. If you are stuck in the middle, (suburbs, hmmmm). Will try to think of a better situation.
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Old 25.11.2014, 00:19
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Re: In case you have a pet emergency.

We had to call the veterinarian on Sunday night. It's the vet who knows our eldest dog very well and she knows that if we call, it must be something that we feel cannot wait until morning.

Not all vets have emergency hours but if yours does, before you call it is best to be prepared with notes with your pet's symptoms. Be sure to take your pet's temperature.

Also, after hours there is generally no assistant on hand to help the doctor so you may need to be prepared to help.
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Old 25.11.2014, 11:46
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Re: In case you have a pet emergency.

Cath, there are a few vets whose practice model is a house visit. Googling 'Tierarzt Hausbesuch' comes up with these, for instance:

http://www.flyingdogtor.ch
http://www.mobile-kleintier-praxis.c...s-1/index.html

If you are not mobile, perhaps something like this might be a solution? I would guess, however, that these practices function as others do, that is, normal visiting hours. Whether one can call on them in a middle-of-the-night emergency is something that one would need to discuss after becoming a patient of the practice.

Also, some vets in traditional set-ups also offer house visits to their established patients if one lives within a certain radius of the practice. (There might be an extra charge for the service, and whether it can be done out of hours/on an emergency basis needs to be discussed with the vet.)

It should be born in mind, though, there may be a limit to what can be done in a house visit. For many emergencies, one often needs the equipment available only at a practice or hospital.


But something to look into if you do not have your own transportation.

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We had to call the veterinarian on Sunday night.
I'm sorry to hear this Mrs D - Thumbs pressed and paws crossed for your girl.
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