Preparing for Emergencies

What do I do if I have a pet emergency?

There are several ways you can help prepare our team for your pet’s visit to our emergency room.

  • You or your primary veterinarian can call ahead at 847.459.7535 to discuss your pet’s current health concern(s) and any pertinent medical history.
  • If your primary veterinarian is available, ask them to send any recent and pertinent medical records to VSC to help expedite your visit.
  • Bring all of your pet’s current medications in their original bottles.
  • If your pet is on a special diet other than raw, please bring enough to feed them for at least 2 days.
  • Be able to provide your pet’s medical history to our triage technician.
  • Like human emergency rooms, please be prepared to wait as we are not only caring for our waiting patients, but also those who are currently hospitalized.

If it is an emergency but does not require immediate care, you and your pet may be a good candidate for our Get In Line for the ER service. To see if your pet qualifies and to Get In Line for the ER, click here.  You will be updated with current wait times and sent a text of when it is time to head to our hospital to be seen.

How do I know whether it is something that can wait until my regular veterinarian is open tomorrow?

If you are unsure if your pet is experiencing an emergency, please do not hesitate to call us at 847.459.7535. One of our experienced veterinary technicians will help you decide if it is a true emergency or not. If concerned, please do not hesitate to come and have our team examine your pet. Then, we can either administer treatment right away or advise that it is okay to wait to be seen by your regular veterinarian. Having our emergency animal team as a resource means we’re always just a phone call or visit away.

How do I get to Veterinary Specialty Center’s emergency animal clinic?

Simply refer to our directions page or enter our address – 2051 Waukegan Road, Bannockburn, IL 60015 – into your GPS.

How do I avoid a visit to your emergency animal clinic?

Get regular health exams with your primary care veterinarian for each pet in your household. This is the best way to catch any potential problems before they become serious. Also, have your pet examined at the first sign of illness or change in behavior. Animals are very good at hiding their symptoms and by the time you notice them, it may already be a serious condition.


Starting Monday, April 8th through the end of September, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will begin their road resurfacing project along Waukegan Road from Lake Cook Road to Half Day Road (IL 22). Please allow additional travel time to our hospital during the construction. Learn More: Waukegan Road Resurfacing Project