Starting October 1, 2023, after-hours veterinary services in Regina has changed due to critical staffing shortages at the 24 Hour Animal Care Centre. The 24 Hour Animal Care Centre will be open from 8am to 8pm every day and closed through the night. This is an unfortunate circumstance which weighs heavily on the members of every veterinary practice and team in our community.

A group of veterinary clinics in Regina and the surrounding area have been working together to develop after-hours urgent-care services and going forward there will be a veterinarian on call from 8pm until 8am every night. The participating On-call veterinary clinics are:

•   Albert North Veterinary Clinic  •    Animal Clinic of Regina    •   Careport Animal Hospital   •

•   Lakewood Animal Hospital    •   Regent Park Animal Hospital • TM’z Veterinary Clinic    •

•   Vet To Pet Mobile Veterinary Services    •    Veterinary Mobility Center   •    Victoria Veterinary Clinic   •

     •    Wascana Animal Hospital   •     24 HR Animal Care Centre    •

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY – When you call our hospital when we are closed, you will have an option to be transferred to an emergency triage service. Your call will be taken by a veterinary technologist who will help determine the level of urgency of your pet’s condition and determine if you require an after-hours appointment with the veterinarian on call. The technologist will inform you of the costs associated with calling in the veterinarian and technologist. Only true life-or-death emergencies will be seen from 8pm until 8am. Within the shared on-call group, the veterinarians and technologists are taking on the emergency role throughout the night, in addition to working their regular schedule. All who participate in this after-hours on-call rotation have invested tremendously in our industry, pets, and clients.

Please be aware that only one veterinarian and one technologist will be on call each night and that clinic location will vary. Once you have spoken with the teletriage service they will direct you to which veterinary clinic you need to take your pet to. We will do everything possible so that any patient requiring emergency treatment receives timely access to veterinary care. However, similar to human emergency rooms, we will operate on a triage service to the best of our capacities.

Throughout this past year the community has lost a number of veterinary professionals. This is compounded with the fact that we do not have enough veterinarians to service all the pets in Regina. In today’s climate almost every industry is battling a shortfall of workers and this industry is no exception. The numbers are now hitting a critical level and in order to continue to provide quality care during the day, there is an immediate need to limit after-hours availability to life threatening emergencies only.

Why is the after-hours service limited to life and death emergencies only? A high percentage of emergency calls are not true emergency cases, much like what has been happening in the human ERs for many years. While many situations can be very distressing to pet owners, they are not so urgent that they need to be seen outside regular office hours. Our hospital has adapted our scheduling to allow for more urgent care spots during the day. As much as possible, please call our hospital as soon as you are aware of any changes with your pet’s condition so that we can book them an appointment.

What are we asking of our clients? For understanding and compassion as we traverse this challenging time. You may need to wait longer than typical for non-urgent appointments and wellness exams so please book them in advance whenever possible. There is no short-term fix to this shortfall of available veterinarians. We are all doing our best to provide care to our patients with the limited resources we have.

If you are unsure about your pet’s condition, utilize the following information to help determine if your pet is in a true emergency crisis. You may also use the teletriage service through the after-hours service and the technologist will help you determine if your pet can wait to be seen during regular daytime clinic hours, or if it is an emergency.

Life-Threatening Emergencies that should be seen as soon as possible

  • Severe vomiting and diarrhea in a puppy < 12 weeks old

  • Persistent retching and suspected bloat

  • Choking or open-mouth breathing

  • Pale gums

  • Active labor for 2 hours and no puppy/kitten produced

  • Dehiscence of a surgical incision with open gaping wound

  • Severe trauma (ie. hit by car, severe bite wounds, kicked by a horse)

  • Poison or Toxin ingestion

  • Unresponsive or comatose

  • Paralysis and complete inability to move

  • A male cat or dog that has not been able to pass urine for >8 hours

  • Seizing pet that is having multiple seizures in an hour or has been actively seizing for > 5 minutes

Urgent = call your veterinary clinic as soon as they open the next day to make an appointment

  • Continuous coughing or gagging or coughing up blood

  • Seizing pet that has had multiple seizures but is not actively seizing

  • Straining to pass urine or bloody urine

  • Severe bloody diarrhea

  • Suspected foreign body ingestion

  • Severe vomiting and lethargy

  • Non-severe trauma with open wound


Written by Dr. Melissa Hunchak DVM, Careport Animal Hospital