Today, let’s talk about UrgentVet. Can you remember a time when you needed to visit an urgent care facility? Often this is a time when you are uncomfortable, seeking immediate relief, and can’t schedule an appointment with your primary doctor. Personally, urgent care had helped to control an incessant cough so that I could sleep and provided relief when I accidentally removed a portion of my finger while using a spiralizer (you read that right). While urgent care is heavily utilized in human medicine, it is a concept that has not been readily available in veterinary medicine – until now! Our goal is to mimic human urgent care and to fill the gap between your primary hospital and an actual emergency vet clinics. Our hours and facility are designed with that model in mind. In this post, I want to shed light on what we are equipped to treat and what you can expect during your visit. You can visit one of our locations in Belmont, NC, Fort Mill, SC, or Westchase, FL.

We strive to be available when your pet can’t wait until tomorrow or the next available appointment to feel better. We are open nights, weekends, and holidays, and we are a walk-in facility so that you do not have to schedule an appointment when your pet needs care quickly. During the week, our hours are 3 pm to 11 pm. By 3 pm, most general practices are full for the day, and it can be challenging to get a last minute appointment – that’s where we come in! Similarly, we are open for most of the day (10 am – 8 pm) on weekends, since most general practices are closed or have limited hours on Saturday and Sunday. You likely noticed that we are not open overnight, and this is because we are here for urgent conditions, but not real emergencies or hospitalization.

What conditions are appropriate for UrgentVet? Any case that requires immediate attention but is not severe enough to require hospitalization, intensive monitoring, or surgery is suitable for UrgentVet. The list of problems we treat is extensive and can be found here, but they range from minor wound repair and skin conditions, lameness, gastrointestinal or urinary signs to any time your pet just isn’t acting right. If your pet has suffered a serious trauma such as a hit by a car, is having difficulty breathing, or has gums that are white, this is likely a real emergency, and we recommend going straight to an emergency hospital.

What can you expect when you visit UrgentVet? While our focus is urgent care, we never want your visit to feel rushed. We deliver rapid relief but thoughtful and compassionate care. We are fortunate to have a strong team of doctors and staff working here who are passionate about what they do, and we make every effort to ensure that you and your furry family member have a positive experience.   We have a fear-free facility, and we spare no effort to make a potentially stressful situation for you and your pet as calm and positive as possible. We have a designated cat room with low lighting, calming music, and Feliway diffusers to promote a relaxing environment. It is not uncommon for me to walk into the cat room to find a patient happily purring on its’ blanket. Our dog rooms are also equipped with music and pheromones to help minimize stress.

Upon entering UrgentVet, a technician or assistant will get you settled into one of our five exam rooms and get you checked in. To expedite this process, you can pre-register online. Our team will collect a thorough history and your pet’s vital signs to present to the veterinarian. As the vet, I speak with you more about your pet’s presenting condition and perform a physical exam. Based on my findings, I make recommendations if further diagnostics are necessary. We always provide an estimate, so there are never any financial surprises, and so that we can work together to come up with a plan that seems appropriate.

Our goal is to provide prompt and effective relief and to maintain clear communication and updates with your primary veterinarian. We are equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to get you answers quickly. If your pet is diagnosed with a condition that requires hospitalization, advanced care, or surgery, we will discuss what options are right for you and your pet. We always send a copy of your pet’s medical record to your primary veterinarian within 24 hours of your visit (often sooner!), so that they are up to date on any care and diagnosis your pet receives. If your pet requires hospitalization, we make sure to send you with a copy of any diagnostics performed here and call your destination so that they are informed and prepared for your arrival.

While our hope is that your pet remains happy and healthy, we look forward to being available any time your pet can’t wait to feel better.

Dr. Amelia Knight is an associate veterinarian who joined UrgentVet in August 2016. She originally grew up in Maine where she spent the majority of her childhood in the barn and horse-back riding. She received her B.A. in Biology at Wheaton College in Massachusetts and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. Dr. Knight received her certification in acupuncture from the Medical Acupuncture for Veterinarians program in Colorado. She worked in a small animal general practice in Pittsburgh for two years before moving south to Charlotte this summer. While she misses the special bond she created with her clients and patients in general practice, she loves the challenge of urgent care and the opportunity to provide rapid relief and quality care to her patients at UrgentVet.

She lives with her husband and adorable and sweet Pitt Bull, Jameson. During her free time, Dr. Knight stays very active and loves running, hiking, trying new fitness classes, or taking yoga classes in unique spots like breweries and rooftops throughout Charlotte. When she’s not moving, she loves exploring Charlotte and all of the wonderful restaurants it has to offer.