Who We Are

The Ottawa Animal Emergency & Specialty Hospital (OAESH) is the first hospital of its kind; a veterinarian-owned, 24-hour emergency and specialty facility serving Ottawa, Gatineau, and the surrounding area. We welcome emergency transfers and walk-in patients from any clinic in the region. Specialty services require an appointment with the proper specialist.

Our 9,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility is centrally located in Ottawa just off Highway 417 at Vanier Parkway.

Our Philosophy

The Ottawa Animal Emergency & Specialty Hospital staff are proud to provide our clients with 24-hour emergency and specialty services where they feel “at home,” like they are at their own clinic. The employees, with the support of their members and founders, have nurtured this environment based on compassion and caring for veterinary patients, their owners, and their referring veterinarian.

What to Expect During an Emergency

1. Check-in and first assessment

When you arrive at the Animal Emergency & Specialty Hospital and check in at the desk, your pet will immediately be triaged by one of our registered veterinary technicians (RVTs), and brought to the attention of the attending emergency veterinarian.

Depending on the severity of the emergency, your pet may be taken straight back to the treatment room for assessment and stabilization, or you will both be brought into an exam room for history-taking and primary assessment of your animal’s condition. If the emergency is not life-threatening, you may be asked to wait in the waiting room until the veterinarian has dealt with more critical patients.

During your visit with us, you will be frequently updated on the wait time and status of your pet.

Once your pet has been evaluated by the veterinarian, you will be provided with an explanation of your pet’s condition, a treatment plan (including any diagnostic tests recommended), and an estimated financial quote for the care.

2. Estimated financial quote and 75% deposit

At this point you will be given the opportunity to discuss the plan with the veterinarian, and once you have agreed upon a course of action, you will be asked to leave a deposit of 75% of your projected expenses. As your pet is treated, every attempt will be made to contact you and discuss potential changes to your animal’s condition and the treatment plan, as well as the cost of these potential changes.

Your pet may be admitted for the day or the night for in-hospital care, at which point you may be advised to return home. In some cases, the veterinarian may ask you to remain in the hospital pending preliminary test results that may change the differential diagnosis, prognosis, and course of action.

3. Authorization form and hospitalization

As soon as you sign the treatment plan authorization form and leave the deposit, your pet will be placed in a clearly identified cage in which they will remain for the duration of their stay.

4. Leave no personal belongings behind

Other than their personal collar, please do not leave any personal belongings with your pet. Objects left in cages are washed every day, which increases the risk of your belongings being lost or damaged. Our hospital provides blankets and leashes, and we will make sure that your pet is as comfortable as possible at all times.

5. Pet diet and medication

If your pet requires medication or a special diet, please bring it to our attention and provide us with the detailed information. If your animal doesn’t need a special type of food or if the required special food is available at the hospital, we will provide it.

6. Working as a team with your primary veterinarian

The morning following your visit, our staff will notify your primary veterinarian. Full records, including digital radiographs (Xrays) and blood test results will be instantly available to them.

7. Morning transfer of care

If your pet has been admitted for the night for treatment and requires additional in-hospital care, three options will be offered to you, pending the medical condition and its severity: 1) It may be recommended that you leave your pet with our emergency staff, who are present during the day 2) It may be recommended to transfer your pet to a specialty service (e.g. surgery, internal medicine, etc.) for further assessment and specialized care, or 3) You may ask for a transfer back to your primary-care veterinarian.

8. Diagnostic and treatment procedures

After admission, we will proceed as soon as possible with the required approved procedures tailored to each patient and their condition (e.g. laboratory testing, thoracic or abdominal radiography, partial thoracic or abdominal ultrasound, pain medication, IV fluid therapy, emergency surgery, etc.). As with human emergencies, sick animals are treated in order of priority. If your pet is in critical condition, they will require immediate treatment, whereas a stable pet may have to temporarily wait their turn while sicker pets are cared for.

9. Patient record and treatment sheet

Once your pet is admitted, the veterinarian will inform the registered veterinary technicians as to which tests need to be done first, which parameters need to be monitored closely, and what treatment is required. Test results and other information will be recorded on a treatment sheet identified with your pet’s name. Our certified technicians are competent and devoted to your pet’s care and comfort. They have frequent and direct contact with hospitalized pets and their owners, as the technicians represent a crucial link between owner and veterinarian, and are under the direct supervision of the veterinarian(s) on duty.

10. Daily updates and follow-ups

Every hospitalized animal is fully examined at least twice a day by the veterinarian involved with the case. These examinations help the veterinarian evaluate the progression of the animal’s initial problem, and monitor changes that could have occurred during their hospitalization. At each veterinarian shift change, every case is discussed and transferred.