Transporting an Injured Pet to a Veterinary Hospital

November 14, 2016
American Veterinarian Editorial Staff

Elke Rudloff, DVM, DACVECC, clinical specialist and residency trauma supervisor at Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists, explains how to transport animals safely from the scene of an accident to a veterinary hospital.

Elke Rudloff, DVM, DACVECC, clinical specialist and residency trauma supervisor at Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists, explains how to transport animals safely from the scene of an accident to a veterinary hospital.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“The best way to transport an animal from the scene of an accident [to a] veterinary hospital is, first, identify whether the [animal] can walk on their own or not, and if they can’t walk on their own, if it’s a dog, [you’ll] want to put them on some sort of flat surface, to try to protect their spine; [you can] use a doubled-over cardboard, slide the dog on it, and then move that dog into the car.

If it’s a cat that isn’t moving, ideally you’d put them in a box [or] a carrier if you have one, because cats can become very anxious in a car and you want them in an enclosed space so that they don’t hurt themselves or the people that are transporting them. In very desperate situations, if you have a pillow case that you [can use to] cover them up [and] scoop them up [with], or a blanket to scoop them up into, that might be the safest way to move them to [a] veterinary hospital.

Once they get to the veterinary hospital, [you] should ask if there is a gurney that the personnel can come out with and transport the pet [inside, so that you can] maintain [the animal] on a flat surface.”