24hr Emergency Veterinarian

The large animal group at Salmon Brook Veterinary Hospital provides 24 hour emergency coverage, 365 days a year for our patients.  Please call 860-653-7238 and our assigned emergency veterinarian will return your call.  We understand emergencies can be frightening and will do everything in our power to provide prompt service.

Colic – Equine colic can range from mild, transient abdominal discomfort to life-threatening emergencies.  Early and prompt recognition is important.  Some more common signs include:

  • Rolling, pawing, flank watching
  • Standing “parked out” or attempting to urinate without doing so
  • Decreased manure
  • Decreased interest in food
  • Elevated rate of breathing with flaring of the nostrils

When calling to discuss a colic, if possible please be prepared to answer:

  • Age/Breed/Sex of horse
  • Clinical signs and severity
  • Length of time signs have been occurring
  • Any treatments given

Lacerations – Horses seem to find numerous ways to obtain lacerations; while some require only gentle cleaning and monitoring, others are considered emergencies especially if excessive bleeding or location near a joint is evident.  Please do not hesitate to call and discuss a laceration if you are unsure if it needs professional attention.

Choke – Equine choke, or esophageal obstruction, is a when a bolus of feed (or even bedding), gets lodged in the esophagus.  Horses will display signs of coughing, retching, anxiety and sometimes profuse nasal discharge.  If you suspect your horse is choking,

  • Remove all feed
  • Place him in a quiet, low-stress environment

Many horses can pass a choke on their own, but please call us if you suspect this is occurring.

Other potentially emergent situations 

  • Horse is down/recumbent and unable to rise
  • Injury to the eye or eyelid
  • Acute lameness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Mare in labor for more than 20 minutes with no progress