Why Pet Insurance?

How Much Does an Emergency Vet Visit Cost?

The vet bill for an emergency vet visit will usually depend on whether it is for a cat or a dog and other factors like the breed, type of emergency, location and the services needed like diagnostics, medications, etc.

It will be difficult for us to give you an exact answer as on average it can be anywhere between $2000 - $5000+.1 To understand better, let us first define an emergency.

What is an emergency in pets?

A medical emergency in pets is a serious and often sudden health condition that usually requires immediate veterinary attention to help prevent severe harm or death. Here are some examples that can be called an emergency in pets –

  • Trauma – Accidents, falls, animal attacks, etc. leading to fractures, deep wounds or excessive bleeding.

  • Labored breathing – Rapid or shallow breathing or respiratory distress such as wheezing, choking, or gasping for air.

  • Collapse – Sudden unconsciousness or unresponsiveness

  • Seizures – Recurrent or prolonged ones

  • Paralysis – Sudden limping, or inability to use one or more limbs.

  • Bloody vomit – Constant vomiting or diarrhea with mucus or blood in it.

  • Allergic reaction – Face or muzzle swelling, excessive itching, or difficulty breathing as a reaction to certain allergy

  • Stroke - Excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, vomiting, or collapse after exposure to heavy heat.

  • Pregnancy issues – Inability of a pregnant dog or cat to deliver pups after the water-breaking.

These are the most common cases of emergency reported by dog and cat parents.1 Apart from these, eye injuries, belly bloating, poisoning, hypothermia, etc. are also some medical conditions that may require an emergency vet visit.

How Much Does an Emergency Vet Cost?

Emergency costs can be broken down into the components that it involves. They can include the following2

  • Diagnostics including blood work, imaging, exams, etc. - $180 - $450

  • Pain Medications - $40 - $80

  • Hospitalization (if needed) - $800 - $2500 (depending on the type of facility and number of days)

  • IV fluids - $60 - $95

  • Surgery - $1500 - $5000 or more

How Much Does It Cost for an Emergency Treatment for Pets?

We can dive further into looking at average emergency vet bills depending on the medical condition. For all the illnesses mentioned above that may require emergency visits to the vet, the average costs are –

  • Broken bones - $200 - $2000 - Costs can vary depending on whether your pet needs only a split or whether treatment will require surgery4

  • Eye injuries - $200 - $2500 – While this is a large range, the average cost of treatment is $6005

  • Gastrointestinal conditions like gastroenteritis - $2000 - $100006

  • Kidney Disease - $1000 - $30007

  • Anaphylaxis - $500 - $50008 – While this range is extensive, the average cost of treatment is $2000.

You may feel these treatments may cost a little more in an emergency. There are reasons for this.2

Why is an Emergency Vet Service more expensive?

  • The staff is highly trained for emergencies that come their way from car accidents to cancer.

  • Emergency vet facilities include ICUs, oxygen cages, advanced medical equipment like CT scans and MRIs, etc. These are usually missing at a traditional vet practice.

  • Emergency vet clinics work off hours like nights and holidays as an incident can occur at any time and time plays an important role in the treatment.


We know that taking care of a pet can become difficult at times owing to the financial burden, especially during emergencies. Here are some facts that a survey brought out.3

  • 16% of pet owners lost a pet because they could not afford vet care.

  • Around 33% of pet owners, who did not have pet insurance, said that they avoid taking their pet to the vet to avoid a high bill.

  • Around 30% of pet parents said they could not afford emergency care for their pets.

  • Roughly 83% of pet owners required at least one vet visit in a year.

  • 25% of them required emergency vet visits.

How to pay for an emergency vet visit?

While you can dip into your savings and pay for the emergency vet bill with your card, with pet insurance you can get up to 90% back of the eligible costs. Depending on the cause of the emergency visit, many emergency cases can be covered under a pet health insurance plan. And if you’re thinking that only something major can induce an emergency, you’re wrong. Something as basic as your dog or cat eating a lot of chocolate can also call for an emergency visit. And the vet bill for treating it can put a significant dent in your savings.

How can pet health insurance help during an emergency?

If your dog or a cat gets into a fight and gets injured or eats something they are not supposed to and you have to run to an emergency vet clinic, pet insurance can help you ensure you can get the best care for your pet with less worry about the high costs.

Dog Insurance can help provide financial assistance for eligible veterinary care in case of unexpected accidents, illnesses, or injuries. Our plans can help pet parents manage the eligible costs of covered veterinary care and help ensure that their pets can receive the best treatment possible. Here are some ways that Spot pet insurance plans can help:

  • Covers Unexpected Veterinary Costs:

    Spot pet insurance plans cover the eligible costs of unexpected veterinary treatments, such as emergency surgeries, X-rays, and prescription medications for covered conditions.

  • Customizable Plans:

    Choose your annual limit, reimbursement rate, and deductible from a range of options, and create the plan that will fit the needs of your pet and your budget.

  • Peace of Mind:

    With Spot pet insurance plans, pet parents can know that they can provide the best care for their pet with less worry about the cost.

And if you are a cat parent –

Cat Insurance helps to provide pet parents with additional financial support and peace of mind when it comes to the health and wellness of their pets. With a Spot plan, pet parents can receive up to 90% cash back on eligible vet bills. This way pet parents can focus on caring for and supporting their pets. Spot's also offers preventive care add-ons, which can help cover the eligible costs of spaying and neutering, dental cleaning, vaccinations, and other routine care services.

Get a quote today!


What to Know About Costs of Emergency Veterinary Care,” WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/pets/what-to-know-costs-emergency-veterinary-care, Nov. 16, 2022.

“Average emergency vet costs...” Better Pet, https://betterpet.com/emergency-vet-costs/, Apr. 9, 2024.

“2024 Pet Insurance Survey,” MarketWatch, https://www.marketwatch.com/guides/pet-insurance/pet-insurance-survey/, Dec. 28, 2023.

“How Much Does Dog Broken Leg Surgery Cost 2024 Update,” Dogster, https://www.dogster.com/dog-health-care/how-much-does-dog-broken-leg-surgery-cost, May 17, 2024.

“Eye Injuries in Dogs,” Wag Walking, https://wagwalking.com/condition/eye-injuries, April 21, 2021.

“Balancing Care and Cost for Gastrointestinal Surgeries,” Vetrix, https://rethinkhealing.com/balancing-care-and-cost-for-gastrointestinal-surgeries/, Jan/ 31, 2023.

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