veterinary emergency in dubuque ia

After Hours Services

After Hours Services in Dubuque, IA

As a member of your family, when your pet has an emergency, you want to know the best way to reach your veterinarian at Colonial Terrace Animal Hospital During normal business hours, we will get urgent cases worked in, but we do appreciate a call ahead so we can be prepared.

After normal business hours, our phones are answered by an answering service. Your pet’s medical concern will be triaged by a veterinary medical professional.

If your pet needs to be medically evaluated, one of the following will happen:

  • We will always have a veterinarian available until 10pm. The triage nurse will contact that on call doctor, and then you will speak to the doctor and determine the next course of action. PLEASE NOTE: We are not staffed 24/7. It can take 30 minutes – 45 minutes for our staff to get to the clinic after hours, and we do not have all the same services available as we do during normal business hours. We may recommend that you transport your pet to an emergency clinic directly. 
  • For calls coming in after hours, you will be contacted by someone by 8 am the following morning. This includes weekends and holidays 
  • If no veterinarian is available, the triage nurse will recommend an emergency clinic. There are no emergency clinics in the Dubuque area. Fortunately, there are several options approximately 90 minutes away. NOTE: Call ahead before traveling to any of these locations – due to staffing and caseload, some of these facilities may not be able to accept your pet for treatment.

Blue Pearl Pet Hospital – 80 min
755 Capital Dr SW, Cedar Rapids

Madison Veterinary Specialists – 88 min
2704 Royal Ave, Madison

VCA – Middleton – 86 min 
1612 N High Point Rd, Middleton

VCA – Madison – 91 min 
4902 E Broadway, Madison

UW Madison Veterinary Hospital – 91 min 
2015 Linden Dr, Madison

When should I call for after hours veterinary care?


As scary as seizures are, if your pet only has one seizure and is back to their normal self within 10 minutes, they may not need to be seen immediately. However, we always recommend that you contact us if your pet has a seizure, especially if it is their first. If they have multiple seizures or anything else changes about their health status please use our after hours care.

Severe Vomiting and Diarrhea, especially with lethargy or pain.

Vomiting and/or diarrhea are very common issues in our pets. Fortunately, the vast majority do not need immediate care. The exceptions are pets with vomiting/diarrhea that continues regularly over a short period of time and/or are also exhibiting abdominal pain or are more lethargic.

Difficulty Urinating

If your pet is straining to urinate (especially if they are a male), this can be life-threatening. We recommend you seek care immediately.


An injury from trauma (hit by car, dog fight, etc) is an emergency. Even if the immediate appearance right after the incident doesn’t show too many issues, there can frequently be internal injuries, deeper puncture wounds, etc, that need to be evaluated.


If your pet is showing severe signs of pain (constant vocalizing, severe lameness, tense/rigid body posture, etc), a veterinarian should be consulted immediately.

Weakness / Non-responsive

If your pet is unable or unwilling to walk around like they normally do and/or they have a dull response to you when you try to get them to do something, a veterinarian should be consulted immediately.

Difficulty Breathing

If your pet is coughing frequently, wheezing, or constantly open-mouth breathing, especially for a cat, they should be evaluated immediately.

Potentially Eating a Toxic Substance

If your pet did or potentially could have eaten a toxic substance, you need to contact veterinarian as soon as possible. Make sure to locate and keep any wrappers or packaging, as this could have critical information needed to determine a treatment plan for your pet. 

DO NOT make your pet vomit unless directed by a veterinary medical professional.

Depending on the nature of the potentially toxic substance that your pet eats, we may need to direct you to animal poison control to consult with a toxicologist. There is a fee for this service, however this fee is much less than having your pet seen on emergency. Additionally, these toxicology specialists have access to the latest treatment recommendations and product proprietary ingredient information to formulate the best treatment plan for your pet, saving lives, time and money. 

The contact information is as follows: 

ASPCA Animal Poison Control
ASPCA Website

Pet Poison Helpline
Pet Poison Helpline Website