24-Hour Emergency Care

We understand that not all vet calls can be planned and offer emergency care 24 hours, 7 days a week.

A large number of our appointments are first aid and emergency calls. At Vet Services Hawke’s Bay our experienced veterinarians take turns at being on duty and attending first aid and emergency calls outside of business hours. There is always a large animal or equine dedicated veterinarian available within your area who can offer you emergency assistance and horse care.

Our Clinic hours are:

Monday to Friday: 8.00 – 5.30
24/7 emergency care available

Common emergency call outs include:


Colic is term used to describe behaviour that indicates abdominal pain, it can be caused by a variety of conditions and be life-threatening. Finding a distressed, colicking horse can be a frightening experience, symptoms include restlessness, sweating, belly kicking, lying down and rolling. Try to keep calm and call your trusted vet team, they will send a veterinarian out to you and offer you advice on how to keep yourself and the horse safe until they arrive.

Deep wounds and lacerations

Accidents happen and horses are masters at injuring themselves! Lacerations and traumatic injuries are not uncommon in horses, particularly involving the lower limbs. These are usually related to mishaps with fences, gates or wire. The time between the wound occurring and primary treatment is critical – the so-called “golden hour”. If faced with a serious wound or injury, play it safe – get it checked out by one of our vets as soon as possible.


Laminitis is an inflammation disease in the foot, it affects the laminae connection between the coffin bone and hoof capsule. It is very painful so your horse may not want to stand, walk or pick up their feet. If you suspect your horse may have laminitis, act immediately. Laminitis is a serious condition that we see commonly in Spring when the grass is high in sugar, it can have lifelong effects, a rapid, cautious response will be much better than dismissing initial symptoms.

Eye Injuries

A horse’s eye is a very sensitive structure, and when an injury occurs it can be unsettling for both owner and horse. Hay, twigs, kicks from other horses, and other environmental factors can all cause trauma to the eye resulting in a variety of conditions (corneal ulcers, orbital fractures, eyelid lacerations, foreign body injuries) which need urgent care.

Foaling emergencies    

Most mares foal without assistance. However, you will need to keep a close eye on them so that if complications develop you can urgently call your vet.

If your horse has an accident or needs emergency care after hours, please call your normal clinic number. Your call will be put through to our after-hours answering service who will contact the duty vet.