Here's how it works:
- If a client calls after-hours they will speak to a licensed veterinary professional working for GuardianVets.
- GuardianVets is serving as a virtual extension of our team. They follow our practice procedures and protocols already in place.
- GuardianVets will not treat or diagnose our patients. They will triage emergency calls, facilitate ER referrals, gather history for on-call doctors, answer questions and schedule appointments.
Large Animal Emergency Care
Our large animal doctors are on-call after hours and can be reached through our emergency triage service. (406-777-3844 ext. 1) Our large animal doctors offer both ranch-calls (fee associated with distance) and in office emergency appointments. There is an after-hours emergency fee of $85 for calls between 8am and 8pm, and a fee of $130 for calls between 8pm and 8am. Payment is required at time of service. Normal large animal hours are 9am to 5pm Monday - Friday.
Our Large animal doctors are happy to provide phone consultations to regular clients about on-going issues. Please keep in mind your animal will need to be seen if it requires prescribed medication or if it is a new issue.
*Starting Monday May 29, 2023 we will change how our after hours on call works. For the rest of the year, Monday - Thursday the large animal doctor will be available on call to 8pm. After 8pm, calls will go to our veterinary triage phone service. Weekend service will remain 24 hours availability from Friday 5pm - Monday 8am.
We are making this change as we search for an additional large animal veterinarian to join our team (Dr. Magdi Niedermeyer has agreed to remain here part-time over the next year and Dr. Zach Damby will be offering routine large animal care part time). We have not yet found the right fit in the tight veterinary hiring market, especially as we compete with large scale national corporate operations and our tight housing market in the Bitterroot.
We are working with the support of Tammany Veterinary Clinic and as we try to keep this vital large animal call service available to the Bitterroot and Missoula Valleys, especially for the underserved small ruminant and porcine producers.
Thank you for patiently working with us during this transitional period, and for your help in making this work. As emergencies arise, please consider calling SOONER and DO NOT WAIT on something you’re worried about. In the last 2.5 years only 32% of all our emergencies fell between the hours of 8p and 8am and of those 42% were between 8-10pm. While one can’t plan for emergencies, being proactive will help us to work with you to provide better veterinary care. If you are looking to be better able to prepare yourself for possible emergencies, please don’t hesitate to call us with any questions/concerns at 406-777-3844, ext. 3.*
Emergencies During Regular Business Hours
We do our best to see our existing clients' emergencies during regular business hours. Keep in mind, if your pet has a catastrophic injury we may refer you directly to an emergency clinic to receive the best emergency care as fast as possible. Please call the office 406-777-3844 ext. 2 to alert the staff of your emergency and your estimated time of arrival.
If you are a new client please give us a call and we will do our best to help you or direct you to the fastest emergency care for your pet.
If you need to take your small animal to an emergency center, we recommend the Pet Emergency Center in Missoula (406) 829-9300 or Sentinel Veterinary Specialists and Emergency (406) 218-2800. Please let the emergency clinic know you are a client of Burnt Fork Veterinary Clinic and they will alert our office of your pets' emergency and if we need to provide follow-up care.