Triage is the art of assigning priority to emergency patients and their problems based on rapid assessment of historical and physical parameters. The triage should take about 5 minutes. The goal is to quickly identify patients with life-threatening problems so that they can be treated immediately. If a patient needs immediate evaluation by a veterinarian verbal permission or signed medical consent should be obtained from the owners that authorizes the appropriate emergency treatment (CPR, IV catheter, medication, radiographs, blood work, etc.) as quickly as possible. Perform a rapid whole-body exam looking for wounds, bruises (petechiae, purpura or ecchymosis), abdominal pain/distention and any other signs of debilitation. Wounds to the thorax or abdomen can be critical even if the patient appears stable on triage. 
Obvious Emergency: *Life threatening condition*
Strong Potential for Emergency: *Conditions that could become life threatening without treatment*
Triage to a room: *Any patient waiting to be seen that has been diagnosed with a contagious disease, showing symptoms of a potentially contagious disease, or may be aggressive animals*
Non-Emergent Triage: Stable and presenting with general complaints. Low stress handling for patients that are fractious but do not appear to need immediate treatment should be considered when possible. Safely obtain whatever vitals possible and advise the doctor of the situation. Vitals can be obtained at the same time as the doctor’s exam in order to reduce stress on the patient.