Pet Emergencies: Know the signs and when to seek help!

If you’re a typical pet owner, you have probably faced this quandary: Your beloved companion may be ill, but you don’t know whether you’re overreacting or whether you should bring him or her in to a veterinarian. And they can’t tell you if something is bothering them, or how serious it is. It can be quite frightening to see your pet suffering, especially if you are unsure the situation should be considered an emergency.

The simplest way to determine if it is an emergency is if you are concerned or when you are in doubt is to always contact your veterinarian or the nearest emergency animal hospital. The veterinary assistants and veterinarian can help you determine if an emergency visit is necessary or prudent.

Performing a brief at-home physical exam may also help you, especially before you call the vet so that you are able to answer their questions they may ask to help guide you to make the right decision. You should be aware of the signs that require immediate emergency care. If your pet shows any of the following symptoms, take your pet to a veterinarian immediately:

  •  Excessive Bleeding, i.e. dog fight wound, hit by car, or lacerations
  •  Possible Ingestion of a Poisonous Substance or other foreign object, or signs of choking
  •  Possible Ingestion of Chocolate, Antifreeze, Rat poison, or Xylitol(commonly found in sugar free gum)
  •  Any animal that is NOT drinking water
  •  Smoke inhalation or burns from fire, or signs of heat stroke from exposure to excessive heat.
  •  Rabbit, Guinea Pig, or other rodent that hasn’t eaten in 6 hours or more
  •  Neurological Symptoms: Walking in circles, Laying on the floor shaking, or seizures
  •  Vomiting or Diarrhea for more than 3 hours or constant vomiting or Diarrhea
  •  Pale gums
  •  Rapid Breathing
  •  Difficulty standing, apparent paralysis, or loss of consciousness
  •  Straining to urinate with no sign of urine production(especially in male cats)

For mild symptoms, scheduling the next available appointment for an examination may be enough. Some signs that may need to be addressed as soon as possible, but may not be considered an immediate emergency may or may not include:

  •  Vomiting
  •  Diarrhea
  •  Lethargy
  •  Limping
  •  Constipated
  •  Abnormal Behavior
  •  Abnormal Urination(increased frequency, foul smell, blood in urine)
  •  Discharge from wound or incision
  •  Colored discharge from Eyes or Nose
  •  Bleeding from Rectum or other Orifice

The bottom line is that any concern about your pet’s health warrants at least a call to your veterinarian. You know your pet better than anybody. If you are concerned, there is probably a good reason for it. We are available here at The Scottsdale Veterinary Clinic to assist in answering any questions or concerns you may have, and help guide you to make the right decisions for your pets medical care. Give us a call at 480-945-8484, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!.