Just like humans, pets can be injured, get sick suddenly, or become exposed to a harmful substance. Sometimes it can be difficult to know whether you should rush to the vet or attempt to treat a problem at home. We want to stress that if in doubt, you can always call us for more personalized advice. But in the meantime, learn these ten signs of an emergency.
These are not the only signs of a pet health emergency, but they are some of the most common ones. When these occur, call us to let us know you’re on the way, and bring your pet to see us immediately.
- Breathing difficulty – rapid, shallow breathing, gagging, or choking
- Abnormal color of the gums – pale, blue, yellow, or brick red
- Vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours, or any time if blood is present, or if you suspect your pet has been exposed to a toxic substance
- Traumatic bleeding from either wounds or body openings
- A known rapid change in body temperature; exposure to extreme cold or heat (such as being left in a hot car)
- Confusion, disorientation, loss of consciousness, or seizures
- Swelling in the stomach, especially if hard to the touch
- Unusual gait; stumbling, lameness, or apparent paralysis
- Unusual vocalizations; yelping, whining, crying, etc
- Variations in normal urination, such as absence of urination or straining to urinate (especially if blood is present)
Additionally, you should seek emergency care if your pet is exposed to a suspected poisonous substance. You can call us to check on a substance’s toxicity, or bring your pet to see us.
Finally, if your intuition just says that something is off, listen to it! “Parental” intuition often extends to our furry friends. Remember to program our number into your phone, so that you don’t waste valuable moments during an already stressful time.