After Hours Emergency
In times like these, it’s important to know what constitutes an “emergency.” What can wait until tomorrow, and what needs to be seen right away?
If you are experiencing an emergency with your pet during non-business hours, please contact one of the following emergency facilities:
Common Veterinary Emergencies
In times like these, it’s important to know what constitutes an “emergency.” What can wait until tomorrow, and what needs to be seen right away? Being educated about veterinary emergencies, and what constitutes as such, is a priority for pet owners. Because of this, we have compiled some of the most common veterinary emergencies.
- Allergic reactions or anaphylaxis: This type of veterinary emergency can be alarming. It may present with the appearance of facial swelling, profuse vomiting, diarrhea, hives, difficulty breathing, or collapse.
- Bleeding: Any uncontrolled bleeding that occurs from your pet should be considered an emergency. This is especially alarming if it’s coming from the ears, nose, mouth, rectum, or toenails.
- Collapse: Any type of spontaneous loss of consciousness is a veterinary emergency. This can be described as your pet falling and being unable to rise. The causes of this can vary but if your pet does experience any form of collapse, seek immediate care.
- Difficulty breathing: As you likely know, difficulty breathing is an extreme emergency. This can look like the dog or cat gasping for air, high-pitched respiratory noises, increased respiratory rate, or excessive panting.
- Heatstroke: Since dogs and cats only have a few sweat glands located in their paw pads, overheating can be an extreme emergency as it’s difficult for them to cool themselves down. Signs of heatstroke may be excessive panting, lethargy, collapse, or distress.
- Poisoning: If your pet ingests any foreign substance or has eaten something you know is toxic to them (grapes/raisins, onions, chocolate, peace lilies, etc.), it is important for you to seek advice from your veterinary care team or the Pet Poison Control Helpline right away. There are many things that your pet can encounter from ordinary household plants and foods to pesticides and cleaning products which can be incredibly dangerous if they get ahold of it.
- Straining to urinate: This can be a veterinary emergency especially if you notice your pet is struggling (straining) to urinate or is not urinating at all. Male pets are more prone to life-threatening blockages in their urinary tract.
- Trauma: The types of trauma seen in pets can vary greatly based on the incident. A traumatic injury can occur from traffic accidents, falls, fights with other pets or wildlife, gunshot wounds, and more. Sometimes, injuries sustained from traumatic incidents can do internal damage. This makes it difficult to assess the pet by visual inspection. Because of this, it is considered a veterinary emergency, and we highly recommend seeking care quickly.
- Vomiting and Diarrhea: Both vomiting and diarrhea can be signs of a serious illness. If your pet develops additional serious symptoms alongside vomiting and diarrhea, such as lethargy, collapsing, or if blood presents in the stool, it’s important to have your pet seen right away.
This is certainly not a comprehensive list of veterinary emergencies and if you ever have questions or concerns regarding your pet’s health or current health status, please call us or an emergency veterinary care center right away. It’s a good idea to have both our phone number and your preferred emergency veterinary hospital’s phone number programmed in your phone. The Pet Desk App allows you to easily carry your pet’s vaccination history and medication list with you.
The best way to avoid an emergency is through prevention. Keep your pet up to date on vaccinations and follow the recommendations of your veterinarian. Annual wellness exams and bloodwork, even on seemingly healthy pets, can alert us to a health concern before it becomes life-threatening. You can request an appointment day or night online or on our Pet Desk App. We look forward to seeing you and your pet for their next visit.