How do I know if my pet is experiencing an emergency?
What are the signs of a pet emergency?
For starters, if you are worried, call the veterinarian near me! We can help you decide if your pet is experiencing a life threatening emergency. It is never wrong to be seen. Below are SOME of the signs indicating that your pet needs immediate help.
- Abnormal gum color: White (a), brick red (b), blue (c) or yellow (d) gums in any pet species is a sign for a definite call for immediate, professional care.
- Breathing difficulty: rapid, shallow or abdominal breathing, choking, or gagging means there is an impairment to oxygenating the body.
- Bleeding: traumatic injuries or continued bleeding especially from wounds or body openings ( eyes, ears, nose, mouth, rectum)
- Vomiting and diarrhea: greater than 24 hours or if blood is seen (black and tarry, coffee ground color or red)
- Gait abnormalities: stumbling (ataxia), lameness, broken bones, to sudden paralysis needs immediate attention.
- Exposure to a toxin: known toxins like antifreeze, sago palms, chocolate, raisins, medicines
- Exposure to extreme temperatures: heat or cold can produce rapid changes in body temperature that require immediate help in order to prevent organ failure. Because these changes can occur in a short period of time, NEVER leave your pet in a car.
- Mentation changes: seizures, and unconsciousness, sudden confusion and disorientation
- Stomach swelling: especially when hard to the touch, or in predisposed breeds to bloat. There is often a big meal involved followed by exercise.
- Vocalization: constant yelping, crying, meowing, shaking, or whining despite normal attempts to calm pet. This may indicate severe pain or anxiety.
- Urination habits: IF NO urine is being produced, or signs of straining to urinate are two key signs of a pet emergency. This is especially risky in male cats and dogs. Or if blood is seen in the urine.
Accidents and emergencies happen. Should one occur, be prepared by always having your veterinarian’s phone number available or the after-hours emergency care center closest to you in your phone or easy to find.