Humans aren’t the only ones who have health emergencies. But you can’t take your dog, cat, or other pet to the local ER if they suddenly develop a life-threatening condition. And you shouldn’t have to scroll through your phone contacts, leave an after-hours message with your regular vet, and hope for the best. Knowing that an emergency vet is available to help your pet immediately can give you peace of mine and, most importantly, save your pet’s life. Here are just five things that could happen to your pet that would require an emergency vet visit.
1. Difficulty Breathing
This is one of the biggest and most urgent emergencies any animal can face. If your pet is making distressing or abnormal noises when he breathes, has heaving sides, or is coughing or wheezing, he needs vet care immediately. Death is a near certainty after three minutes without breathing. Anything that can be categorized as “breathing funny” requires veterinary care, stat.
2. Not Eating or Drinking
You know your pet best, and you know who is a chow hound and who picks over some feedings and at other times gobbles down their meal. If your pet’s eating habits differ from their norm, something isn’t right. Not eating can be a symptom of problems like an intestinal obstruction or kidney failure. If your pet is also not drinking, then they’re at risk for dehydration as well. In short, passing up food that’s readily available means your pet is sick. An ER vet will figure out why.
3. Continued Vomiting and/or Diarrhea
There is no chance of missing your pet’s symptoms of an upset gastrointestinal system. An occasional vomit or single loose bowel movement is unlikely to require emergency treatment, but when repeated or violent vomiting or diarrhea occur, or blood is present, your pet needs to see the vet immediately to prevent life-threatening dehydration and to discover the root of the problem.
4. Known Exposure to or Ingestion of Toxins
Just like a small child, pets can and will get into things they’re not supposed to when the opportunity presents itself, like cleaning products and pharmaceuticals. But animals also have the opportunity to get into far greater trouble with poisons and toxins. There are too many poisons to list them all, but if you find your pet with rodent bait, chocolate, avocado, human medications, or lily then you must see a vet immediately. Some of the signs of exposure to toxins are abdominal pain, convulsions or seizures, diarrhea, drooling, labored breathing, lethargy, swollen limbs, and vomiting.
5. Collapsing or Profound Lethargy
Sure, dogs and cats get tired too. A little too much exercise or play can have them taking an extra-long snooze or saying no to another round of activity. However, if your pet isn’t back to normal after taking a rest, if they’re hiding, not moving, or not reacting to stimuli normally (the noise of the can opener or the food bag) can be symptoms of a greater problem. There may be internal bleeding, a cardiac issue, organ failure, or poisoning.
This list is by no means exhaustive but it does name some of the most common afflictions that warrant a trip to your emergency veterinary clinic. Fights with other animals, loss of use of the back legs, major trauma leading to serious wounds or blood loss, or even accidents that don’t lead to obvious injuries but could have resulted in internal injuries all warrant medical care. If your pet is acting abnormally or is showing signs of agony by howling or even hiding, they’re telling you that they need help. Get them to your closest emergency veterinary clinic as soon as possible.
The Northpointe Veterinary Hospital is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are your pet’s local emergency room. From poisonings to broken bones, our veterinary medical staff is highly trained and experienced to treat a wide range of animal emergencies. Depend on our state-of-the-art animal hospital to handle your pet’s emergency, day or night. Contact Northpointe Veterinary Hospital today to learn more. If you are having a pet emergency right now, come directly to our office at 1463 Live Oak Boulevard in Yuba City for fast, compassionate, comprehensive care.