When your pet is ill or injured, you probably spring into a panic, thinking your four-legged friend is in dire need of veterinary care. However, while some scenarios are true emergencies, not all medical conditions need immediate treatment and can wait until the next day. Knowing when your pet needs urgent care to ensure their health and safety is vital. If you notice any of the following issues in your four-legged friend, contact our hospital or an emergency veterinary hospital immediately:
- Bleeding — If your pet is bleeding internally or externally, from a wound or their mouth, nose, or rectum, for example, seek medical help. Blood in the urine or stool should also be treated immediately.
- Choking — Panicked pets can easily bite, so take caution when trying to remove an object stuck in your pet’s mouth. If you can’t easily reach and remove the object, don’t waste time and head our way.
- Seizures — When your pet is having a seizure, don’t restrain them, but protect them from falling off furniture or downstairs. Seizuring pets can be unaware of their owners and may bite before they regain full consciousness.
- Poisoning — Do not try to make your pet vomit if they have ingested a toxin. Immediately contact an animal poison control helpline, whose veterinary toxicologists will provide the best plan of action to care for your pet.
- Burns — Chemical burns or those caused by fire are extremely painful and require extra care when providing first aid or moving an injured pet to bring them for emergency care.
- Trauma — A pet who has been hit by a car or in a fight can have hidden injuries that are much more severe than the road rash or small puncture wound you can see, so a full veterinary exam is necessary.
- Heatstroke — Heatstroke can prove fatal if left untreated.
- Difficulty breathing — Respiratory distress must be treated immediately to avoid a worsening condition.
If your pet is experiencing an emergency, you can provide first aid care to stabilize them until you can reach our hospital. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) offers first aid tips for pet owners. As soon as you’ve provided the necessary first aid, let us know you and your pet are on your way for emergency care. If your emergency happens after hours, please utilize one of our emergency partners listed.