A dalmatian being held by a humanWhile it may not seem like rocket science to figure out what is an emergency and what isn’t, oftentimes things are not clear cut.

Next time you are wondering after hours if your pet’s problem can wait until the morning, take a look at our pet emergency reference guide to help decide if you need to seek immediate care.

Recognizing a Pet Emergency

All pet owners should know the deal breakers – those symptoms or situations that fall into the “do not pass go, do not collect $200” category. If your pet is exhibiting any of these symptoms or is affected by any of these conditions, urgent care is essential. Seek emergency care if your pet:

  • Has suffered trauma, such as being hit by a car, even if he or she seems fine
  • Has bleeding that does not stop within a few minutes
  • Has been (or potentially has been) exposed to a toxic substance
  • Has eaten a non-digestible object
  • Displays symptoms of pain
  • Is straining to or cannot urinate
  • Is bleeding from an orifice
  • Collapses
  • Is having trouble with one or both eyes
  • Has a seizure
  • Appears to have a swollen abdomen
  • Has vomiting or diarrhea that occurs more than once
  • May have a broken bone
  • Is having difficulty breathing
  • Is in active labor and has not had a puppy or kitten in 2 hours

By paying close attention to your four-legged family member, you can make yourself familiar with what his or her normal habits are. If your pet isn’t eating or drinking normally, is acting strangely, starts limping, or displays other unusual behavior, it is never wrong to have things checked out. You know your pet best, and if you feel something is wrong, it probably is.

How to Handle a Pet Emergency

If your pet is having some level of emergency, it can certainly be a little scary. Try to take a deep breath and call us right away. We may be able to coach you through stabilizing your pet, or help you determine the level of emergency. For true emergencies, we always appreciate a call to know that you are on the way, so that we can be prepared to help more quickly.

If it occurs outside of our normal business hours, please don’t hesitate to call one of the many wonderful emergency hospitals in the area. They work together with us to bring your family the best veterinary care possible.

It can help to educate yourself a little about pet emergencies in advance of a problem. Make an effort to review some pet emergency care tips. A pet first aid kit can also be handy to have available.

Pets are very good at hiding symptoms of a problem until things become quite serious. This is why it is so important not to wait too long to seek help. Never hesitate to call us at The Bluffs Pet Clinic if you think that there might be a problem. We are always happy to help.