Identifying Pet Emergencies

Knowing whether your pet requires emergency veterinary care or not can be really difficult to determine. A rule you can go by is that it’s better to be safe than sorry. In other words, it’s best to have a veterinarian examine your pet immediately if you’re in doubt. Time can make a difference between life and death, so it’s extremely important that you make a quick decision. There are eight common pet emergencies every pet owner should know about:

1. Pain

Pain can be caused by a variety of health problems, so the best way to tell if your pet is in pain is to become familiar with the symptoms. Sings of pain include whining, lethargy, unusual aggression, fast heart rate, anxiety, and panting.Severe pain can cause your pet to go into shock, which is why it should be treated as an emergency. Pain can also be a sign of a more serious problem, such as peritonitis (inflammation in the stomach).

2. Trouble Breathing

Labored breathing, pale or blue gums, wheezing, and coughing are some of the symptoms that indicate respiratory distress in pets. It can be caused by several factors, including injury, asthma, allergies, ingestion of toxic substances, obstruction, choking, and more. Trouble breathing is considered a serious pet emergency and should be treated as soon as possible.

3. Seizures

Seizures should always be considered an emergency, especially if it’s the first time your pet has one. Seizures in dogs and cats can occur for various reasons, such as brain tumor, toxins, inflammation of the brain, hypocalcaemia, low blood glucose, and more. Although seizures are not always life threatening, they can cause brain damage and even death. If your pet has a seizure, call your veterinarian right away for instructions or take your pet in to the vet to be seen immediately.

4. Trouble Urinating

Like with humans, urinary tract infections are also very painful for pets. Difficulty urinating is the most common sign associated with UTIs. It can also be a symptom of urinary tract obstruction, a common medical emergency seen in cats. Other health problems that may be indicated by trouble urinating in pets include cancer, blood clot, and inflammation. If you notice your pet straining when going potty, seek immediate veterinary attention.

5. Diarrhea/Vomiting

Both vomiting and diarrhea are considered pet emergencies. It may not seem like a serious problem, but vomiting and diarrhea can cause dehydration, which can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. Health conditions that can cause diarrhea/vomiting in pets include canine parvovirus, pancreatitis, gastritis, kidney disease, cancer, toxins, and bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections.

6. Injury

A veterinarian should examine injuries resulting from falls, dog or cat fights, blunt force, and car accidents by right away. Even if your pet seems fine, it’s important to see a vetbecause your dog or cat may have internal injury. Bleeding or trouble breathing are also signs that your pet needs to be checked out by a vet ASAP.

7. Toxins and Poisons

If you think your pet was bitten by a poisonous animal or ingested a toxic substance, get him to a veterinary hospital quickly. Allergic ReactionCommon pet toxins include rat bait, antifreeze, fertilizer, avocado, apple seeds and stem, bread dough, moldy walnuts, chocolate, gum, grapes, azaleas, lilies, and daffodils.Poisonous animals to look out for include scorpions, snakes, and spiders. Before leaving, quickly gather any evidence that might be helpful for your veterinarian such as product labels or a picture of the poisonous animal that bit your pet.

8. Allergic Reaction

Your pet can experience an allergic reaction to vaccines, insect bites, and even to foods. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include swollen face, itchiness, rash or hives on the skin, vomiting, diarrhea, trouble breathing, and fainting. Allergic reactions are a serious health problem and should be treated as an emergency.