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Signs Your Pet Needs Emergency Care & What to Do When They Do

Signs Your Pet Needs Emergency Care & What to Do When They Do

While it may come as a surprise, it isn't always clear when your pet requires urgent emergency care. Here, our Avon vets share some of the signs and symptoms that may indicate it's time to bring your pet into your vet hospital or closes an emergency treatment center for urgent care. 

How do I know if my pet needs Emergency Care?

A situation requiring emergency veterinary care may occur at any time (whether it's daytime or in the middle of the night). You need to be prepared for when it does. 

However, it can be challenging for even the most aware and attentive dog or cat owner to know when their pet is in need of emergency care. That's why knowing some of the symptoms and signs that may indicate an emergency health issue is happening to your pet is helpful. If, knowing this, you still aren't sure whether or not your pet is experiencing an emergency, contact your vet or emergency vet clinic for advice.

Signs That Your Animal is Experiencing a Health Emergency

Cat or dog emergencies can take many different forms, from accidents to ingestions, injuries and the sudden onset of diseases. Below are some of the most common signs that it may be time to head to the closest emergency vet clinic. 

  • Seizures
  • Lameness or inability to walk
  • Bloated, swollen or painful abdomen
  • Ingestion of poisonous foods, substances, plants, or bones
  • Dilated pupils
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Vomiting or blood in diarrhea
  • Unconsciousness
  • Loss of balance
  • Obvious pain
  • Severe injury (car accidents, broken bones, gashes)
  • Difficulty breathing, extreme coughing or choking
  • Inability to urinate or defecate
  • Unable to deliver puppies or kittens
  • Sudden blindness, staggering or stumbling
  • Inflammation or injury to the eye

Basic First Aid for Animals

It's important to note that performing basic first aid on your pet isn't intended to replace veterinary care. It's only to stabilize your pet to help them remain safe and as comfortable as possible during their trip to an emergency vet. 

Stop Bleeding

Make sure you muzzle your pet before starting. In order to help stop the bleeding, place a clean piece of gauze padding over the injury, applying pressure with your hand for a few minutes until blood clotting starts. A tourniquet of gauze with an elastic band to secure it will be required for severe leg bleeding. Immediately bring your pet to the veterinary clinic. 

Coping With Seizures

You should never attempt to restrain your pet. As well, try to remove objects that may injure your companion as quickly as you can. After your pet's seizure is over, make sure to keep them warm and comfortable and call your vet as soon as possible.

Dealing With Fractures

Muzzle your pet. Lay your pet on a flat surface that can be used as a stretcher to transport them to the vet. If possible, secure your animal to the stretcher, avoiding putting pressure on the injured area.

If Your Pet Is Choking

When choking, your pet may bite you out of panic. Because of this, it's important to be cautious. Try to check your pet's mouth for objects and remove them if possible. Be careful not to push any objects further into your pet's throat if possible. If this proves too difficult, don't waste any time continuing to try. Immediately bring your pet into the office of your vet or an emergency veterinary clinic nearby for prompt care. 

Be Prepared For a Veterinary Emergency

What You Should Know in Advance

You'll never know when an emergency may strike when it comes to your dog or cat. But, being prepared for a pet emergency may help you and your companion find the best possible care quickly and safely. Our Avon vets suggest keeping the following at hand in case of an emergency:

  • The phone number for your vet's office
  • The phone number for the closest Emergency Vet Clinic (or ER for pets)
  • The phone number for the Animal Poison Control Center
  • How to muzzle your dog when they're in pain so they doesn't bite others
  • Directions to the Emergency Vet Clinic
  • Knowledge of basic pet CPR
  • Knowledge of how to stop bleeding

Financial Responsibilities

Because of the amount of diagnostic testing, monitoring and treatment that is required for emergency cat or dog care, it can become quite expensive. It is a pet owners responsibility to make sure they are able to financially care for your pet during a time of crisis. 

Prepare your pet for unforeseen circumstances by placing money aside specifically for emergencies or by signing your pet up for a pet insurance plan. Putting off veterinary care in order to avoid emergency fees could put your pet's life at risk. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your pet experiencing a veterinary emergency? Contact Animal General during our regular clinic hours for prompt treatment or bring your pet straight to one of the trusted emergency vet hospitals in the Avon area.

New Patients Are Always Welcome

We are always happy to see patients at our animal hospital! Get in touch today to get started. 

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(860) 673-4000