There are loads of odd occurrences that can befall a single pet, but they might not always indicate a pet emergency. Take, for example, a hairball. It sounds terrifying (especially in the middle of the night), but rarely signals the need for urgent veterinary care. On the other hand, there are undeniably serious symptoms that should never be ignored. So, how do pet owners tell the difference?

Veterinary Attention

A pet emergency always strikes when you least expect it, so it’s best to remain as prepared as possible. Among other things, this can include collecting supplies for a pet first aid kit and learning skills like pet CPR or how to safely transport a wounded or ill animal.

Unfortunately, our veterinary hospital is not open 24/7. We refer our clients to nearby emergency pet hospitals after regular business hours. It’s recommended you keep these phone numbers and addresses handy to avoid wasting time during a potential crisis.

Preparation and Observation

Certainly, being prepared for an unexpected illness or injury is half the battle, but knowing what constitutes a pet emergency is an enormous boon to your confidence and ability to stay calm. Having a handle on what’s “normal” for your pet is key, such as eating, digestive habits, sleep patterns, activity levels, and personality.

If you notice a change, even if it’s subtle, take note. Jot down the exact time, other things that are going on in the house, where it occurred, duration, and other details. This will help you communicate with us or other emergency personnel when calling or checking in.

Know the Signs

The following list is a sampling of potential accidents that require pet emergency care. However, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you aren’t exactly sure what you’re dealing with. We’re always here to help you and your pet.

  • Eye Injuries (look for any bleeding, excessive tearing, blinking, and obvious signs of pain)
  • Bites or scratches from other animals
  • Abscess or open wounds
  • Ingestion of foreign bodies can trigger pain, bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, and other worrisome signs
  • Uncharacteristic exhaustion, aggression, dizziness, confusion, lethargy, or non-responsiveness
  • Respiratory distress (look for shallow or rapid panting without exertion)
  • Seizures
  • Repeated attempts to vomit (uncontrollable dry heaving)
  • Bleeding
  • Fever
  • Fractures from falls or penetrating injuries
  • Insect or snake bites
  • Burns
  • Refusal to eat or drink water
  • Sunken eyes and dry mouth can indicate dehydration
  • Straining to eliminate
  • Shock

Pet Emergency Care

We hope your pet never endures a painful illness or injury, but if they do, try to act quickly and remain as calm as possible. Undoubtedly, it can be scary to address a pet emergency, but we’re here to help you through it.

If you ever have questions, concerns, or doubts regarding your pet’s health, wellness, or safety, please contact us. Our caring, compassionate team is always here to help.