Do I Stay or Do I Go? How to Recognize a Pet Emergency
It’s a common scenario among pet owners: it’s almost bedtime, and your pet is acting strangely. You know that something doesn’t seem right, but you’re not sure it’s worth a trip to the pet emergency clinic or if it can wait until morning.
Many pet emergencies, such as a broken bone, profuse bleeding, or being hit by a car, are obvious. However, pets are hardwired to hide signs of pain or illness, so many emergency scenarios aren’t as clear cut. Knowing how to recognize the signs of a medical emergency saves precious time and makes all the difference for your pet.
Is it a Pet Emergency?
It’s difficult to know when to seek out emergency care, but some problems should be treated without delay, such as:
- Loss of consciousness
- Bleeding from the eyes, nose, mouth, or rectum
- Difficulty breathing, uncontrollable coughing, or choking
- Trauma (car accident, fight with another animal, falling from a height)
- Inability to stand/move, sudden lameness
- Refusal to eat or drink for 24 hours or more
- Any injury to the eye
- Straining or difficulty when urinating or defecating
- Suspected ingestion of a toxic substance
- Birthing difficulties
- Vomiting or diarrhea multiple times per day
- Signs of pain such as limping, shaking, or vocalizing
- Rectal temperature higher than 103 degrees Fahrenheit
On the Lookout
Knowing your pet’s normal habits, demeanor, and appearance can go a long way toward helping you identify signs of trouble. Every so often, familiarize yourself with your pet’s “vitals,” including temperature, gum color, look and feel of their fur, condition of their eyes, and appearance of their stool and urine. Note any changes in your pet’s daily routine. Are they sleeping more? Eating less? Have they lost interest in favorite toys or people? All of these are important indicators that your pet may have a health issue that needs attention.
We can’t prevent accidents from happening, but keeping up with your pet’s regular wellness exams, vaccinations, and parasite prevention will go a long way to preventing certain health conditions. It can also have a positive impact on your pet’s overall health and longevity.
At Your Service
If you ever feel that anything is “off” with your pet, please give us a call. Redwood Veterinary Hospital is open 7 days a week. If you need assistance after business hours, we will gladly refer you to our trusted partners at Solono-Napa Pet Emergency Clinic.