Is It An Emergency? When should you take your pet to the Vet?

I’ve received a few phone calls from clients asking my advice about whether they should take their pet to the Vet. The situations have varied and being a pet sitter in Florissant does not qualify me to respond. After doing some research, I found a number of articles with some guidelines that will help to answer common emergency questions.

Here is a list of most of the emergencies that are seen at Vet Clinics, so if you see these indicators, get thee to a Vet:

A dog looks bloated, drools excessively, paces, cannot get comfortable or retches but does not vomit. These are classic signs of gastric torsion (a twisted stomach or bloat).

Bleeding that is more than dripping that doesn’t stop in 10 minutes.

A cat that cries, is lethargic, in and out of the litter box and strains without passing anything. These are symptoms of a urinary tract obstruction (“plugged” cat).

The cat that is panting or open mouthed breathing for an extended time frame. Unlike the dog, in cats this is always the sign of a serious breathing problem.

A seizure (convulsion) lasting longer than 15 minutes or multiple seizures in the same day.

Any pet that is hit by a car even if they look fine. Internal injuries and shock can show up hours later.

Any pet that is suddenly unable to use their legs even if they do not appear painful.

Continued vomiting if not eating or drinking.

Any pet for any reason that is unresponsive.

Ingestion of poisons like antifreeze or rat poison.

Although it is impossible to compile a list of every possible emergency, this list includes many emergencies that occur commonly.

As always, if there is any question about the seriousness of an injury or illness it is best to call your Vet or emergency clinic. Although the treatment may be more expensive, immediate treatment in many cases may be more cost effective as well as preventing a potentially life threatening concern.