While we work hard to keep our furry friends out of trouble, an unfortunate reality of being a pet owner is that they may become unwell and require emergency treatment. Some pet emergencies are apparent. However, there are times where it can be difficult to tell that our pets require emergency care.
While we all want to avoid any animal emergencies, they are unfortunately inevitable. So, to help you prepare for an emergency with your pet, we’ve put together a list of signs that your pet needs urgent medical care. Keep reading to learn the signs of a pet emergency.
Tell-Tale Signs Your Pet Needs Medical Attention
Vomiting or Diarrhea
One of the indications is that you should take your pet to the vet. Vomiting or diarrhea could mean that your pet has ingested something they shouldn’t have, they may be experiencing an allergy, or there may be another underlying condition that needs attention. As many animals are adept at hiding their illnesses, when something this obvious happens, it’s a clear sign that your pet needs medical attention.
Injuries and Trauma
Another more evident sign that your pet should receive urgent attention is when they experience an injury or trauma from an accident. A common cause of damage to pets is road trauma, which may have been hit by a car.
Animals are not quite aware of the dangers of the road and cars and tend to think that cars will stop for them if they cross a busy highway. Cats and dogs are two of the animals most commonly hurt like this.
If your pet is ever injured by a car, even if they appear to be ok, you should immediately call your vet or a 24 hour animal hospital. In most instances, the emergency vet will provide advice regarding any first aid that may need to be administered and how to best transport your pet if you can.
Injuries To Or Inflammation Of The Eyes
As pets tend to play outside and get themselves into some awkward situations, injuries and infections to their eyes can occur, particularly for breeds of animals that may have bulging eyes, like Pugs and Shih Tzus.
f you notice a more than average amount of discharge or obvious irritation and redness in the eyes of your pet, this might be a sign that they have injured them or they are unwell. Your pets might also rub, scratch, or paw at their eyes if they are uncomfortable, so if you notice such behavior, it’s a sign that they may need some help.
Bite Wounds and Scratches
Whether it happens during animal fights or just overzealous playing, they should be taken to the vet if your pet is scratched or bitten by another animal. If a wound or deep scratch occurs, it needs to be thoroughly cleaned, and sometimes stitches might be required. Depending on the seriousness of the gash, your pet may need antibiotics to ensure no infections occur or even pain medication to help reduce their discomfort.
Difficulty Breathing or Noticeable Changes in their Breathing Pattern
The way your pet is breathing can be a sign of different illnesses. Whether their breathing becomes rapid or they seem to have difficulty breathing at all, you need an emergency vet for evaluation.
Changes in your pet’s breathing patterns could be a sign of asthma, pneumonia, choking, heart disease, or that they are in pain. In addition to rapid or slow breathing, if they struggle to breathe correctly, their tongue may turn blue, grey, or be a lot more pale than usual.
Ingestion of Poisons, Harmful Substances, or Foreign Objects
Pets are curious critters, and this curiosity can lead to them getting in some harmful situations – especially when it comes to eating and chewing on things they shouldn’t be. That’s why when you take on the responsibility of being a pet parent, you need to be aware of substances that may be toxic to your pet and be a little more vigilant with small objects. Whether it’s a foreign substance, a toy that may have broken, poison, or a harmful food/substance, this can cause severe damage to their stomach, intestines, and entire body.
Some foods and substances that can be toxic for animals include:
- Some houseplants
- Poisons and rodenticides
- Raisins and Grapes
- Onion and Garlic
If you notice that your pet has swallowed or eaten any of the above foods or something they shouldn’t have, you need to take them to a vet immediately. The vet may need to induce vomiting, perform surgery or give them medication to either remove the foreign object or reduce the amount of poison or toxic substance they have swallowed. The faster you act, the best chance you have of avoiding permanent damage.
Things to Do While Help is On The Way
You can do several things while waiting for a veterinary ambulance or before bringing them to an emergency vet.
- For seizures – Do not restrain your pet in any way. Instead, remove everything around your pet that might cause harm. Seizures last up to three and will eventually stop. If the seizures don’t stop after three minutes, that’s when you need to call your vet again.
- For bleedings and fractures – Before doing anything with your pet, the best thing to do is to muzzle them first. To prevent the loss of blood, get a clean gauze pad and put it over the wound. Replace the pad until the bleeding stops. Gently transfer your pet onto a flat surface like a stretcher, and secure your pet with an elastic band before loading them into your car.
Remember, when it comes to the health and safety of your pet, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you see any of the mentioned indications that we’ve talked about today or your changes in your pet’s behaviors, get in touch with an emergency vet or 24-hour animal hospital.
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