When should I bring my pet to the emergency vet?
There are countless ways for our furry friends to wind up hurt or sick. Whether your pet gets into a fight with another animal, eats something it shouldn't or just becomes inexplicably unwell it's challenging to know when to head to the emergency vet clinic and when it's ok to wait for your regular veterinary office to open.
Here are a few good reasons to head to the emergency vet with your animal:
- Your pet is unconscious, has collapsed or is unsteady
- Your pet is displaying clear signs of pain such as crying, whining or whimpering
- Your pet is having difficulties breathing
- Your pet has repeated spells of vomiting or diarrhea
- Your pet is unable to move or walk normally
- You suspect your pet has a broken bone
- Your dog has a distended or bloated abdomen
- Your pet has severe bleeding, or a gaping open wound
- Your pet has experienced a trauma such as being hit by a car or falling
- Your pet has ingested something they shouldn't have such as fabric, string, toys, or rocks
- Your pet is experiencing seizures
- Your pet seems extremely lethargic
- Your pet is having difficulties urinating
- Your pet has painful or severely irritated eyes
- Your pet isn't eating or drinking
- You can see signs of swelling
- Your pet is frothing at the mouth or is excessively drooling
- Your pet has eaten something toxic including foods such as raisins and chocolate or items such as batteries
- Your pet's health appears to be getting rapidly worse for any reason
- Your pet has been bitten by a snake
What steps should I take if I have a pet emergency?
As your animal's primary caregiver you want what's best for your beloved pet. If your pet has any of the symptoms listed above it's time to take action.
- Call your emergency veterinary hospital right away. When possible, you should let your veterinarian know that you are on your way
- Follow the instructions given to you by your vet on the phone. When you call, your veterinarian may be able to give you instructions on how to make your pet more comfortable or how to apply first aid until you can get to the hospital.
- Remain calm and be extra careful around your pet. When an animal is in pain they may react negatively towards you and could cause you harm. Even if it's a pet that you've loved for many years, be extra cautious.
- Bring your pet to the emergency veterinary clinic. Do not put yourself at risk. Safely bring your pet to the emergency veterinary hospital.
How can I plan ahead for a pet emergency?
Planning ahead can help to make pet emergencies less stressful. Save the phone number of your emergency veterinary clinic on your phone and know how to get there if you need to.
No one wants to worry about emergency vet bills while their pet is unwell. Budgeting ahead of time for emergencies, or investing in pet insurance can help pet owners when the unexpected happens.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.