Dog with first-aid kit.

Although none of us want to consider a sudden illness or injury to befalling our pets, ignoring the possibility that they will get sick or hurt reduces your ability to handle a pet emergency. We can help you recognize the signs that your pet needs immediate help, and give you some pointers on what you can do for them until you can get to a veterinary hospital. 

Importance of Prep Work

When it comes to pet health and safety, it’s often a matter of when and not if. The majority of pet owners will have to handle a pet emergency of one kind or another during their pet’s lifetime, and we are here to help you through it. 

Where to Start

It is absolutely critical to have an established relationship with a veterinary hospital long before you need them for an emergency. Veterinary hospitals that have a history treating a pet, or have easy access to their medical history, may have a better chance jumping into treatment. We can definitely still help a pet that hasn’t visited us before, but it can take a little longer to catch up.

If you are new to our practice, we welcome new pet exams at your convenience. Getting your pet started on their path to lifelong health and wellness is an important priority for us.

Always plan ahead when traveling, and have a list of 24-hour emergency veterinary hospitals in close proximity.

All the What-Ifs

In order to truly handle a pet emergency, you must remember that time is crucial and every minute counts. If you are unaware of the myriad risks facing your pet, you could waste precious time trying to figure it out. You might not know the cause right away, but being able to recognize and respond to a pet emergency though the following symptoms will help you expedite emergency care:

  • Severe, unstoppable bleeding
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Broken bones
  • Blood in vomit or diarrhea
  • Eye Injury
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Problem urinating or defecating
  • Refusal to drink water or eat
  • Obvious pain to the touch

Having a health baseline is also important. Knowing exactly what’s normal for your pet’s behavior and personality can quickly key you into what’s not normal for them. Social withdrawal, hiding, pacing, and other changes should be closely observed.

Handle a Pet Emergency With Ease

We recommend building a complete pet first-aid kit to add to your ability to handle a pet emergency. Always restock if items are routinely in use. Keep one in your car at all times, and store one at home in the same, easy to reach spot. 

Pet CPR can save a life, but it requires close study, repetition/practice, and a thorough understanding of the associated risks. Check out the Red Cross for information.

Please call us at (210) 681-1391 with any questions about how to handle a pet emergency. Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital is always here to help!