iStock_000029229234_MediumFacing a pet emergency can be scary. But, as a pet parent, it is your responsibility to see your pet through his or her time of need. Unfortunately, not all pet emergencies are as obvious as others, and knowing how to respond to your pet’s condition isn’t always as straightforward as you might like it to be.

While every pet emergency has the potential to be unique, the following signs and symptoms should help you identify the severity of your pet’s crisis. However, if your pet’s symptoms aren’t listed below, but in your gut you know something serious is wrong, please don’t hesitate to call us (or our emergency referral partner) for a consultation.

Signs and Symptoms of a Pet Emergency

The following conditions should be considered as a pet emergency, You should bring your pet in for care right away if you are seeing the following:

  • Serious trauma, including car accidents, broken bones, or serious injury caused by a dog fight
  • Severe bleeding, especially if from a major artery
  • Coughing up blood
  • Difficulty breathing (rapid or shallow breathing)
  • Bloody urine or stool
  • The obvious ingestion of a toxin, including pesticides, rodenticides, Xylitol, or liquid nicotine
  • Seizures, collapse, and unconsciousness

Other signs of a pet emergency can include:

  • Choking, gagging, or non-stop coughing
  • Painful urination or defecation, or the inability to urinate or pass stool
  • Any injury to your pet’s eyes
  • Refusal to drink water or eat food
  • Severe diarrhea or vomiting that happens more than twice in a 24-hour period
  • Lethargy or lameness
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Shaking, whining, or other distressed vocalization
  • A swollen abdomen that is hard to the touch
  • Uncharacteristic changes in your pet’s behavior (aggression or hiding)
  • Unexplained swelling in a localized area
  • Extremely high or low body temperature
  • Complications arising from giving birth 

Time is of the Essence….

In many pet emergencies, time is of the essence if treatment is to be successful. Don’t spend needless time worrying about what to do. If you’re unsure about your pet’s symptoms, call for a consultation. But if it’s obvious that your pet needs immediate attention, come in for care as soon as possible.

At Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital, we are available during our regular business hours to treat pet emergencies. For after-hours care, please contact Angel of Mercy Animal Critical Care center at (210) 684-2105.