You are extremely conscientious where your pet’s health is concerned. You ensure that all their vaccines are current, and that all their parasite preventives are given as directed. Their diet consists of only the most nutritious foods. However, the best-cared-for pet can become sick or injured. If they start exhibiting worrisome signs, how do you tell if they require immediate care? Our team at Colony Veterinary Hospital wants to help you determine when you should rush your pet to us for attention.

#1: Your pet collapses

Many issues may result in your pet collapsing. During hot summer months, heatstroke is a real concern. Anaphylaxis to an insect sting can make your pet unresponsive. Heart issues can precipitate a sudden drop in blood pressure, causing your pet to faint. Regardless of the underlying reason, collapse is always a red flag that something is extremely wrong with your pet and they need prompt veterinary attention.

#2: Your pet is bleeding excessively

If your pet’s bleeding has not stopped after five minutes, your pet is in danger, and you need to apply pressure to the wound with sterile bandage material or a clean cloth. For limb wounds, you should fashion a tourniquet by wrapping a belt around the limb above the wound. Keep pressure on the wound en route to the hospital.

#3: Your pet is having difficulty breathing

Watch for signs in your pet such as open-mouth breathing, exaggerated abdominal movement while inhaling and exhaling, and pale or blue mucous membranes. Asthma, allergic reactions, heart disease, and pneumonia also are all potential reasons why your pet cannot breathe well. Difficult breathing is extremely distressing for your pet, so not do anything that would cause further anxiety. Keep them calm and quiet as you transport them to the veterinary hospital as quickly as possible.

#4: Your pet ingested poison

If your pet consumes poison, such as antifreeze, rodent poisoning, or xylitol, this is definitely considered a medical emergency. Remove the substance from your pet, if possible, and take them to the veterinary hospital immediately. Take the packaging with you so the veterinarian knows exactly what your pet ingested. 

#5: Your pet is straining to urinate

Dogs and cats can develop urinary tract blockages, which are severely painful situations that need immediate veterinary care. You will notice your pet straining to urinate, crying out while posturing to urinate, and possibly vomiting. If not addressed quickly, this condition can result in bladder rupture or kidney failure.

#6: Your pet is suddenly lame

If your pet begins limping badly, or they can not move their hind limbs, they should be taken to the hospital immediately. They may have fractured a limb, or injured their spinal column, and may go into shock if not managed promptly.

#7: Your pet injures their eye

The eyes are extremely sensitive, and the smallest scratch to the cornea can result in eye loss without appropriate treatment. Signs to look for include squinting, tearing, and swelling around the affected eye. Do not attempt to rinse out your pet’s eye with water or saline, but take them directly to the veterinarian.

#8: Your pet is having a seizure

An animal who is experiencing a seizure will usually fall down, paddle their limbs, and drool or cry out. They may be dazed, unsteady, and sensitive to bright light and loud noises after the seizure ends, and must be handled carefully. Some causes of seizures include head trauma, brain tumors, infection, and epilepsy. Having your pet examined to find out the source of the problem is a priority. 

#9: Your dog appears bloated

Bloat in dogs is serious, and must be addressed right away. Your dog’s abdomen will appear swollen, and your pet will likely keep looking back at their abdominal area. They may drool and attempt to vomit, with no result. If not treated, bloating can lead to twisting of the stomach, or tearing of the stomach lining.

#10: Your pet is vomiting

If your pet vomits once but otherwise appears perfectly normal, you should simply monitor your pet. However, if the vomit contains blood, or your pet continues to vomit, they need emergency care. Excessive vomiting can be caused by intestinal obstruction, poison ingestion, or kidney failure.

All our team members at Colony Veterinary Hospital are dedicated to providing your pet with the care they need, especially at critical moments. Do not hesitate to contact us if you believe your pet is experiencing any of the above medical emergencies, or if you are uncertain whether they need urgent care.