When Should You Take Your Pet To The Emergency Room?

The key to avoiding visits to the emergency room is prevention. Training, appropriate behavior management and proactive veterinary care will reduce the chances of being faced with an emergency. But prevention isn’t completely foolproof; accidents can, and do, happen despite the very best in pet care.

Emergencies are handled most effectively by pet hospitals equipped to handle urgent care situations. Pet ER’s specialize in emergency and urgent care procedures and are open during nights and weekends when most family veterinarians are closed.

While there is always the possibility that your regular veterinarian may be able to help, it is important to have the contact information for emergency veterinary hospitals in your area in the event that one of these facilities might be the best choice for your pet’s care.

Listed below are the top 10 symptoms that require emergency medical intervention:

Intestinal or urinary blockage – an inability to urinate or defecate.  Male cats that experience a urinary blockage could die without immediate treatment.

Breathing difficulty – gasping for breath and/or an inability to breathe properly could indicate heart, lung or throat problems. Urgent care is necessary.

Bleeding – wounds, both deep and superficial, can bleed a great deal making it difficult to determine the need for urgent care. Play it safe and call your local emergency veterinarian for advice.

Lethargic/listlessness – if your pet will not move, seems depressed or will not eat, prompt care is necessary.

Inability to walk/collapse – pets who have difficulty walking or collapse unexpectedly may have broken bones or more severe injuries. Prompt care is necessary.

Swollen face/allergic reaction – pets can experience allergic reactions to insect bites, vaccinations, or medications. Prompt care is necessary.

Heatstroke – this can develop quickly and often results in brain damage or even death. Emergency care is required.

Vomiting/bloody diarrhea – bloody stools, diarrhea or the inability to keep food down indicate possible severe gastrointestinal disease, a blockage or another significant problem. Urgent medical attention is necessary.

Poison exposure – if you suspect that your pet has ingested a toxic substance, bring him and the container that held the substance to an emergency veterinarian immediately. Poison control hotlines will offer advice over the phone but require a credit card to access the service. The ASPCA Poison Control Hotline is: 888-426-4435.

Car accident or blunt force trauma – a blow to your pet’s body can result in internal injuries that are not obvious to the naked eye. Be proactive and utilize emergency veterinary care. To wait might mean the loss of your pet’s life.

When Should You Take Your Pet To The Emergency Room?

Connecticut Humane Society

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Copyright 2013 Connecticut Humane Society

Copyright 2013 Connecticut Humane Society