Whether it’s waking up to the sound of a gagging dog or the chocolate bar you had is suddenly MIA, there are many situations that can feel like a possible pet emergency.

Yet, making a visit to the nearest emergency hospital is often a second choice behind waiting it out or consulting “Dr. Google.”

Because these situations can be something of a quandary for many pet owners, the team at Huntington Veterinary Hospital would like to review what constitutes a pet emergency.

Obvious Emergencies

There are some situations that should be treated as an emergency, regardless of physical signs or symptoms. This includes:

  • Your pet has been struck by a vehicle
  • Bite from a wild or domestic animal
  • Ingestion of a poisonous or toxic substance
  • Fracture or the suspicion of broken bones
  • Fall from a great height, such as a window, roof, or balcony
  • Bleeding from the nose, eyes, ears, or rectum
  • Collapse or disorientation
  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizure
  • Heatstroke
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swollen/distended abdomen
  • Birth complications
  • Sudden lameness

Even if your pet seems fine, things like internal bleeding or toxicity may take time to become visible. For peace of mind and the wellbeing of your pet, it’s best to have him or her examined.

Signs of a Pet Emergency

There are times your pet might display symptoms that something is out-of-the-norm or he or she is behaving differently. Although we always hope nothing is wrong, it’s important to address these issues by making a call to your veterinarian.

In emergency situations, time is of the essence, so seek medical care or contact us if your pet displays any of the following:

  • Persistent vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Increased vocalization
  • Favoring one side or limping
  • Sudden change in behavior
  • Straining to urinate or defecate
  • Drooling
  • Acting as if he or she is experiencing pain

By having your pet examined, we can work to prevent the problem from worsening.

Some pet guardians also find that familiarizing themselves with basic pet first aid can be empowering. The American Red Cross offers a very useful app for pet first aid, which you can download to your smartphone.

The bottom line is if you suspect something is wrong with your beloved pet, please don’t wait to seek help!