Having a pet is a commitment. Most people misunderstand the most common pet emergencies, and don’t call for help until it’s too late. Understanding and keeping a list of the most common emergencies that require a veterinarian’s attention will help keep a pet healthy for a long time.
1. Severe bleeding This is emergency number one because many people believe that first aid for an animal can be done at home. If the bleeding is heavy or lasts more than five minutes, it should be seen by a veterinarian. the fur could be hiding a larger problem, or the animal could need stitches to heal without infection. the cut could be deeper than it looks, or there could be internal bleeding that requires surgery.
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2. choking and labored breathing Just like with humans, it’s never a good idea to “wait and see” when an animal can’t breathe. Never try to clear the airway and learn animal CPR to keep it safe. take the vet to the ER, even if cpr helps the animal breathe again, to make sure the animal is safe. A veterinarian is the best person to make sure the animal doesn’t have internal damage that caused the breathing problems.
3. blood from extremities If there is blood in your sputum, vomit, stool, nose, ears, eyes, or mouth, it is important to find out why. perhaps the animal was injured while out of your sight and needs emergency procedures to live. blood should never be taken lightly. Seek emergency care immediately if blood from an animal is found. there could be invisible internal injuries.
4. inability to go to the bathroom if the animal has pain when urinating or defecating, or cannot do so, it is important to find out why. the animal may have a bigger problem than you can handle and may need a doctor’s attention. animals often don’t express pain, so an ongoing problem can turn into a life-threatening problem without your knowledge.
5. eye injury animal eyes are structured differently than human eyes. if the eye is injured, there could be internal damage to structures near the brain. Asking a vet for help will prevent further damage to your pet.
6. eating poison many things that are fine for humans are toxic to animals. items like antifreeze, multivitamins, chocolate, pest poison and more are very dangerous. they are also items that an animal will willingly ingest. Find out what items are poisonous to your pet and call an emergency veterinary service immediately if you suspect your animal has ingested a poisonous substance.
7. convulsions if an animal convulses, immediate veterinary attention is required. amazing also falls into this category. these activities indicate a problem with the brain and the animal needs immediate help. a veterinarian can assess the situation and may require further testing to figure out how best to help the animal.
8. lameness and broken bones It is never a good idea to allow an animal to “heal” when it shows leg problems. allowing this to happen will cause the animal unnecessary pain later in life. avoid these problems by taking your animal to the vet and help them live a longer, healthier and happier life.
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9. pain and anxiety as stated above, pets will not tell their humans when they are in pain. if an animal shows signs of pain, it has progressed to a severe condition and the animal should see a veterinarian immediately. Another method of expressing pain or illness is anxiety. If your normally happy dog suddenly bites your hand or doesn’t welcome visitors, there may be a physical problem. call a veterinarian immediately to have the animal evaluated for any possible pain. if you can identify the area of pain, it will help the vet’s diagnosis. note the animal’s behavior change and anxiety activities as well, as these notes will also help the vet.
10. heat stroke As more stories of animals left in cars surface, so does heat stroke awareness. If an animal suffers from heat stroke, they should go to the vet immediately. Some signs of heat stroke are:
- excessive panting
- dark or bright red gums
- dry tongue
- staggering, stupor, or convulsions
- bloody diarrhea and/or vomiting
11. severe vomiting/diarrhoea many people like to wait, but any of these in their severity will quickly cause dehydration and death. it is important to find out why the animal is having this reaction. take the animal to the vet and try to remember what the animal has eaten. consider any poisons the animal may have encountered using the list of poisons mentioned above. The information you can provide about your pet’s most recent activities will help the vet figure out what’s wrong.
12. refusal to drink an animal will drink constantly. If the animal has not had anything to drink in the last 24 hours, despite the availability of water, take it to the vet. Understanding your animal and keeping the water dish clean is important, but even if the dish is dirty, the animal will eventually drink from it. any refusal to do so for 24 hours is an indication of an emergency situation.
13. unconsciousness This element seems obvious, but some pet owners may think that their animal is simply sleeping. If the animal cannot be awakened from sleep, contact a veterinarian immediately. the animal may have fainted. the vet will need to evaluate the animal to find out what could be causing the animal to lose consciousness.