Is It an Emergency or Not?

 In Pet Talk: In the News

On a typical day, owning a pet is nothing more than unconditional love, playing, petting and feeding. But what happens when your furry friend is just not acting right? Do you wait to see your veterinarian the next day? Call and make an appointment for next week? Or should you be rushing to the closest emergency hospital?

veterinarian working on dogWell, unfortunately, the answer is not always that clear cut.  While some emergency scenarios are obvious: your pet experiences some form of trauma such as being hit by a vehicle, dog bite wounds, jumping from places they should not, choking, then the animal should be evaluated by a veterinarian immediately.

But what if your pet is vomiting or having diarrhea, ingested something it should not have, coughing or breathing abnormally?

Well the good news is you can always call either your veterinarian or your local emergency hospital to discuss what is happening with your pet. They can then guide you on whether you should come in immediately or if the problem can wait for a day or two when an appointment can be made.

Here is a list of problems to look for in your pet to evaluate if it might be an emergency:

  • Abnormal breathing
  • Increased rate or effort in breathing
  • Abnormal noises when breathing or coughing
  • Vomiting, diarrhea or inappetence
  • Lethargy or abnormal behavior
  • Inappropriate urination or defecation or no urination or defecation
  • Pale color to the gums
  • Pain or restlessness
  • Open wounds or bleeding
  • Lameness

This list is not all-inclusive and the bottom line is that if you are concerned about your pet’s problem you can always take him or her to an emergency hospital for evaluation. There are no problems considered too small or insignificant and your piece of mind and your animal’s well being are exceptionally important.

Kerri Wiedmeyer, DVM
ER Veterinarian

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