Life is full of surprises, and emergencies involving your pet can occur unexpectedly. It might be challenging to determine if your pet requires urgent medical attention. That's why our Jackson vets are here to explain what situations require emergency care and what to do in the situation.
Contact your veterinarian or emergency vet clinic immediately
if your pet is having an emergency.
How do I know if my pet needs Emergency Care?
Emergencies for your pet can happen suddenly and at any time. It's smart to be ready for these situations.
Recognizing when your cat or dog requires urgent vet care isn't always easy. You should look out for signs and symptoms that suggest a visit to the emergency vet is needed. If you're unsure, don't hesitate to reach out to your regular vet or an emergency vet clinic for assistance.
Signs of a Pet Emergency
- Dilated pupils
- Lameness or inability to walk
- Bloated, swollen, or painful abdomen
- Vomiting or blood in diarrhea
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Severe injury (falls, car accidents, broken bones, open wounds)
- Loss of balance
- Obvious pain
- Unable to deliver puppies or kittens
- Inability to urinate or defecate
- Inflammation or injury to the eye
- Difficulty breathing, extreme coughing or choking
- Sudden blindness, staggering, or stumbling
- Ingestion of poisonous foods, substances, plants, or bones
Basic First Aid
Remember, providing first aid to your pet doesn't replace the necessity of veterinary care. It's merely a means to stabilize your pet before taking them to the emergency vet.
Start with muzzling your pet. Place a clean gauze pad over the injury, applying pressure with your hand until blood clotting begins (usually several minutes). Severe leg bleeding requires a tourniquet of gauze and an elastic band to secure it, bring your pet to the vet immediately.
Remove anything that could harm your pet. Don't try to hold them down. Make sure to keep your pet warm after the seizure ends, and call your veterinarian.
Muzzle your pet. Lay them on a flat surface that can be used as a stretcher to transport them to the vet. Secure them to the stretcher if possible, avoiding the injured area.
Be careful, your pet might bite when frightened. Check their mouth for any objects and gently remove them if you can, but avoid pushing them deeper into the throat. Don't spend too much time on it if it's challenging, as time is valuable. Take your pet to the vet right away.
What You Should Know in Advance
Our vets recommend preparing and having the following available in case of an emergency:
- The phone number for your vet's office
- Directions to the Emergency Vet Clinic or ER for pets
- The phone number for the Animal Poison Control Center
- The phone number for the closest Emergency Vet Clinic
- Knowledge of basic CPR for pets
- Knowledge of how to stop bleeding
- How to muzzle your dog when he's in pain so he doesn't bite others
Emergency care for your pet can be costly because of the required test monitoring and treatments. As a pet owner, you must make sure you can afford to look after your pet in case of an emergency. Emergency care for your pet can be expensive due to the amount of diagnostic testing, monitoring, and treatment necessary. As a pet owner, you are responsible for ensuring you can financially care for your pet in a crisis.
It might be easier to plan for unforeseeable circumstances with savings set aside for emergencies or pet insurance plans. Delays in care to avoid emergency fees may put your pet's life at risk, so it's important to consider this when becoming a pet owner.