14 animal emergencies that should receive immediate veterinary consultation and/or care

14 animal emergencies that should receive immediate veterinary consultation and/or care
By Emily Hoppmann, DVM
There are many times as a pet owner that we aren’t sure when to seek immediate medical attention, even if that means a trip to the ER, or if it is something that can wait. You are always more than welcome to contact us, but if we are closed other important numbers to have include: The Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680 and the South Carolina Veterinary Emergency Care Clinic at 1-803-798-3837. To try to take some of the guess-work out of things (especially when your mind goes blank because you are worried about your baby), I have put together a list of true emergency situations.
1. Severe bleeding or bleeding that doesn’t stop within 5 minutes
2. Choking, difficulty breathing or nonstop coughing and gagging
3. Bleeding from nose, mouth, rectum, coughing up blood, or blood in urine
4. Inability to pass feces (stool), or obvious pain associated with passing stool for over 24 hours; especially if associated with vomiting
5. Inability to urinate, frequent trips to the litter box and only producing a small amount of urine or obvious pain associated with urinating. This is especially important in male cats, who are the most likely to become “blocked” and unable to urinate
6. Injuries to your pet’s eye(s). Pet’s eyes get better fast if treated quickly, but also can become very serious, very quickly.
7. You suspect or know your pet has eaten something poisonous (such as any human medications, antifreeze, xylitol, chocolate, rodent poison, etc.)
8. Seizures and/or staggering occurring within a short time of each other (called clusters)
9. Fractured bones, severe lameness or inability to move leg(s). If you notice that your pet’s front half and back half are not moving the same way, that could indicate severe damage to the spinal cord and needs to be addressed immediately. You can also see your pet standing on the wrong side of his paw.
10. Obvious signs of pain or extreme anxiety – this can include heavy panting, shaking, isolating from the rest of the family
11. Heat stress or heatstroke – often you will find your pet laying down and unable to get up or walk in a coordinated fashion.
12. Severe, recurrent vomiting – more than 2 episodes in a 24-hour period, or if the vomiting is combined with obvious illness, contains blood, or is occurring along with any of the other problems listed here
13. Refusal to drink for 24 hours or more – even if offered ice cubes or low sodium chicken broth in the water in increase the flavor
14. Unconsciousness

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