Would You Know a Pet Emergency if You Saw One?

Pet Emergency

Knowing what constitutes a pet emergency is an important part of caring for your furry little friend. Yet, it can be difficult even for seasoned pet person to know whether that 3 a.m. vomiting incident is just a hairball or warrants a trip to the doctor.

Some emergencies, such as car accidents or broken bones, are obvious; however, many serious medical problems have subtle symptoms that are easy to miss. Learning to recognize the signs of a pet emergency could make all the difference when it comes to keeping your pet healthy and safe.

Know What’s “Normal”

As your pet’s primary caregiver, you know his or her normal patterns, routines, and behaviors better than anyone else. Trust your instincts; don’t hesitate to call us if you feel something is “off” with your pet or if you observe behaviors such as:

  • Lack of eating or drinking

  • Changes in urination or defecation  (inability to do either warrants immediate medical attention)

  • Abnormal vocalizations

  • Limping or other changes in movement

  • Hiding, loss of interest in family members, toys, etc.


What Constitutes a Pet Emergency?

Some situations require immediate medical attention, even if they don’t appear to be life threatening. Don’t hesitate to contact us in the following circumstances:

  • Seizure, fainting, or collapse

  • Automobile accident, falling from a great height, fight with another animal, other obvious trauma

  • Any type of eye injury, no matter how minor

  • Vomiting or diarrhea

  • Bloated, swollen, or painful abdomen

  • Bleeding

  • Breathing rapidly and/or coughing

  • Confusion/disorientation

  • Exposure to or potential ingestion of a toxic substance

  • Obvious signs of pain


Being Prepared

If you’re concerned that your pet may need emergency care, please contact us.

Brushing up on your pet first aid skills and having a pet first aid kit in your home and car can help you feel more confident in an emergency situation. Download the American Red Cross “Pet First Aid” app for helpful instructions and videos.

Catching problems early is the key to having the best possible outcomes in a pet injury or illness situation. Please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Fairview Veterinary Hospital with any questions.