A brown and white cat getting a checkup from a vetSeeing your pet struggle with disturbing or vague symptoms, and wondering if they need immediate medical care, is a situation most pet owners have or will find themselves in at some point. Pets are skilled at hiding signs of illness or injury, making it even more difficult to tell whether or not your pet is experiencing an emergency situation, or simply having an off day.

At Brodie Animal Hospital, we believe that all pet owners should know how to recognize and handle a pet emergency. Your prompt response will save precious time, and may even save your pet’s life.

Warning Signs

When it comes to a pet emergency, there are certain situations that warrant immediate medical attention, including:

  • Excessive bleeding, or bleeding from the mouth, nose, eyes, or rectum
  • Labored breathing, excessive panting, choking, or uncontrolled coughing
  • Obvious trauma, such as being hit by a car, falling, or fighting with another animal (even if your pet does not appear injured)
  • Vomiting or diarrhea multiple times in a 24-hour period
  • Swollen, distended, and/or hard abdomen
  • Pain, bleeding, or difficulty involving urinating or defecating
  • Obvious signs of pain, such as limping or vocalizing
  • Extreme anxiety/disorientation
  • Any injury to the eye
  • Pale gums
  • Lack of mobility
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Birthing difficulties

Please give us a call if your pet is experiencing any of the above situations, or even if something just doesn’t seem right. Time is of the essence in a pet emergency, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Pet Poisoning Emergencies

Accidental poisonings are one of the most common pet emergencies. The following products should be kept out of your pet’s reach:

  • Antifreeze
  • Human and pet medications
  • Nicotine and marijuana based products
  • Xylitol (common sugar substitute)
  • Household cleaners and other chemicals
  • Rodenticides and insecticides
  • Chocolate
  • Toxic plants

If you know or suspect that your pet has ingested a poisonous substance, seek medical care immediately. If possible, bring a sample of the substance, or the container or wrapper associated with it, to the emergency clinic.

Responding to a Pet Emergency

A pet emergency is scary and stressful, but being prepared ahead of time will contribute to a better outcome for your pet. We recommend the following preventive measures:

  • Learn pet first aid and CPR
  • Buy or put together a pet first aid kit for the home and car
  • Program our number into your phone, as well as the number of the nearest emergency veterinary hospital
  • Learn ways to protect yourself from injury when handling a pet emergency

Don’t hesitate to contact your friends at Brodie Animal Hospital with your questions, or for help with pet emergency preparedness.