If your pet is unwell or hurt it can be difficult to tell whether waiting to see your regular vet is ok, or whether you should take them to the emergency vet immediately. Today, our Fremont vets share 5 signs that your pet may need emergency vet care.
When should I take my pet to the emergency vet?
It's a pet owners worst nightmare, it's late at night or on a long weekend and suddenly there is something wrong with your canine companion. The trouble is, you're not sure whether the injury or illness is serious enough to justify a trip to the emergency vet, or whether your pet will be ok until you can get to your regular vet.
To help you decide when to take your pet to the emergency vet here a few symptoms that pet-parents should never ignore:
Hard, Swollen Abdomen
There are a number of reasons that your pet's abdomen may become hard and swollen (or bloated), ranging from heart failure or liver dysfunction, to uterine infection, or internal bleeding. It's never a good idea to ignore signs of a bloated abdomen in pets. If your pets is showing signs of a bloated abdomen it's time to head to the emergency vet.
If your pet's stomach becomes bloated, and you see other symptoms such as pacing, repeated unsuccessful attempts at vomiting, or saliva coming back up, it requires immediate veterinary attention!
Exposure to Toxins
There are many common human foods, medications, household products and garden plants that are toxic to pets. If you find your pet eating something they shouldn't, it's best not to wait for your pet to become severely ill. Call your vet immediately! When it comes to poisons, early treatment is essential for good outcomes
Pain is always an emergency! If your pet is showing obvious signs of pain such as vocalizing, panting, drooling, or profoundly limping do not allow your pet to suffer needlessly. When your pet is in pain, it's time to head to the emergency vet for care.
Vomiting & Diarrhea
All pets vomit at some point, and most pets will have the odd loose stool, however repeated bouts of vomiting or diarrhea can rapidly lead to dehydration which can be extremely serious. Vomiting and diarrhea can also be symptoms of serious conditions such as poisoning or gastrointestinal obstruction. If your pet is repeatedly vomiting or passing loose stool, call your vet or emergency vet right away for advice.
If you have a young pet it's extremely important to watch for signs of Parvo. Parvo in puppies is a common disease with potentially deadly consequences. And although less common in cats, it's still a possibility. If your pet is suffering from diarrhea and vomiting call your vet or emergency vet immediately! Parvo is extremely contagious, be sure to let the vet know your suspicions so that they can take appropriate quarantine measures to protect other animals.
Inability to Urinate
An inability to urinate (or reluctance to urinate) could be a sign of a bladder infection or something much more serious. While bladder infections can be very painful for pets they aren't life threatening. That said, an inability to urinate could be a sign that your pet's urinary tract has become obstructed by bladder stones. If your pet is unable to urinate there is a very good chance they are in pain and require urgent veterinary care. Call your vet or emergency vet as soon as possible.
Ultimately, it will be up to you whether to take your pet to the emergency veterinary clinic or into your vet for an emergency appointment. However, when it comes to protecting your pet's health we always feel that it's better to err on the side of caution, when in doubt contact your emergency vet for help.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.