Life can be unpredictable, and veterinary emergencies can happen at any time. Our Mechanicsburg vets are here to explain what situations require emergency care and what to do in the situation.
Does My Pet Need Emergency Care?
Situations that warrant emergency or urgent care can happen unexpectedly and at any time, and it is wise to be prepared for and when it might happen to your pet.
Not every issue with your pet will count as an emergency but knowing when your pet needs emergency care from their vet is important. You'll need to be aware of some signs and symptoms that indicate a trip to the emergency vet is necessary. If you're in doubt, contact your vet or emergency vet clinic for help.
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
- Sudden blindness, staggering or stumbling
- 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
- Ingestion of poisonous foods, substances, plants, or bones
Basic First Aid
First aid does not replace the need for veterinary care, it is simply a way to stabilize your pet for transport to the emergency vet.
Place a clean gauze pad over the injury, applying pressure with your hand until blood clotting begins. Severe leg bleeding may require a tourniquet of gauze and an elastic band to secure it, bring your pet to the vet immediately.
Remove objects that may hurt your pet. Do not attempt to restrain them. Keep your pet warm after the seizure is over and phone your vet.
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 cautious, your pet may bite out of panic. Look for objects in their mouth and try to remove it if possible, but be careful to not accidentally push the object further into the throat. Don't waste time on this if it's difficult, you could be losing precious time. Bring your pet to the vet immediately.
What You Should Know in Advance
Our vets recommend preparing and having the following available in case of an emergency:
- Your vet's phone number
- Directions to the Emergency Vet Clinic or ER for pets
- The Animal Poison Control Center phone number
- The closest Emergency Vet Clinic phone number
- Knowledge of basic CPR for pets
- Knowledge of how to stop bleeding