When to Take a Dog to the Emergency Vet

The signs of when a dog must go to the vet are not always obvious. As beloved family members, we all want the best for our canine companions and knowing when to take a dog to the emergency vet is an important skill. Some accidents and health problems are visible and warrant medical attention, while others can happen internally where you can’t see.

Here is a look into the most common reasons to immediately bring a dog to the vet.

1. Breathing Difficulty

Excessive panting, wheezing, or coughing is not normal for a dog. If you notice they’re having trouble catching their breath, this is another sign they should be brought to the vet as soon as possible. It could be a respiratory infection that, left untreated, could develop into a life-threatening infection or as serious as a heart issue. The safe thing is to have it checked. Take your dog to see the urgent care vet.

2. Vomiting or Diarrhea

Surely, most dog owners have seen their puppies occasionally vomit or have a bout of diarrhea. These episodes should be few and far between. When a dog is vomiting or has diarrhea and can’t seem to keep any food or water down, it’s time to take them to a vet. Just like with humans, dehydration and the complications that can arise from it are the big risks when it comes to excessive vomiting and diarrhea. Has your dog been evaluated if this is the case?

3. Unexplained Seizures

A seizure is indicative of something serious. Seizures can be frightening to witness. After it’s over, get your dog to an emergency vet. Unless you know they’re diagnosed with epilepsy, or there’s already an explanation for why they might experience a seizure, an unexplained seizure could relate to head trauma, poisoning, or something equally dangerous.

4. Severe Bleeding

Severe bleeding isn’t just a scratch or a little bit of blood in the mouth from having scratched themselves chewing on a toy too hard. You’ll know when you see it. Excessive bleeding can come with complications. Fast, prompt treatment from a skilled vet is necessary to stop the bleeding at the cause and ensure your dog receives the medical care they need.

5. Change In Eating or Drinking

A dog who isn’t eating regular food or treats could be a sign there’s an obstruction in their intestines or a digestive issue. Drinking too much or too little water could also be a sign of that or something like diabetes or kidney disease. These can be minor changes, but monitoring eating habits and drinking behaviour can tell a pet owner a lot about the overall health of their pup.

6. Minor to Severe Injuries

If there’s been an accident, injury, or bite from another animal, always have your dog looked at by a vet as soon as possible. Even if it initially appears minor, knowing whether there’s an internal injury is impossible. Your dog may be fine then and there, but no pet owner wants to be caught off-guard by even more of an emergency later that day or the next day. Has it checked out for any serious altercation, injury, or bite?

7. Loss Of Consciousness

Loss of consciousness, even temporarily, is a clear sign that medical care is needed. Loss of consciousness for a dog usually only stems from one of two things – a neurological issue or a cardiac one. That means it’s either the brain or the heart. Those aren’t problems that will go away on their own and can get much worse if it’s not promptly looked at.

8. Ingesting Toxic Substances

There is a long list of foods toxic to dogs. Suppose your dog has ingested chocolate, medication, household cleaning chemicals, or a plant toxic to dogs. In that case, getting them to the emergency vet as soon as possible is necessary. Dogs are small by comparison with humans, and a toxic substance isn’t just going to mean an upset stomach for them. It is life-threatening.

9. Aggressive Behavior

A dog in pain, discomfort, or injured may act aggressively toward other animals in the home or people in general. If your otherwise friendly puppy has suddenly grown aggressive, it could be a sign that they’re hurt. While moving them and getting them to a vet can be tough, they must be looked at quickly.

10. Other Signs

There are other signs that a pet needs emergency care. If your dog is experiencing any of these, immediate help is needed. Every second counts. Be prepared to take them to an emergency vet right away.

  • Pale gums could be an indication of an illness or diseas
  • A weak or rapid pulse.
  • Difficulty standing or walking.
  • Temporary paralysis.

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