When should you take your pet to the ER?

I just heard yet another horror story about a pet owner who waited too long to take her pet to the emergency clinic.

There are countless reasons to visit the ER with a cat or a dog, so what follows is certainly not a complete list. I organized the most common signs in 4 categories.

You should seek emergency help in the following situations.

 

General signs:

. Collapse or severe weakness

. Bleeding, external or internal

. Severe lethargy

. Trauma of any type, if it is violent enough to cause an injury or a pain reaction

. Any kind of gunshot

. Severe pain

. Jaundice (yellow gums and eyes)

. Discharge from the vulva

. Pus coming from just about anywhere

. Many things related to eyeballs: pain, bulging, squinting, scratches.

. Seizures or tremors/shaking

. Difficulty giving birth

 

GI & urinary signs:

. Severe or ongoing vomiting or diarrhea, with or without blood

. Retching, ie an unsuccessful attempt at vomiting

. Significant decrease in appetite for more than 24 hours, or complete loss

. Straining to urinate or defecate

. Eating a poison of any type

. Bloating or a distended belly

 

Respiratory signs:

. Difficulty breathing of any sort

. Severe or ongoing coughing

 

Orthopedic signs:

. Limping

. Broken bone

. Painful joint

. Dragging of or weakness in one leg or more

 

Ultimately, just about anything that worries you is a reason to go to your local emergency clinic. Think about it. What’s better, a false alarm, or arriving too late? If you’re not sure what to do, at least call please the staff at the emergency clinic to ask what they recommend.

 

Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS, CVJ, Fear Free Certified

When loving pet owners hurt their pet – badly

WARNING !!! This blog post is not for the faint of heart!!!

Of course you’ve heard of a pet who got hit by a car.

How about about a pet hit by his or her owner?

Do you find this shocking?

Do you think that this could never ever happen to you?

You’d be surprised how often this happens. It actually happens all the time! I fix these patients up regularly. They occasionally have what we call soft tissue injuries: to the lungs, the intestine or the skin. 

Most of the time, they have orthopedic injuries, i.e. broken bones, often in the pelvis. 

Sadly, some pets never make it…

How does it happen?

Occasionally, it happens when “pet meets car,” for example when a dog runs to greet his owner. 

Most of the time, it happens because the pet (cat or dog), sleeps under the car. And as you can imagine, the owner who is about to back up never suspects that their pet is sleeping under their car. 

So this is a reminder to never assume.

Always make sure you know where your pets are before you drive away.