That gagging sound you hear in the hall or the odd way your pet is suddenly holding their paw…there are times in a pet owner’s life when the unexpected occurs. Even when we do our best to protect them, our animal friends still have a way of getting into trouble.

Unfortunately, almost all pets will experience some type of pet emergency at some point in their lives. There are false alarms, however, like the time you went overboard when your pet had that single bout of diarrhea. The problem is how to stay alert and proactive while also remaining calm and informed. That’s why the team at Goldorado Animal Hospital wants to help take the mystery out of pet emergencies.

Emergencies That Need Immediate Attention

Before we dive in, let’s cover the facts. The following situations always need veterinary attention, even when a pet appears “fine:”

  • Fall from a height
  • Attack from another animal
  • Hit by a car
  • Sudden lameness
  • Injury to the eye
  • Obvious fracture or deep wounds
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Bleeding from the mouth, nose, or anus
  • Severe vomiting/diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Delayed birth (more than 3-4 hours between kittens/puppies)
  • Abdominal bloating (stomach is hard to the touch)
  • Trouble urinating
  • Seizure
  • Loss of consciousness

Monitor and Contact Your Vet

Other times, symptoms may indicate a possible pet emergency that could also easily be a false alarm. After all, pets do get the occasional tummy ache or muscle pain after too much fun at the dog park. If you observe the following signs, we recommend calling us for further instructions:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sudden muscle or joint pain that is alleviated by rest
  • Slight increase in temperature
  • Coughing, sneezing, or respiratory illness
  • Lethargy
  • Feeling something is “off” with your pet

Pet Emergency Preparedness

One great way to assuage some of your fears about pet emergencies is to have an emergency plan in place. For example, do you have a pet first aid kit? Do you have a list of emergency clinics nearby?

Here are a few ideas of how to be more prepared for any situation:

  • Create a list of emergency clinics and after-hour instructions.
  • Keep a list of your pet’s medications and medical records in a location that’s easily accessible.
  • Store a crate or carrier, as well as extra leashes and collars in a convenient place.
  • Assemble a pet first aid kit and download the first aid app from the American Red Cross.
  • Keep extra blankets and towels in your stash of pet supplies.

While a pet emergency is something we don’t want to think about, being informed and prepared and acting quickly can help get your pet back on track should the need arise. If you’d like more information, please contact us!