It is often difficult to decide when to seek dog emergency care. When something is wrong with your dog, your obvious first instinct is to call the vet.
If it is the weekend, after office hours or a holiday, you may wait until someone is back in the office to accept your call. That is acceptable in most cases, but there are some situations that require you to contact a vet on an emergency basis. You could put your dog’s life in danger if you delay making the call or rushing your dog in to receive immediate care.
Bleeding is not always seen outside the body. If your dog is hit by a car or suffers a tragic fall, they could suffer internal bleeding that doesn’t present itself in an obvious way until much later. By the time you realize that there is something wrong with your dog, it may be too late to save their life. This is why it is important to seek emergency care whenever your dog experiences significant trauma that causes extensive external bleeding or is high risk for causing internal bleeding.
If your otherwise healthy, active dog suddenly starts wheezing, coughing or showing signs of raspy, rough or labored breathing, it is a good idea to get them to the vet as quickly as possible. If they are breathing and you don’t think they are at risk of a complete stop to breathing, you may wait a short period of time to get a hold of your regular vet. If you think they may be choking on something or they are at risk of stopping breathing, then an emergency vet is your best option for immediate care.
There are many different symptoms that you may notice when your dog becomes unresponsive or disoriented. They may have trouble getting up and down from a lying position or may fall into the walls or trip over their own feet. They may refuse to move, eat or drink. They may simply seem unable to hear you when you call to them, ignoring everything you say to them.
There are many different illnesses and injuries that can cause a dog to become unresponsive or to act as if disoriented. The only way to clearly diagnose the situation is to get them in for immediately veterinarian care.
If you know that your dog has consumed raisins, chocolate, fertilizer or any other type of toxin, you need to have them seen as an emergency situation. These toxins can kill dogs, but with prompt intervention a vet can often restore them to health.
You may notice that your dog’s stomach is extended or that they have explosive diarrhea or chronic constipation. You may assume that this is a bad reaction to a new food or the leftovers they stole from the kitchen table, but severe stomach problems are sometimes symptoms of more serious diseases or illnesses. You should determine whether you need to take your dog to the emergency vet depending on the severity of their symptoms and other symptoms that come with the stomach problems.
You never know when these dog emergency care situations will occur, so it is important to keep the address and phone number of an emergency vet on hand. Hang it on the refrigerator or put it in another place where you will always know how to find it quickly.