When your pet becomes sick or faces an emergency, it is important to get medical help immediately. While some illnesses or concerns can wait until your pet’s next vet appointment, some are a matter of life or death. It is important to differentiate between what can wait until morning and what needs prompt attention now. Here are five signs that you dog needs to go to the ER immediately.
Accidents with pets happen and are much unexpected. If your dog was in an accident or hurt in any way, it is possible that he could need immediate medical attention at the ER. While a visible broken bone, burn or injury that is causing distress and pain should be addressed immediately, there may be internal issues as well. For example, a ruptured spleen can be caused from a traumatic injury or accident. The spleen filters blood and also provides certain lymph functions. If your dog shows signs of pale mucous membranes, lethargy or collapse, seek immediate medical attention.
A small bee sting or a spider bite can be harmless for most dogs. If your dog develops an allergic reaction to the bite or to something he has consumed, it could be a life-threatening situation. If you notice sudden changes in behavior that include non-responsiveness, heavy breathing, swelling of the airways or other parts of the body, take your dog to the nearest ER immediately.
As dogs age and develop, they may have breathing changes as well. Panting due to high temperatures or excessive exercise is common with most breeds, especially breeds that are brachycephalic or have narrower air passages, like a pug. If you notice sudden changes in your dogs breathing or they appear to be gasping for air, you should seek prompt ER care. There could be an obstruction in the airway or it could be the sign of an underlying medical condition.
Any type of bleeding coming from a canine should be a red flag. A small cut or injury can likely be treated at home and then followed up at your next vet visit. If you notice uncontrollable bleeding or bleeding that does not stop when pressure is applied, a visit the ER vet will help solve the issue. Stitches or surgery may be needed to help resolve major bleeding issues. Medication, fluid replenishment and a blood transfusion may also be needed.
If your pet is non-responsive and won’t wake up to being called or can’t be roused, seek medical attention at once. Check for a pulse first. Locate your dog’s femoral artery located just below the inside if his back legs. This is between where the two largest muscles and the leg join the body. You should feel a pulse in this area. If you feel one, transport your dog to the ER for further evaluation.
There are several issues that can lead to your dog needing urgent care. Always ere on the side of caution. A veterinary clinical team will evaluate your pet once you arrive and recommend the best treatment plan.
Hayley is a freelance blogger. She recommends Columbus Vet experts, The Vet Clinic for comprehensive care for your dog, cat, or small animal.