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6 Most Common Pet Emergencies

By April 15, 2024Pet Emergency
A dog is at an emergency vet getting taken care of for the most common pet emergencies.

As a pet owner, your pet’s well-being is naturally of top importance. You spend time caring for your pet, providing them with what they need, and enjoying quality moments with them. Part of caring for your beloved pet is knowing what to do in case of an emergency. Learn about some of the most common pet emergencies that call for a visit to your trusted veterinarian or animal hospital.

1. Excessive vomiting/diarrhea 

It’s not uncommon for our pets to experience some gastrointestinal discomfort due to something they’ve eaten occasionally. Vomiting or diarrhea are tell-tale signs that something is wrong, but it doesn’t always mean your pet is experiencing an emergency. However, if vomiting or diarrhea persists for 24 hours and you notice your pet refuses to eat or drink or is increasingly lethargic, this could be a sign of a larger, more serious issue.

2. Bleeding

If you notice blood in your pet’s stool, vomit, or urine or blood on its nose, mouth, or rectum, do not delay in having it examined by a professional. This could indicate internal bleeding that needs to be taken care of immediately. 

However, if there is blood between your pet’s claws or a surface-level scratch on its body, this does not usually demand emergency medical attention. Be sure to keep an eye on the wound, keep it clean, and monitor it frequently to ensure it heals properly. Try to find what caused the injury to prevent it from occurring again. 

3. Traumatic Injury

Perhaps the most easily observable of the common pet emergencies, a traumatic injury should always trigger your emergency response. 

Examples of traumatic injury can range anywhere from an observable bone fracture to a deep wound that won’t stop bleeding, or even just your pet’s lameness or refusal to put pressure on a certain limb or area. A deep wound may need stitches and steps to prevent your pet from chewing on the wounded area.

4. Seizure

Observing signs of a seizure in your furry friend can be a traumatic thing to witness. However, this condition may be more common in pets than you think.

Seizures in pets are usually preceded by staggering, rapid eye movement, jerking/stiffening of the limbs, drooling, and more. If something seems physically off about your pet, it could be one of the many signs of a seizure. There are different levels of seriousness within pet seizures. Some might be so minor that they go completely unnoticed, while others are more serious and require veterinary attention.

5. Ingestion of Toxins 

Pets can be curious little critters in their environment, sometimes to their own detriment. From certain plants to common household supplies, or certain foods or liquids, exposure to toxins (whether ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through contact) can put our pets at extreme, immediate risk. 

Ingestion of toxins generally elicits notable changes in behavior right away, from more basic responses like lethargy to more serious signs like loss of consciousness. If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, immediate intervention can make all the difference, and emergency care by a professional should be your top priority.  

Please remember that antifreeze is incredibly deadly to pets. This is important to be aware of as you take your pet on walks anywhere where vehicles go. Antifreeze can leak onto the street and even be in puddles along the road. Do not let your pet drink water off the street or walk through potentially contaminated substances as they will likely lick their paws later, possibly ingesting toxins. Be mindful of antifreeze leaks in your garage if you keep your car in there! 

6. Difficulty Breathing

An obstruction in your pet’s respiratory tract typically begins to show itself immediately. If your pet is coughing, breathing at an increased pace, or displaying abnormal open-mouth breathing with discomfort, these are all signs that their respiratory system may be compromised. 

Any difficulty breathing should be considered a severe problem and should be addressed right away. 

Care For Any Pet Emergency

Common pet emergencies can be frighting. That’s why you should have a plan in mind for when these emergencies take place. At CVETS, emergency care for your pet is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We know emergencies don’t wait for appointments! Located in Columbia, SC, we are here for you and your pet when you need us.