An emergency trip to the veterinarian can be very stressful and result in a large bill, and there are some pet emergencies that absolutely require an immediate visit to the vet.
Deciding if your dog’s health problem is so serious that it needs immediate vet care can be a difficult decision that means the difference between spending thousands of dollars versus hundreds of dollars if you can schedule an appointment during regular hospital hours. However, it can also mean the difference between life and death for your dog.
- These are symptoms of problems that require immediate emergency veterinary care:
The most common health problems requiring an emergency visit to the pet hospital are open wounds, serious burns, and broken bones. If your dog has been hit by a car, has been in a fight with another animal, or has fallen victim to some other accident, take it to the emergency vet immediately.
White, blue or pale gums are signs of low blood pressure, poor circulation, anemia, internal bleeding, or shock. These symptoms are a clear sign that something is seriously wrong with your dog.
If you think your dog has ingested a toxic item like chocolates, pesticides, onions, or alcohol, take it to the emergency vet immediately.
If your dog seems lethargic you should take its body temperature. Normal body temperature for dogs ranges between 101 and 102 degrees. If your dog’s temperature is noticeably outside these ranges you need to seek immediate medical attention.
Abnormal and loud cries may indicate your dog is suffering from severe pain even if there are no external symptoms.
Irregular and excessive coughing can be a sign of an infection or possible problems with the trachea, or even the dog’s heart, and will require immediate attention.
A bloated abdomen may indicate serious abdominal trouble and restricted blood flow and may be accompanied by unusual vomiting. If left untreated, this condition can lead to death.
If your dog has heavy or labored breathing it could be attributed to overheating or a respiratory problem, but also could be caused by stress or obesity.
Another serious pet emergency needing a vet visit, is a seizure or unconsciousness. If this happens to your dog, take it to the pet hospital immediately.
To save yourself a needless and costly emergency trip to the vet, call the vet first and describe your dog’s symptoms before going to the pet hospital. The vet may recommend a regular scheduled appointment if he or she doesn’t think the dog’s problem is too serious.