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How to Tell If Your Pet is Experiencing An Emergency

How to Tell If Your Pet is Experiencing An EmergencyAs pet owners, we know the importance of regular wellness checkups. But what do you do if the unexpected happens? Do you take them to your veterinarian or are you just over-reacting? Knowing how to identify if something is an emergency is vital, because in many of these cases time is of the essence. But you also don’t want to be the neurotic pet owner and have a hefty emergency bill for something that could have waited until you saw your regular vet.

Nobody knows your pet like you do. So if you suspect something is off or you notice they are not acting right, call your vet’s office, or if it’s after hours, call your nearest animal hospital. Usually, the emergency vets can troubleshoot over the phone and let you know if the situation is an emergency.

There are some tell-tale signs of an emergency, in which case you shouldn’t hesitate to bring them in right away. Keep in mind this list is not exhaustive, it’s definitely a right step to keeping your pet safe!


If your pet has experienced some sort of trauma, was hit by a car, had a big fall, or was attacked by another animal, immediate veterinary attention is needed. Even if your pet seems fine initially, there may be some internal injuries, like a ruptured lung, that would not show symptoms right away.

Vomiting or diarrhea

Although these are common problems in pets, they may also be signs of serious health issues. If your pet seems lethargic or weak, if you notice blood in his vomit or diarrhea, or if it persists for more than 24 hours see your veterinarian immediately.

Difficulty Breathing

Any indication that your pet is having a hard time taking normal breaths such as breathing shallow or more rapidly than normal, this could be a sign of a problem.

Significant behavior changes

If your normally docile and calm pet is suddenly aggressive or lethargic, it could be an indication that something is going on and needs to be seen right away.


Just as in humans, fevers can be dangerous in pets. If your pet has a temperature of 103 or higher it may warrant a trip to an emergency vet facility.

Seizures or Convulsions

If your pet has never experienced either of these, go to your veterinarian immediately. If your pet has epilepsy or is prone to seizures, talk to your vet about how to manage it and what to watch for.

Abdominal Pain

If you notice your pet is experiencing abdominal pain or his abdomen is distended, a serious medical problem may be the cause. Abdominal distention may be accompanied by retching, dry heaving, weakness, or difficulty breathing.

Trouble urinating or defecating

If your pet has problems going to the bathroom, or if you notice blood in his urine or stool, it may be an indication of something serious.

By keeping an eye out for these signs, you can help save your pet’s life. Remember that you know your pet better than anyone. Trust your instincts and if you sense something is wrong, contact us immediately. We are fully prepared to help you in the event of an emergency with your pet. For more information or for a full list of services, contact Animal Focus Vet, Inc today.

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