Is your pet having an emergency? Should you call a veterinarian in a pet emergency?Sometimes, a pet emergency is obvious; your pet is bleeding profusely, has stopped breathing, or has broken a bone. But what about those times when you’re concerned about your pet, but aren’t sure if the problem can wait until the next day?

You know your pet best, and any time you have the feeling something is off, it may be an indicator of a larger problem brewing. By familiarizing yourself with the common signs of a pet emergency, and calling us whenever you are in doubt about your pet’s health or safety, could make all the difference for your pet.

When Is It a Pet Emergency?

Time is of the essence when it comes to a true pet emergency. Bring your pet in for immediate medical attention if they are suffering from any of the following:

  • Serious trauma (for example, car accidents, falling from a great height, broken bone)
  • Bleeding that doesn’t stop within a few minutes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bleeding from any orifice
  • Bloody urine or stool
  • Any injury to the eyes
  • Ingestion of known toxins, including Xylitol, antifreeze, pesticides, insecticides, or nicotine  
  • Uncontrolled vomiting or diarrhea
  • Signs of heatstroke, including excessive panting/drooling, pale or bright red gums, lethargy, elevated body temperature
  • Refusal to eat or drink for 24 hours or more
  • Difficulty or inability to urinate or defecate
  • A swollen, hard abdomen
  • Signs of pain or extreme anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Complications during birthing

We are available to treat your pet’s emergency during normal business hours, for after hours emergency care, please contact Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Petersburg for assistance.

Transporting Your Pet

Properly transporting an injured pet is critical when it comes to managing a pet emergency. Pets who are frightened or in pain may act aggressively, so it’s important to protect yourself first and foremost, and call for assistance when necessary. A makeshift stretcher can be fashioned out of a towel or blanket to carefully transport a dog, and a blanket placed over a cat’s head can shield you from being bitten as you gently set your pet into a box or open-topped carrier for transport.

Be Prepared

Some emergencies are out of our control, but there are plenty of steps a pet owner can take to lower their pet’s risk of running into trouble, including:

  • Pet-proof your home, garage, and garden by moving people food, chemicals, cleaning products, and other potential toxins to where pets can’t reach them.
  • Keep your pet on a leash while outside your property.
  • Supervise your pet while away from home, or with other animals or people.
  • Put together a pet first aid kit and keep it in an easily accessible location, along with your pet’s leash, carrier, and medical records.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the staff at Bayshore Animal Hospital and Avian Practice if you’re ever in doubt about the health of your sweet pet!