Aug 29 2014

Is It An Emergency?

by Dr. Yung

Sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether your pet is sick or injured.  Our pets cannot communicate with us in words, so we must rely on their actions and attitudes to guide us.  Remember, you know your pet better than anyone else. If you notice your pet behaving in a way that’s unusual, or if something just doesn’t seem right, you may have picked up on a subtle sign of a real problem.

Cat and Dog Emergency Symptoms:

  • Trauma – hit by a car or a blunt object or falling more than a few feet
  • Bleeding – from the eyes, nose, or mouth or there is blood in the urine or feces
  • Toxin ingestion – antifreeze, rat poison, prescription medications, sugarfree gum or baked goods (dogs), lilies (cats), chocolate, etc.  Animals will not typically exhibit any signs of illness immediately after ingestion but quick decontamination can literally save their lives
  • Inability to urinate or defecate
  • Extreme pain – whining, shaking, refusing to socialize, hiding under the bed
  • Collapse or inability to stand, dragging hind limbs
  • Sudden disorientation –  bumping into things or wobbliness while walking
  • Eye injuries and eye pain
  • Swollen/distended/hard abdomen and/or gagging and trying to vomit
  • Breathing irregularities
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours
  • Suspected fracture
  • Seizure
  • Pale gums and/or tongue – gums should be “bubble gum pink” for most animals
  • Penetrating wounds or lacerations – even if not bleeding, if repaired before contamination sets in, surgical repair is most likely to be successful and uncomplicated.  Some puncture wounds are much deeper than it looks on the surface.
  • Sudden change in appetite
  • Sudden swelling – especially of the face or legs.

This list is not comprehensive, so remember – it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your pet’s health.  If you are concerned about your pet, call us at 503-648-1643 during business hours.  For after hours emergencies call Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital.

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