Pets, like people, can sometimes suffer from conditions that require immediate emergency intervention. Our Bartlett vets explain what situations warrant emergency care and what to do when that happens.
Contact your veterinarian or emergency vet clinic immediately
if your pet is having an emergency.
How do I know if my pet needs Emergency Care?
Situations that require emergency care can occur at any time, day or night, and you'll need to be prepared for if - or when - it happens to your pet.
Knowing when your pet is in need of emergency care isn't always obvious, so you'll need to be aware of some signs and symptoms that indicate a trip to the Emergency Vet is necessary. If you're in doubt, contact your vet or emergency vet clinic for help.
Signs of a Pet Emergency
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Vomiting or blood in diarrhea
- Lameness or inability to walk
- Bloated, swollen or painful abdomen
- Dilated pupils
- Severe injury (falls, car accidents, broken bones, open wounds)
- Unable to deliver puppies or kittens
- Obvious pain
- Loss of balance
- Sudden blindness, staggering or stumbling
- Inflammation or injury to the eye
- Difficulty breathing, extreme coughing or choking
- Inability to urinate or defecate
- Ingestion of poisonous foods, substances, plants, or bones
Basic First Aid
Please be aware that attempting first aid on your pet is not intended to replace veterinary care, it is solely to stabilize your pet for a trip to your vet or emergency clinic.
Start with muzzling your pet. Place a clean gauze pad over the injury, applying pressure with your hand until blood clotting begins (usually several minutes). Severe leg bleeding requires a tourniquet of gauze and an elastic band to secure it, bring your pet to the vet immediately.
Remove objects that may hurt your pet. Do not attempt to restrain them. Keep your pet warm after the seizure is over and phone your vet.
Muzzle your pet. Lay them on a flat surface that can be used as a stretcher to transport them to the vet. Secure them to the stretcher if possible, avoiding the injured area.
Be cautious, your pet may bite out of panic. Look for objects in their mouth and try to remove it if possible, but be careful to not accidentally push the object further into the throat. Don't waste time on this if it's difficult, you could be losing precious time. Bring your pet to the vet immediately.
What You Should Know in Advance
Our vets recommend preparing and having the following available in case of an emergency:
- The phone number for your vet's office
- The phone number for the closest Emergency Vet Clinic
- The phone number for the Animal Poison Control Center
- Directions to the Emergency Vet Clinic
- Knowledge of basic CPR for pets
- Knowledge of how to stop bleeding
- How to muzzle your dog when he's in pain so he doesn't bite others
Emergency care for your pet can be expensive due to the amount of diagnostic testing, monitoring, and treatment necessary. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to ensure you can financially care for your pet in a time of crisis.
It might be easier to plan ahead for unforeseeable circumstances with savings set aside for emergencies, or pet insurance plans. Delays in care to avoid emergency fees may put your pet's life at risk, so it's important to take this into consideration when becoming a pet owner.
If your pet is in need of emergency care, please contact our Bartlett Animal Hospital or go to your nearest emergency veterinarian clinic immediately.
Looking for a vet in Memphis?We're always accepting new patients, so contact our veterinary hospital today to book your pet's first appointment.
Related Articles View All
When temperatures rise and the sun comes out heatstroke becomes a very serious health concern for our canine companions. Here our Bartlett vets share the signs of this potentially deadly condition, and what to do if your dog has heatstroke.
Our Bartlett vets see far fewer urinary tract infections in cats than dogs, but older cats can experience a number of other urinary tract issues that cause similar symptoms. Today we share some of the most common symptoms, causes and treatments for urinary tract infections and diseases in cats.
Yeast ear infections can be a real problem for dogs living in hot and humid climates, even for just a few brief summer months, but you may be able to help prevent your dog from developing a yeast ear infection. Our Bartlett vets explain how.
Itching, scratching, and licking are signs that your pooch has a skin condition known as dermatitis. Our Bartlett vets explain what could be causing your pup's skin problem and how you can help your pet to feel better.