Our pets are pretty good at letting us know when they’re hungry, or want a walk, or when they don’t feel well — but it can be hard to tell which is which. It’s important to know the signs of a true emergency so that you can get your pet to an emergency vet in Indianapolis for the immediate and compassionate medical care that they need. Here are ten pet emergencies and the symptoms to watch for:
1. Vomiting and Diarrhea. Most cases of vomiting and diarrhea in dogs are due to an upset stomach. Perhaps they ate something they shouldn’t have while playing in the yard or on a walk. If your furry companion isn’t feeling better the next day, watch for the following symptoms:
- Vomiting that lasts more than 24 hours
- Diarrhea that lasts more than 24 hours
- Bloody diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Your pet is lethargic or seems weak
- Your pet appears to be in pain
Call your veterinarian if your dog or cat displays any of those symptoms.
2. Dog Bite Wounds. A dog bite wound may appear to be nothing more than a little nick. However, that bite could’ve caused serious damage beneath the skin. It’s possible that your pet’s muscle, skin, and fat were torn apart by the bite. Those tears can create an air pocket beneath the skin where an infection can develop. Bites can be hard to detect depending on the fur thickness of your dog. And bites usually come in pairs. Bite wounds to the chest or abdominal cavities have the potential to be life-threatening. Contact your vet immediately for even the smallest bite wound.
3. Poisoning. Pets can suffer poisoning in a variety of ways. Dogs can eat foods that are dangerous to them such as grapes, raisins, or chocolate. Cats can consume lilies. Both dogs and cats can swallow rat poison, human medications, pesticides, bleaches, essential oils, or toilet cleaning tablets. Become familiar with substances around your home that may harm your pet. The faster you get your pet medical treatment, the better the chance the poison can be treated. The longer you wait, the more apt the poison is absorbed into the digestive system.
4. Seizures. Seizures are electrical disturbances in the brain that are sudden and uncontrolled. They can occur singly or in multiples. A seizure can happen at any time and at any frequency.
- There are two types of seizures: intracranial and extracranial. Intracranial seizures are triggered by issues such as epilepsy, brain tumors, and swelling of the brain. Extra-cranial seizures are triggered by other health issues such as low blood sugar or electrolyte disorders. An epileptic seizure is the most common type suffered by dogs and cats.
- Seizure symptoms include the following:
- Uncontrollable shaking and tremors
- Loss of consciousness
- Leg paddling
- Loss of urinary or bowel control
- Any seizure can be life-threatening for your pet. Seek immediate medical attention.
5. Difficulty Urinating. Urinary issues are something you might not expect your pet to have. You walk your dog multiple times each day or set up a private litter box for your cat. So you might not give it much thought.
But pay close attention to make sure your pet is urinating. If your pet isn’t urinating or is straining to do so, there might be a medical issue at play that goes beyond a urinary tract infection.
Straining to urinate can be a sign of crystals in the bladder. Blood clots, cancer, and inflammation can all cause urination difficulties. The inability to pass any urine for longer than 12 hours is potentially life-threatening and needs immediate medical assistance.
6. Eye Issues. Ocular issues are such that they can lead to loss of an eye or blindness if left untreated.
- Symptoms of eye issues include:
- Eye redness
- Chronic eye pawing
- Excessive tearing
Call your vet if your pet displays any of these serious issues.
7. Stings. Insect stings are a medical concern most common during the summer months but can happen any time of year. An unfortunate sting in the wrong place can make your pet very itchy.
Signs that your pet has been stung include swelling around the face or a case of hives. Severe allergic reactions to a sting can cause the airway to swell. That will affect your pet’s breathing. But severe reactions are mostly associated with multiple stings.
Follow these steps if your pet gets stung:
- Use some tweezers to remove the stinger
- Mix water and baking soda into a paste to apply to the sting site
- Relieve pain and swelling with an ice pack
- Ask your vet if it’s OK to administer an oral antihistamine
- Give your pet some fresh water and carefully observe them
Call our emergency vet in Indianapolis immediately if you notice a dramatic swelling increase or if your pet goes into anaphylactic shock.
As tempting as it might be, don’t panic and don’t start searching the internet for symptoms. Instead, call us immediately. We’re here to give your pet the same care and consideration you give them, especially in times of a medical emergency.
If your pet experiences any of the symptoms listed above, give us a call right away.