Hopefully, you will never have to ask yourself that question! However, our pets have a way of getting themselves into trouble; so, here is a guideline of things that should prompt a phone call.
- Trouble breathing. This can mean a respiratory rate over 50-breaths a minute, nostrils flaring, sitting with the head extended and elbows out, and gums that are pale, or grey/blue.
- Trouble urinating. They may be straining and only producing a few drops or no urine. They may vocalize when they strain and may try to urinate in unusual locations.
- Trouble using their hindlegs or unable to walk.
- Exposure to toxicities. This includes medication, plants, chemicals.
- Everything from an animal fight to being hit by a car, a fall, or hit by an unusual object (i.e. a remote, baseball bat, golf clubs, a chainsaw). Oh, the stories I can tell from 6 years as a full-time emergency vet!
- Vulvar discharge if the pet is not spayed.
- Non-productive vomiting with dogs.
If you are not sure if your pet has a true emergency, please call and talk to one of our staff. They can assess the situation over the phone and advise you on the best course of action for your pet.
Ann E. Bastian, V.M.D.