pet emergencyOur pets are fun-loving, adventurous, and playful. Unfortunately, these endearing characteristics can sometimes get them into trouble! Most of us will experience a pet emergency at some point in their lives, and so it’s a good idea to be prepared. But, how can you tell when it is an actual emergency?

It’s a difficult decision: Do we go in now, or wait until morning?

Old Derby Animal Hospital understands this dilemma, so we’re bringing you some information on how to tell if it’s a pet emergency.

You’re Never Wrong to Call

First, a word of reassurance. You know your pet better than anyone, and you’re in a position to know it something isn’t right. If you’re worried, it’s never wrong to call us to discuss what you’re seeing.

Veterinarians are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of a pet emergency, and we can guide you. If you’re concerned enough to call, you will benefit from the peace of mind that can come from bringing your pet in for a checkup.

Is It a Pet Emergency?

In some cases, you won’t wonder. Your pet will have had an obvious traumatic event, like being hit by a car, or other accident or injury. But sometimes signs and symptoms can be a bit harder to decipher. Here are some things to watch for that might signal a pet emergency:

  • Vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours
  • Straining to urinate
  • Suspected broken bones
  • Signs of heatstroke
  • Trouble breathing
  • Signs of pain (whines or cries when touched, cannot get comfortable, etc.)
  • A hard and swollen abdomen, while gagging and/or trying to vomit
  • Injury or irritation to the eyes, or sudden blindness
  • Your pregnant dog or cat has gone more than 3-4 hours between delivering puppies or kittens
  • You think your pet ate something toxic, such as rat poison, antifreeze, or chocolate
  • Seizure
  • Collapse


Think Ahead

The best way to handle a pet emergency is to be prepared. At your pet’s next wellness exam, talk to us about what to do in the event of an emergency. Keep our phone number on your refrigerator at home. After hours? Not a problem. We’ve partnered with Guardian Vet, a free after hours call service that connects you to a veterinarian or certified veterinary technician who can provide triage service to determine if it’s a true pet emergency or not. If it is, you will be automatically redirected to the emergency hospital.

It’s important to trust your instincts. If you feel something is wrong, never hesitate to call us or come in. We’re here to help in emergency situations, as with all of your pet health needs.