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Pet Health

Is it an Emergency?

What Do You Do If You Have An Emergency?

1. Remain calm
2. Call your family veterinarian; if he or she is unavailable or you don't have a family veterinarian-
3. Call your local emergency care facility. Explain your problem to the receptionist, so the clinic can be prepared for your individual medical needs. Tell the receptionist that you are bringing in a dog or cat.

*Emergencies that require immediate attention:

  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Bleeding that does not stop
  • Bloated or distended abdomen
  • Inability to urinate or move bowels
  • Heatstroke
  • Inability to deliver kittens or puppies
  • Loss of balance, loss of consciousness or seizure
  • Severe or continuous pain
  • Major trauma, injury, or shock
  • Poisoning
  • Penetrating wounds
  • Vomiting and/ or diarrhea
  • Lameness
  • Any other signs that look serious

* List courtesy of the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Cincinnati

  • Difficulty breathing:
    - noisy respiration
    - blue tongue
    - gasping for breath
  • Bleeding that does not stop from any part of the body:  - apply pressure with a clean cloth and go!
  • Bloated or distended abdomen:
    - Swollen or painful abdomen with or without vomiting.
  • Inability to urinate or move bowels:
    - Continues to try or has bloody stool or urine or painful defecation or urination.
  • Heatstroke:
    heavy panting
    - extreme weakness
    - body temperature about 104 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Inability to deliver puppies or kittens:
    Labour contractions for longer than one hour or more than 15 minutes of labor with the fetus or membrane showing.
  • Loss of balance, consciousness or seizure including:
    - coma
    - staggering
    - convulsions
    - sudden blindness
    - tilting of the head
    - biting at imaginary objects
    -sudden changes in disposition such as unusual withdrawal or out-of-character aggressiveness

  • Pain:
    - severe or continuous

  • Major trauma- injury or shock from:
    - falls
    - vehicle accidents
    - wounds
    - cuts
    - broken bones

  • Shows signs of:
    - weakness
    - collapse
    - shallow breathing
    - rapid heartbeat
    - bewildered appearance
    - dilated pupils

  • Ingested Poison:
    - Bring the container or the name of the product if you have it

  • Penetrating Wounds:
    Anyplace, especially in the chest or abdomen

  • Vomiting or diarrhea:
    - with blood or violent episodes

  • Lameness and cannot bear any weight on the leg
    - especially when it suddenly appears or without any specific cause

  • Any other signs that look serious, such as:
    eye problems
    - severe itching with self-mutilation
    - severe hives

Poisoning?  Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center or call them at 1-888-426-4435. (A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.) 

To discuss pet health please visit our message board and click on the type of pet of your choice. Click here for a list of all the Veterinarians in the GTA.



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