Although you probably don’t want to think about the possibility, there may be a chance you’ll need to take your pet to the emergency vet at some point. As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to know which situations can wait until your regular vet is available and which ones constitute a true emergency.
In this article, we’ll give you a few examples of times when you should call an emergency vet. Remember that this isn’t an exhaustive list, but refer to it for more information to help you determine what is and isn’t a crisis in the life of your pet.
See An Emergency Vet if Your Pet Has a Broken Bone
If you see that your pet has a noticeably broken bone, she needs to go to the vet right away. Even if the break isn’t too serious, she will need to be treated by a professional. The emergency vet will likely do x-rays and scans to see the break and then choose the best course of action for treating it.
If your pet is limping as though she may have a broken bone but you can’t see or feel a physical break, she may just have a sprain. In this instance, it’s important to judge your pet’s condition on your own to determine whether or not she can wait to see her regular vet in the morning. If she’s able to behave relatively normally and doesn’t seem to be in severe pain, she may be okay to wait. Use your best judgement when making this decision.
Call An Emergency Vet if Your Pet Has An Open Wound
Pets who have open wounds should see a vet in most instances. Of course, if your pet’s open wound is a small one that you know will heal properly on its own, you can manage cleaning and wrapping the wound at home on your own. But if she has lost blood, if the wound is very deep or wide, or if she is in a lot of pain, she’ll need to go to the emergency vet.
The emergency vet will assess the wound and will apply stitches if possible. The vet will also thoroughly clean and bandage the wound and will likely give you antibiotics for your dog to prevent infection.
If Your Pet Has Multiple Seizures, See An Emergency Vet
Many pets have seizures, and it’s very important to see a vet right away if your pet experiences one. If your pet is having seizures, it could mean that they have epilepsy, which can be life-threatening if not cared for right away.
If your pet has multiple seizures within a few minutes of each other or has a single seizure that lasts more than three minutes, it’s important to take her to the emergency vet immediately.
Pets who have serious seizures likely have an underlying problem contributing to this condition. Additionally, they may suffer from long-term brain damage or other lasting problems if they have seizures that are left untreated. Severe seizures can result in death without treatment, which is why it’s very important to see a veterinarian right away if your pet is suffering from seizures.
Take Your Pet to An Emergency Vet if They’re Unresponsive
If your pet collapses, passes out, or goes to sleep and can’t be woken up, you need to take her to the emergency vet. An unresponsive pet is likely to have a serious underlying problem causing this issue.
Unfortunately, the problem may be difficult to notice ahead of time depending on the cause, so unresponsiveness may come up all of a sudden.
At the vet, your pet will be scanned and tested thoroughly. The emergency vet will do everything possible to assess your pet and wake her up as well. The results will depend entirely on the cause of this symptom.
See An Emergency Vet If Your Pet Has Been Bitten by a Snake or Spider
If you see a wound on your pet that looks like it has come from a snake or spider bite, you should consider going to the emergency vet. However, this decision will depend on any other symptoms your pet may be exhibiting.
If she seems to be doing okay despite the injury, it’s probably okay to wait it out until your regular vet can see her. However, both snake and spider bites can be painful and potentially deadly, so be sure to assess her to make the right call.
If your pet has a bite wound and is in a lot of pain or is lethargic, vomiting, or running a fever, she should go to the emergency vet. These are all classic signs of a bite from a venomous snake or spider.
If Your Pet Has Signs of Heatstroke, See An Emergency Vet Right Away
Signs of heatstroke include severe panting and drooling, difficulty breathing, lethargy, pacing, blue gums and tongue, and unresponsiveness. Your pet may also whine and show signs of pain or illness as well. Pets who exhibit signs of heatstroke need to see an emergency vet right away, but also need to be treated at home and in the car on the way to the vet.
Make sure to keep your pet very cool and allow her to rest. Give her water but don’t force her to drink it. Place cold towels on her paws and legs to help regulate her body temperature as you head to the vet.
If Your Pet Has a Known Condition That Seems to Have Worsened, Call An Emergency Vet
If your pet has an illness or condition that you already know about and something has suddenly worsened, take her to the emergency vet. This problem may need to be addressed professionally before your vet can see her. However, you will also need to take her to her regular vet for a follow-up as soon as possible in this situation.
Emergency Vets at OrlandoVets Are Here to Help
There may be many other times when you need to consider taking your pet to the emergency vet. You know your pet best, and you know what’s normal and what isn’t for her. If you think she’s having a crisis, don’t hesitate, and call an emergency vet right away.
As a pet owner, it’s a good idea to have the phone numbers of a couple of local emergency vets handy for unexpected situations. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use them, but you’ll be much more prepared and ready to deal with a problem if something does occur.
At OrlandoVets, our emergency vets are here for you and your pet when you need us most during our regular business hours. Our experienced staff helps get to the root of what’s going on with your pet and will help develop the best treatment for them. If you experience an emergency during our off hours, please contact the closest emergency vet to you that’s open.
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We are a group of veterinary hospitals located in the greater Orlando area. Our purpose is to enrich the quality of lives of pets and their families through personalized partnerships with their veterinarian.