When dogs are ill, it is often difficult to know if they should be taken for emergency treatment. The first thing you should know in the event of an emergency is where you should take your dog. There are normally several veterinarians in any given area that offer 24-hour emergency services. Ask your regular vet if this service is offered and if not, locate an office near you where you will be able to obtain 24 hour emergency services for your pet and keep the information handy.
Here are some of the more common symptoms that may warrant an emergency visit to your vet’s office or you local emergency care provider. Most veterinarians will advise you to call the closest emergency provider and speak to a member of the staff. They will help you assess the situation and in many cases will have you bring your pet in for an examination. Emergency symptoms may include:
Extreme abdominal pain. If the dog shows signs of acute abdominal pain such as refusing food, standing with an arched back, and tenderness to the touch, you should take the dog to the nearest emergency clinic and have a full exam. Vomiting, difficulty breathing, shaking, and crying are also signs of abdominal pain and could be a symptom of Gastric Torsion. This condition can begin suddenly and tend to affect larger dogs most often, but can certainly affect any dog.
Bleeding in the chest area or uncontrolled bleeding. If your dog has a cut or deep scratch, apply pressure to the wound with a clean bandage. If the bleeding does not stop within ten minutes or if the bleeding is from the chest, go immediately to the closest emergency clinic.
Broken bones. If the dog has been in some kind of accident and you think it may have broken bones, contact your vet’s office or emergency clinic and have the dog examined right away.
Breathing difficulty. If your dog has trouble breathing, a professional should treat him immediately. There are several serious conditions that may cause breathing difficulties and could possibly be life-threatening if not treated right away.
Automobile accidents. If a car or other vehicle has hit your dog, seek emergency care immediately. There could be serious internal injuries that may not be noticeable right away. Be sure and wrap the dog in a blanket and keep away from the dog’s mouth. Dogs in pain may bite, even if the dog never bit before.
Seizures or convulsions. Any type of convulsions warrants emergency treatment. This could be an indication of poisoning, tumors, or any number of problems. Convulsions can be life threatening in many cases.