What are the most common small animal emergencies?
It can be difficult to know when your pet’s health problem is life-threatening and needs emergency treatment. If you are in any doubt, always contact your vet for further advice. We would much rather you rang for advice than sat at home worrying about your pet.
Here we reveal 13 of the most common emergencies we see at Vets Now.
1. Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
Vomiting and diarrhoea are common problems in dogs and while they can be signs of a serious illness, the majority of cases are simple stomach upsets that typically resolve within 24 hours. If your dog develops any other signs such as lethargy or weakness, seems to be in pain, or the vomiting or diarrhoea contains blood or persists for more than 24 hours then call your vet immediately. If your dog has a chronic medical problem such as diabetes and starts vomiting we would not recommend waiting for 24 hours — seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.
We also occasionally see vomiting and diarrhoea in cats. If your cat vomits more than once, cannot keep water down, you see blood or unusual material in the vomit or diarrhoea, or if you have seen him eat something he shouldn’t, call your vet immediately.
Trauma cases we see include road traffic accidents, falls, bites and gunshot wounds. Sometimes it can be difficult to assess the severity of internal trauma so we would recommend your pet is seen as soon as possible following trauma even if they appear fine. Some injuries, such as a ruptured lung or internal bleeding can take some time to show signs. Wounds can be deeper than they appear and complications such as infection can develop if veterinary treatment is delayed. Most of these sorts of trauma cause some degree of pain to your pet and so they will often benefit from and require your vet to give a painkilling injection. First aid care for minor injuries on limbs or paws
Collapse describes a loss of strength causing your pet to fall and/or be unable to rise. Possible causes of collapse include heart disease, vascular (vein and artery) disease, haemorrhage (internal or external bleeding), anaemia, respiratory (lung) disease, neurological (brain or nerve) disease, musculoskeletal (muscle, ligament, tendon, bone) disease, toxicity and some drugs and medications. If your pet suffers any form of collapse seek immediate veterinary attention as there could be a life-threatening cause.