It’s a Saturday night and you’ve just come back home to find your dog vomiting and acting lethargic.
What do you do now? Is it time to race to the emergency clinic or safe to wait until Monday?
These are questions every dog owner faces at some point. And it can be difficult to know when an animal needs immediate treatment and to seek help after hours or if the symptoms will quickly pass.
But in a true emergency, time is crucial in order for a pet to recover. And in some situations, waiting could mean further damage to your pet as they suffer through the night. If they make it that long.
The following are five signs or symptoms that can’t wait and need help from an experienced veterinarian right away. This list may help you troubleshoot in an emergency and signal that you need to act NOW, not later.
If you need help, the Emergency Animal Clinic of Dallas is open nights, weekends, and holidays with locations in Greenville, Uptown, and off the Bush Turnpike.
Bleeding can be an indicator of serious injury. Go immediately to your vet if the bleeding is severe (doesn’t stop within 5 minutes), includes an open/gaping wound, is coming from the nose or mouth or rectum, or involves an eye injury.
And while coughing doesn’t necessarily mean trouble, coughing up blood is a serious sign of distress.
Obviously, dogs need to be able to breathe. If your pet is choking, has trouble breathing, or is gurgling/gagging he needs help immediately.
This could be caused by an object they’ve ingested or other internal injuries from impact such as being hit by a car.
Ingesting objects or poison
Dogs, especially young puppies, love to chew up things they shouldn’t. But if they eat a sharp object, make sure they get to the vet before it does damage to their intestines.
If they’ve swallowed a toy or other object and are not showing signs of distress, call the vet to find out if they want to see your pet right away. Some dogs have been known to pass unassuming objects without difficulty while others can become lodged or tangled in the intestines.
Chemicals can also be dangerous. If your pet swallows antifreeze, xylitol, dark chocolate, rodent poison or another poisonous chemical, don’t hesitate to get help.
Severe lameness or broken bones
If your dog is showing signs of severe lameness, or you can tell they have fractured or broken a bone, they need professional help. Many an owner has either waited too long or tried to set their pet up with a splint or wrap and done permanent damage.
Unconsciousness or overheating
If your pet has become unconscious, get them to the vet. Your quick action can determine the outcome of a life or death situation.
The same is true for a dog showing signs of severe heat stress. Panting heavily with a glazed over expression, unable to stand, and seizures are all serious signs of something wrong.