Although I regularly share pet healthcare information on the AMC blog, I also like to remind readers that this information is not a substitute for a vet visit. You should always contact your veterinarian in an emergency. In case you are unsure as to what constitutes a pet emergency, here are my top ten reasons to take your pet to the ER (in no particular order):
1. Vomiting or diarrhea — not the run of the mill variety, but more than 2 or 3 times in an hour or if it is bloody. If the retching is unproductive in a dog with a distended abdomen, worry about bloat.
2. Red eye, runny eye or an eye injury. The littlest eye injury can quickly turn into a big problem.
3. Ingestion of a possible toxin, such as antifreeze (ethelene glycol), rat poison, human medications or a toxic plant.
4. Difficulty breathing or excessive coughing. Your dog might hold her head and neck extended to get more air or your cat might start breathing through his mouth.
5. Traumatic event such as being hit by a car or falling from a window. On the outside your pet might look fine, but internally may have suffered a serious injury.
6. Straining to urinate, especially if no urine is being produced.
7. Collapse, loss of consciousness or a possible seizure. Early intervention could prevent another one of these frightening episodes.
8. Bleeding from anywhere: a cut, a torn toenail or serious bruising under the skin.
9. An acute allergic reaction, especially if it involves swelling of the face and could compromise breathing.
10. Just to show the ER doctors how much better your pet is feeling and to thank them!
This may also be found in the “Tales from the Pet Clinic” blog on WebMD.com.
For over a century, The Animal Medical Center has been a national leader in animal health care, known for its expertise, innovation and success in providing routine, specialty and emergency medical care for companion animals. Thanks in part to the enduring generosity of donors, The AMC is also known for its outstanding teaching, research and compassionate community funds. Please help us to continue these efforts. Send your contribution to: The Animal Medical Center, 510 East 62nd Street, New York, NY 10065. For more information, visit www.amcny.org. To make an appointment, please call 212.838.7053.