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When to Take Your Cat or Dog to the Emergency Vet

Knowing when your pet needs emergency care isn't always obvious. Here, our San Gabriel vets share some of the signs and symptoms that indicate a trip to the emergency vet is necessary. 

Contact your veterinarian or emergency vet clinic immediately
if your pet is having an emergency.

When to Visit an Emergency Vet

Day or night, a situation that requires emergency veterinary care could occur, and you'll need to be prepared, if or when it happens to your animal.

It can be difficult for pet owners to determine when their dog, cat, or other pet requires emergency care. That is why knowing some of the signs and symptoms that indicate the need for an emergency vet visit is beneficial. If you're still unsure, seek advice from your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic.

Signs of a Pet Emergency

  • Lameness or inability to walk
  • Bloated, swollen, or painful abdomen
  • Dilated pupils
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness
  • Severe injury (falls, car accidents, broken bones, open wounds)
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Vomiting or blood in diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing, extreme coughing or choking
  • Inability to urinate or defecate
  • Ingestion of poisonous foods, substances, plants, or bones
  • Unable to deliver puppies or kittens
  • Obvious pain
  • Loss of balance
  • Sudden blindness, staggering, or stumbling
  • Inflammation or injury to the eye

Basic First Aid

Please note that performing basic first aid on your pet is not intended to replace veterinary care, it is solely to stabilize your animal for a trip to your emergency vet.

Bleeding

Before you begin, muzzle your pet. Place a clean gauze pad over the injury and apply pressure with your hand for several minutes until blood clotting begins. For severe leg bleeding, a gauze tourniquet with an elastic band will be required. Bring your pet to the veterinary clinic right away.

Seizures

Do not attempt to restrain your pet. Try to remove objects that may hurt your pet. After the seizure is over, keep your pet warm and phone your vet. 

Fractures

Your pet should be muzzled. To transport your pet to the vet, place them on a flat surface that can be used as a stretcher. Secure your animal to the stretcher as much as possible without putting pressure on the injured area.

Choking

Your pet may bite out of panic, so it's important to be cautious. Check your pet's mouth for objects and try to remove them if possible. Be careful to not accidentally push the object further into your animal's throat. If this is too difficult, don't waste precious time trying. Immediately transport your pet to the vet's office or emergency veterinary clinic for care.

Being Prepared

Here is how you can be prepared for a trip to the emergency vet.

What You Should Know in Advance

You never know when an emergency will strike, but being prepared for a pet emergency can help you provide the best possible care to your animal as quickly as possible. Our San Gabriel veterinarians recommend keeping the following items on hand in case of an emergency:

  • The phone number for your vet's office
  • The phone number for the closest Emergency Vet Clinic
  • The phone number for the Animal Poison Control Center
  • How to muzzle your dog when he's in pain so he doesn't bite others
  • Directions to the Emergency Vet Clinic
  • Knowledge of basic pet CPR
  • Knowledge of how to stop bleeding

How much does an emergency vet cost?

Due to the amount of diagnostic testing, monitoring, and treatment required, emergency veterinary care can be expensive. It is a pet owner's responsibility to ensure that they can financially care for their pet in a time of crisis.

Prepare for unforeseeable events by setting aside money for emergencies or enrolling in a pet insurance plan. Putting off veterinary care to avoid emergency fees could endanger your pet's life.

If your pet is in need of emergency care, please contact our San Gabriel animal clinic or go to your nearest emergency veterinarian clinic immediately.

New Patients Welcome

Temple City Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about caring for pets in San Gabriel area. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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