Recognizing a Dog Emergency : Who and When to Call


If you’re a typical pet owner, you have probably faced this quandary: Your beloved companion may be ill, but you don’t know whether you’re overreacting or whether you should bring her in to a veterinarian. And she can’t tell you if something is bothering her, or how serious it is.

When to Call About a Dog Emergency

The simplest way to determine if it is an emergency is if you are concerned, contact a veterinarian. The veterinary assistants and veterinarian can help you determine if an emergency visit is necessary or prudent.

Performing a brief at-home physical exam may also help you. If you see any abnormalities, consult your veterinarian. For mild symptoms, scheduling an examination may be enough. But you should be aware of the signs that require immediate care. These include:

  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Non-responsive or comatose
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Extreme pain
  • Continued vomiting, especially with blood
  • If your pet was struck by a car or some other vehicle
  • Ingesting poisonous material or improper medication
  • Bloody stools
  • Collapse

    You should have your veterinarian’s phone number and address handy in case of an emergency, along with his/her pager. You should also have the phone number, address and directions to the nearest veterinary emergency clinic.

    If you cannot contact your veterinarian or he cannot help you, consult a local veterinary emergency clinic. If all else fails, look in your telephone book and try to find a veterinarian that is available to help.

Who Should I Call About a Dog Emergency?

  • If you notice an injured animal, try to contact your veterinarian for instruction and assistance.
  • If your veterinarian is not available, try to contact a local veterinary emergency center or 24-hour veterinary hospital.
  • Some local humane societies or animal shelters have ambulatory services if you are unable to transport the animal for care.
  • Animal control officers have equipment and supplies to help transport an injured animal.
  • Police officers can sometimes be helpful if the injured animal is posing a risk to people (such as affecting traffic flow).
  • If there is a tag on the injured animal, contact the owner to inform them of what has occurred and where the animal is being taken.
  • For wild animals, contact an area wildlife rescue or rehabilitation center or conservation department.


Is Pet Insurance Right for you?

The best pet insurance offers coverage that’s broad enough for whatever care your pet needs and with enough options to get the perfect coverage for you and your pet.

As one of the first pet insurance providers in the U.S., PetPartners has been offering affordable, comprehensive pet health insurance to dogs and cats in all 50 states since 2002. Trusted as the exclusive pet insurance provider for the American Kennel Club and the Cat Fanciers’ Association, PetPartners highly customizable options allow pet owners to create a plan that fits their individual needs and budget — so you’re not paying for added coverage you don’t necessarily need or want. Visit today to see if pet insurance is right for you and your family.”)

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