What to Do if Your Dog is Sick While on Vacation

You are on vacation and having a great time. Suddenly, your pet becomes ill. What do you do? First, you need decide if the illness is minor and can be treated without veterinary care. Or is it a serious problem that requires medical assistance?

Before leaving on vacation, it is a good idea to talk to your veterinarian. Ask about medications that are safe for your pet if unexpected minor illnesses occur. Once you have approval from your vet, include these medications in your pet's travel first aid kit. Also, make sure you have your veterinarian's telephone number and emergency number in case of more serious illness.

Minor Illness

With the excitement of vacation, possible diet change and various activities, it is possible that your pet's gastrointestinal tract may suffer, resulting in vomiting and diarrhea. If your pet has just a couple of episodes of vomiting, you can withhold food and water for about 6-8 hours to help ease nausea. If diarrhea occurs, use medications recommended by your veterinarian. If your pet continues to display signs of illness, or if you see blood is seen in the vomit or diarrhea, or if your pet is lethargic, do not attempt to treat your dog yourself. Contact a veterinarian.

During vacation activities injury can occur. If your pet is limping, try keeping him quiet and limit activity. If your veterinarian has recommended specific medication for soreness or mild pain, use this medication. If the limping continues or if your pet is experiencing a lot of pain, seek medical attention.

Major Illness

Anytime your pet is lethargic, weak, having trouble breathing, vomiting or having diarrhea or is in pain, seek medical assistance. If you are able to contact your veterinarian, he/she may be able to help you over the telephone but, more likely, you will be instructed to find a veterinarian in your vacation area.

If possible, contact the lodge or hotel manager or concierge and ask him or her to recommend a local veterinarian. You might also find a veterinarian in the phone book. Local emergency facilities are usually available in most large communities. In smaller cities, local veterinarians typically have emergency numbers.

Even though a veterinarian in your vacation area is unfamiliar with your pet, don't let that keep you from seeking medical care. Although a veterinarian may not know your pet's idiosyncrasies or quirks, s/he is fully capable of diagnosing, treating and alleviating illness and pain.