What To Do When Your Dog Has a Medical Emergency

How Do I Know if my Dog is Having a Medical Emergency?

If you’re worried about your dog’s health, it’s important to know when to seek emergency veterinary care for your pup. Below are some signs that indicate your pet needs urgent medical attention.

When your dog gets sick, it is often very difficult to know whether or not the severity of their condition warrants a trip to the veterinarian or even the emergency room.

The first thing you should know is where to take your dog. Many veterinarians offer 24-hour emergency service, check with your vet to see if this is a service they offer. If not, you should know where your local veterinary emergency hospital is located.

So how do you know if your pup is experiencing an emergency? Most veterinarians will tell you that if you’re questioning whether the situation is urgent to please call your veterinarian or the closest emergency veterinary clinic and speak to a staff member. They will help assess the situation and determine if you have to bring your dog in to be examined. Listed below are some common emergency scenarios along with ideas for how to handle them.

When to seek emergency veterinary care for your pup?

Uncontrolled bleeding:

If your dog gets a cut, you should apply gentle and direct pressure with a clean, dry bandage to the wound. The bleeding should stop within 10 minutes, after that, you should make a call to your veterinarian as soon as possible to apprise them of the situation. If the bleeding does not stop within 10 minutes, you should take your dog to the emergency clinic immediately. It’s important to remember that uncontrolled bleeding is a sign that your pet needs immediate medical attention. Please note that the vet can only give your dog stitches within a small window of time so it’s important to call promptly.

Fainting, sudden collapse, unconsciousness, disorientation, or seizures:

If your dog is fainting, it’s important to act quickly and seek immediate veterinary care. Call your veterinarian or go to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital and seek immediate help. Check your dog’s heartbeat, put your hand over your dog’s heart and determine whether your dog’s heart rate is slow or rapid. This will help your vet determine the underlying cause. If possible, videotape the episode as this can be helpful for your vet to identify the underlying cause of the issue.

Staggering or stumbling:

If your dog is staggering, it could be a sign of a variety of medical issues, including injury, stroke, poisoning, or an infection. You should call your veterinarian for an exam and diagnosis. Prior to calling your vet, you should provide your dog with a comfortable place to rest, block off any staircases or sharp edges on furniture to prevent falls or bumps, confine your dog to a small area and remove objects they could trip over.

Lameness or inability to walk:

If your dog is having trouble walking, it’s important to check with your veterinarian. They can help diagnose any underlying medical conditions that may be causing the problem Check your dog’s paws for thorns, cuts, or swelling. If you see anything sharp sticking into your dog’s paw or toes, which is causing the limping, use your fingers or tweezers to gently pull the sharp object out. Rinse your dog’s paw with warm water or saline solution. If your dog has a simple sprain, keeping them off of the limb will help it heal. Most sprains will heal in a couple days. In general, a dog usually sprains just 1 leg at a time. If more than 1 leg is affected, something else might be causing your dog pain. Your vet may suggest canine rehabilitation or physical therapies to help with the problem.

Blood in diarrhea:

Bloody diarrhea in dogs is a symptom of serious health issues such as ulcers, parasites, or even cancer. Please take your dog to a veterinarian immediately. They will perform a physical examination and order additional diagnostic tests, blood work, and fecal analysis to determine the underlying cause and administer the proper treatment protocol.

Bloated, swollen or painful abdomen:

A bloated, swollen, or painful abdomen in dogs could be a sign of a serious medical condition. A swollen or distended abdomen in dogs may also be a sign of other serious medical conditions such as pregnancy, heart failure, liver dysfunction, uterine infection, internal bleeding, or Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV). It’s best to take your dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible to determine the underlying cause of the problem.

Trouble breathing:

Breathing issues in dogs can be caused by many underlying health problems, such as trauma, infections, dyspnea, tachypnea, heart failure, and tumors. Also, certain types of dog breeds are genetically predisposed to breathing problems. If your dog is having trouble breathing, you should ensure that it is in a cool, dry, comfortable place and offer it some water. If the issues persist, it is best to call your veterinarian.

If you observe any of these symptoms, it’s best to call your veterinarian or go to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital and seek immediate help.

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