Like children, pets can get themselves into trouble simply due to their curiosity and playful nature. A puppy can end up chasing a ball into a busy street, chew on an electric cord, or eat something that is not meant to be placed in anyone’s mouth. Older dogs can suffer from heatstroke, choke on parts of a toy, or cut their feet on rocks or glass. Cats can fall from a balcony, chew on dangerous house plants or be stepped on when they weave around your legs in the kitchen. Whatever may have happened, your furry family member may end up in a position to need emergency care as quickly as possible due to trauma or poisoning.
The signs of an emergency
If you don’t know exactly what happened to your dog or cat, noticing some changes in their behavior or symptoms might be the first red flag. Animals that have eaten poisonous plants or food, or who have swallowed something that is causing a blockage can act normal until it’s too late. If you have any suspicion that your pet may have gotten into something dangerous, check his/her temperature or consider visiting an emergency veterinary clinic. A drop or raise in body temperature is the first sign that something is not right. Check the color of their gums. Pale or gray gums can be a sign of anemia, poisoning or other stress within the body. Check the pulse. If your pet has not been running around and playing, but has an elevated heart rate, something is wrong. The same goes for an unusually slow or weak pulse; this can be the sign of internal bleeding from trauma or eating something dangerous.
Visiting the 24-hour emergency vet
Animals, like humans, can react differently when they are scared or in pain, so always approach with caution. Getting your friend to the emergency vet as quickly as possible can save his life, but being able to provide some first aid care beforehand can help as well. If he is bleeding, provide pressure to the area to slow or stop it. Call the emergency clinic in advance to let them know you are coming, and give them as much information as possible on the accident. The more they know beforehand, the better they can care for your pet during such a stressful and critical time in his life.