Skip to Main Content

Signs That Your Pet Needs Emergency Veterinary Care

Whether you’re a new or experienced pet parent, sometimes it can be difficult to tell whether your furry friend is in need of emergency veterinary care. Our Clemmons vets share some signs and symptoms that indicate it’s time to go to your closest emergency vet hospital. 

How can I tell if my pet needs emergency veterinary care?

Day or night, situations requiring immediate emergency veterinary care may happen, and you’ll need to be prepared if - or when - it happens to your pet.

At Animal Hospital of Clemmons, we understand that it can be challenging to know when your cat, dog, or other pet needs emergency care. It’s critical to know some signs and symptoms to indicate a trip to your emergency vet is necessary.

If your pet is showing symptoms you’re not sure are an emergency, contact your vet or emergency vet clinic for advice - safe is always better than sorry.

Signs That Your Pet May Be Experiencing a Pet Emergency

Here are common signs that your pet may be experiencing a pet emergency:

  • Staggering or stumbling
  • Lameness or inability to walk
  • Blood in diarrhea
  • Bloated, swollen or painful abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Unconsciousness
  • Severe injury (fall, car accident, etc.)
  • Dilated pupils
  • Seizures
  • Eye inflammation or injury
  • Extreme coughing, choking or difficulty breathing
  • Broken bones, open wounds
  • Sudden blindness
  • Loss of balance
  • Inability to urinate or defecate
  • Obvious pain
  • Ingestion of poisonous foods
  • Ingestion of foreign objects
  • Unable to deliver puppies or kittens

Essential First Aid Tips for Pet Parents

While knowing how to perform first aid on your pet is important, these tips will not replace the need for proper veterinary care administered by a trained veterinarian.

Help Stop Bleeding

Because hurt animals may bite even their owners or people they love, you should muzzle your pet before beginning. To help stop bleeding, place a clean gauze pad over the injury and use your hand to apply pressure for several minutes until blood begins to clot.

A tourniquet of gause with an elastic band to secure it will be required for severe leg bleeding. Bring your pet in to the emergency veterinary clinic immediately for further care.

Care for a Pet With a Broken or Fractured Bone

Start by muzzling your pet and laying them on a flat surface you can use as a stretcher to transport them to the vet. If at all possible, we suggest securing your animal to the stretcher, making sure to avoid applying pressure to the injured area.

What to Do If Your Pet Has a Seizure

Is your four-legged friend experiencing a seizure? Do not attempt to restrain your pet. You’ll also want to remove any objects nearby that may potentially hurt your pet. Once the seizure is over, keep your pet warm and call your vet for advice.

If your pet’s seizure lasts for more than three minutes, or they have consecutive seizures, urgent care is required. Contact your vet immediately.

What to Do If Your Pet is Choking

Know that your pet may bite out of panic, so it’s critical to be cautious as you attempt to help them. Open your pet’s mouth to check for objects. If you spot something, try to gently remove it, being careful not to inadvertently push the object further into your animal’s throat.

If removing the object proves too difficult, don’t waste precious time trying. Immediately bring your pet to the emergency veterinary clinic or vet’s office for urgent help.

Prepare for Pet Emergencies

What You Should Know in Advance

We never plan on a emergency happening, so being prepared for a pet emergency may help you provide the best possible care quickly. Our Clemmons vets recommend keeping the following information on hand in case of a veterinary emergency:

  • Basic knowledge of how to stop bleeding
  • Knowledge of essential pet CPR
  • Your vet’s phone number
  • Phone number and directions to your nearest emergency vet clinic
  • A muzzle that fits your dog (and knowledge of how to use it correctly)
  • The Animal Poison Control Center phone number

Financial Responsibilities in a Pet Emergency

Pets can require a significant amount of veterinary care when an emergency arises. Diagnostic testing, monitoring and treatment for your pet during an emergency can quickly become expensive. It is a pet owner’s responsibility to ensure that they are able to financially care for their pets if an emergency strikes.

Be prepared for unforeseen circumstances by putting money aside on a regular basis specifically to cover the cost of emergency care for your pet, or by signing up to a pet insurance plan. Delaying emergency veterinary care in order to avoid fees may put your pet’s life at risk.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet. 

Is your pet experiencing a health emergency? Contact your vet or the nearest emergency animal hospital. At Animal Hospital of Clemmons, we provide emergency veterinary care for cats and dogs in Clemmons and greater Winston-Salem.

Emergency Vet Care Signs for Pets | Clemmons Vet

Looking for a vet in

We're always accepting new patients, so contact our veterinary hospital today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

Related Articles View All

A Pet Parent's Guide to Cat Dental Care

Cats are as likely as people to suffer from painful dental health issues caused by injury or poor oral hygiene. Unfortunately, many cat owners don't know what dental care for cats involves or how to care for their feline friend's oral health. In today's blog, our Clemmons vets explain how to clean your cat's teeth and care for their oral health.

Why Routine Exams Are Important To Your Pet's Health

Routine wellness exams help to keep your pet healthy by providing your veterinarian with an annual or twice-yearly opportunity to examine your pet for early signs of disease and to monitor your dog or cat's overall health. Today, our Clemmons vets explain why routine exams are important and what to expect at your pet's vet checkup. 

Hepatitis in Cats - Symptoms to Watch For

Hepatitis is a liver disorder that can lead to some very serious symptoms and health complications for your feline friend. Today, our Clemmons vets outline the two types of hepatitis seen in cats, symptoms, and how this serious condition can be treated.

Should I be worried about my overweight cat?

If your kitty is cuddlier than they should be your cat may be facing an increased risk of health issues. Carrying just a few extra ounces can make a big difference to your cat's overall health and longevity. Today our Clemmons vets explain how you can tell if you have an overweight cat.

Causes of Heavy Breathing in Cats

For dog's panting is a normal way to cool their body temperature, but this can be alarming behavior when seen in cats and could be a sign of an underlying health issue. Today our Clemmons vets share some reasons for heavy breathing in cats and when to head to the vet.

Looking for a vet in Clemmons? Get in touch today!

We are always thrilled to welcome new patients into our veterinary family, so contact our office today to book your first appointment with our team.

Book An Appointment