Though every responsible pet owner hopes the day will never come, unfortunately, there are countless ways our furry pets can wind up hurt and need an emergency vet visit.

But when your four-legged furry buddy develops an illness or injury after your vet’s normal hours of operation— what do you do?

veterinarian emergency is common with owning pets but in the stress of the moment, it’s difficult to determine if your pet’s condition is worth waiting for your primary vet to re-open or serious enough to consider a 24-hour vet hospital.

While there is no absolute list of “tell-tale” signs that your pet should be seen, here are the most common emergencies that need to be seen by a veterinarian emergency office immediately.

1. Bleeding and/or Trauma

Whether because of trauma or an unknown injury, if your pet has continuous nose bleeds or bleeding that lasts more than five to ten minutes this is a cause for concern and should be taken seriously.

Small injuries such as scraps or cuts can be handled at home but if your pet has experienced any sort of significant trauma such as a fall from an elevated location, being hit, or a fight with another animal, seek care immediately.

Though your pet may walk away from the event with no visible injury, some injuries may be internal could be exacerbated without proper treatment.

2. Ingestion of a Toxic Substance

Our furry friends can be sneaky. Though we can try to be on top of all harmful substances we know our pet shouldn’t intake (such as chocolate etc.) accidents can still happen.

Additionally, there are some substances some pet owners aren’t aware of that are harmful to pets. (i.e., various household plants, grapes, and raisins.)

Signs of Toxic Substances Ingestion include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Limp/Lameness
  • Hyperactivity

If your pet is showing any of these symptoms, you should seek out the poison control for animals’ hotline at 1-888-426-4435which can advise if your pet needs an immediate visit.

3. Difficulty Breathing

If your pet has a change in breathing patterns or if they are excessively panting, or coughing up pink or any frothy liquid, seek out a medical evaluation immediately.

For cats and dogs, check their gums (or tongue) to see if there is any change in coloration. If your pet’s gums are blue, pale, or gray this is a sign of lack of proper oxygen.

This can be caused by several issues such as heart disease, asthma, or even fluid build-up around the lungs.

4. Urination & Bowl Movement Issues

If you notice your animal is having issues urinating or is unable to pass a stool this is a medical emergency.

Visible straining or irritation is commonly caused by a urinary tract obstruction that can quickly become life-threatening. This issue is typically found in male indoor cats eating dry food mix and needs immediate attention.

On the other hand, excessive bowl movements, diarrhea, and vomiting can require emergency care as well.

While a single episode isn’t a cause for concern, and you can wait for your primary vet to open if your pet is suffering from repeated episodes, they can become severely dehydrated and need medical treatment.

These are just a few of the most common reasons to bring your pet to a 24-hour vet hospital. Other issues to keep an eye out for include:

  • Neurologic issues: seizures, unconsciousness, dizziness, or limpness
  • Lack or changes of appetite
  • Clear signs of pain (crying & whimpering)
  • Health increasingly becoming worse
  • Distended or bloated abdomen
  • Painful or severely irritated eyes
  • Swelling

Preparing for your ER Visit

Once you have determined if you need to see a 24-hour vet hospital remember to be prepared. Pet emergencies are tough to deal with but do not panic.

Be prepared to bring any medical records you may have and answer additional questions as the emergency vet hospital may not have any previous history with your pet.

Finally, keep in mind veterinarian emergency hospitals are potentially more costly than your primary vet visit. Typically, they will require payment at the time of service.

Because you never know when your pet will need an emergency care visit, it is important to consider pet insurance to cover these costs and unexpected emergencies.

Final Thoughts

When your pet has a potential urgent health issue, you know what is best. When it comes to your pet’s health— always trust your gut.

If you are looking for 24-hour vet services in the Tulsa area for your four-legged friend, contact Oklahoma Veterinary Specialist today!

Oklahoma Veterinary Specialists is committed to educating our clients on how to keep their pets healthy all year round through the latest advances in tech and the top veterinary specialist.

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