What is an Emergency?

We all become worried when our beloved pets become ill, but when should we take them to an emergency hospital? Most larger communities have an ER for pets, but when do we need to utilize one? What symptoms are serious and need immediate attention, and what can wait until the next day for your regular doctor? The following list will help you decide.

1. Almost any problem involving the eye should be seen right away. Glaucoma, corneal ulcers, and foreign bodies beneath the eyelids are common eye diseases where waiting could make the problem worse.

2. Profuse vomiting is another sign that needs immediate attention. Vomiting has many causes. A common reason, though, is an intestinal obstruction since pets love to eat so many weird things! If this occurs, the pet can die in a matter of hours, so an ER trip is warranted.

3. Difficulty breathing is also a problem that should not wait. This symptom again has many causes but almost all need immediate attention. Difficulty breathing may be a severe cough, but more commonly it is exaggerated effort in breathing, with pets often using their abdominal muscles to help them breathe. At first people may not notice their pet is having difficulty, but they may note that their pet does not want to lie down.

4. If there is active hemorrhage, of course, the pet needs to be seen by a veterinarian right away. If there is a small wound with just a few drops of blood, it is probably OK to wait for your regular veterinarian.

5. If your pet suddenly can't use its back legs, is dragging its rear legs, or is unable to get up, this is a reason for an emergency trip. This is a common problem, especially in Dachshunds, and emergency surgery may be needed to save the spinal cord. For the best outcome in these cases, time is of the essence.

6. If your pet has its first seizure, it should be examined immediately. Seizures are just a symptom, they have many causes, and they should be checked without delay. The pet should be monitored closely for the next several hours as another seizure may occur. If your pet has had seizures before, has been diagnosed with epilepsy, is on medication, and has another seizure, it may not need to visit the ER each time it has a seizure, but if a seizure lasts more than a couple minutes, or there are clusters of seizures, then a trip to the ER is warranted.

7. If your pet ingests a toxin, they should be taken to the emergency hospital as soon as possible. The doctor may induce vomiting to try to eliminate some of the toxin, so time is important. If there is even a possibility the pet ingested antifreeze, it is important to get to the ER immediately. There is a test to determine if they did drink any of the poison, and the antidote needs to be given within a couple of hours.
8. If your pet is pregnant, and is having difficulty having the babies, it should see the emergency veterinarian. This problem is called a dystocia and an emergency caesarean section maybe needed. Veterinarians advise that a puppy or kitten should be born within two hours of the mother starting active labor, and there should be no more than one hour between puppies or kittens. But, if you see a baby stuck in the birth canal, take them to an ER right away.

Of course, there are many other problems that pets can have. Dogs and cats can get into some very odd predicaments that may also use ER care. The dog that gets a tin can stuck to its tongue, or the bone lodged around its lower jaw, does not have a true emergency, but they sure will be happier if they can get them removed as soon as possible!

If you need advice on whether your pet's symptoms should have immediate attention, call the Emergency Hospital for advice. They will be happy to discuss your pet and their problem.

Sign up using the form below or call 508-947-1309 to make an appointment.

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

8:30 am-7:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-7:00 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

8:30 am-1:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonial

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "I'm so pleased with the experience I had at lakeville animal hospital. I am traveling with my dog from northern Maine to visit family and my dog had been sick for 3 days. She couldn't keep any food or water down. Long story short I called lakeville animal hospital and they were able to squeeze Aspen in later on in the day. Turns out the reason Aspen had been sick was that she had atleast one blockage in her intestines. They immediately sent us to a 24 hour emergency vet in Swansea for a surgery. Aspen is now out of surgery with 2 incisions in her intestines and 1 in her stomach. Being a long way from home with a sick puppy is not fun and is quite stressful. But I'm thankful the crew at lakeville animal hospital was able to see her so soon, take X-rays, give her a diagnosis, and make a recommendation for a 24 hour surgery facility."
    Rachel G. Lakeville, MA

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

  • What to do when your pet gets lost?

    Has your pet wriggled their way through the fence or dashed out the front door? When searching for your lost pet, make sure you include these steps in your hunt. ...

    Read More
  • Flea and Tick Season

    Want to protect your pet from fleas and ticks? These tips can help. ...

    Read More
  • Summer Grooming Tips

    Want to keep your pet cool and comfortable this summer? A few changes to your normal grooming routine can help. ...

    Read More
  • What to Do If Your Pet is Stung

    Don't get us wrong, we love the bees! But we don't love when our pets get stung. Follow our tips to treat and prevent bee stings on your furry best friend. ...

    Read More
  • Tips for Traveling With Your Pet

    Do you dread hitting the road with your pet? These tips may make the trip more comfortable and enjoyable for you both. ...

    Read More
  • 6 Questions to Ask At Your Senior Pet's Next Check Up

    Want to keep your senior pet healthy and happy? Ask these six questions at your pet's next check up. ...

    Read More
  • Why the Controversy About Pet Vaccinations?

    As with anything, pet vaccinations can be too much of a good thing. Similar to parents who are learning more about vaccinations for children, veterinarians and pet owners alike are beginning to question some of the standard wisdom when it comes to protecting pets. There are certain fatal diseases against ...

    Read More
  • Pet Clothes: A Fashion Statement or a Necessity?

    There is nothing cuter than a pet in a colorful sweater, but do our furry friends really need to wear clothing? Although clothing is not a necessity for every pet, some animals benefit from a little extra protection during cold or damp days. Others enjoy wearing festive clothing during holidays or other ...

    Read More
  • Introducing a New Pet to Your Current Ones

    Pet Proofing Your Home Introducing your new pet to your current one is only a single part of the equation relating to taking a new pet home. You also have to make sure your new pet is comfortable in your home, which is a foreign environment to the animal. Like humans, animals can experience high levels ...

    Read More
  • Put Some Teeth Into Your Pet’s Dental Care

    According to the American Animal Hospital Association, nearly two-thirds of pets suffer from dental problems because their owners do not provide dental care for them. Imagine what would happen to your own teeth if they were never brushed or examined by a dentist. The same thing can happen with your pet’s ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles