What Constitutes an Emergency?

There almost always comes a time in every pet’s life when they are exhibiting worrisome signs or are just not themselves and many of these situations really need to be checked by a veterinarian at your closest Kelowna vet clinic. As in really. Sometimes pet owners decide to wait it out and then it becomes a tragic loss that might have been avoided, not to mention the probable suffering. Yes, it does cost some money to have them checked, but they are part of the family and deserve at least that much.

Remember

That most veterinarians — whether they work at emergency practices or at general practices — have telephones. If you’re wondering whether your dog needs treatment, call a Kelowna vet clinic to describe the situation. The vet should be able to help you decide whether the situation is urgent.

Many emergencies are pretty darn obvious — collapse, paralysis, and hemorrhagic
diarrhea being some examples. However, some urgently life-threatening problems, such as bloat, can start with symptoms that don’t seem like a big deal at first. If your pet that normally would never refuse a treat is doing so, that is a good test to see how they really feel.

First,

Check your dog’s gums. The gums give a great deal of information about circulation, blood oxygenation, shock, and hemorrhage. The gums normally should be pink and moist; when pressed gently with a finger, the pressed-upon portion should flash white and then turn pink within a second or two. Pale, blue, grey, or red gums signal trouble. It is best to check your dog’s gums regularly when he is not in distress, so that you can know what they normally look like. If your dog seems not well and you discover a difference in gum coloration, then he should receive treatment.

Second,

As mentioned above, call a veterinarian if you are in doubt or call the emergency veterinary clinic in your area.

Third,

Remember that a situation doesn’t have to be life-threatening to warrant veterinary attention. Broken toenails, ear infections, bladder infections, and hot spots are all survivable, but they are also painful and are best treated sooner rather than later if possible.

Finally,

If you’re in doubt, the safest course of action is always to seek veterinary attention. If your dog has a mild tummy ache and you take him to the vet, no harm will come to him. But if he’s suffering from bloat and you ignore it, he may be dead by the morning. Trust
me, this tragedy has happened. Symptoms that definitely indicate your pet needs immediate emergency attention include, but are not limited to:

1.    Unsuccessful attempts to vomit or retch.
2.    Distended tight abdomen
3.    Pacing and restlessness, can’t get comfortable
4.    Straining to urinate and little to no urine coming out
5.    Pale, white or shocky gum colour – know the normal colour
6.    Diarrhea with significant blood
7.    Vomiting and diarrhea and no appetite
8.    Seizure or multiple seizures lasting greater than 3 to 5 minutes and no recovery in between
9.    Difficulty breathing of any kind or cause – this can simply look like rapid breaths or deeper than normal breaths
10. Rapid heart that especially is irregular – put your ear to their chest behind armpit
11. Sudden collapse
12. Broken bones and hemorrhaging
13. Known consumption of rodent poison or anti-freeze or other poisons, like xylitol
14. Sudden onset of yelping or paralysis of hind limbs or all 4 limbs
15. Severe prolonged coughing, especially if accompanied by collapse or weakness

Don’t delay, get them in right away. In most of these cases, their life depends on it!

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