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Common Pet Emergencies

Common Pet Emergencies

Although it can be challenging to know if your pet's health issue is an emergency, it's always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your pet's wellbeing. Our Vienna vet team is here to tell you more about common emergencies that can affect beloved pet cats and dogs.. 

Common Emergencies Seen In Pets

There are a number of conditions, diseases and illnesses that Vienna veterinarians see on a regular basis. While not every issue requires urgent or emergency veterinary care, below are some signs that you need to take your pet to the vet's office right away: 

Vomiting And Diarrhea

  • Commonly seen in dogs, often resolves within 24 hours – but can also be signs of a more serious condition
  • Head to the vet right away if your dog displays additional symptoms like weakness, signs of pain, blood present in vomit or stool, or the condition lasts longer than 24 hours
  • If your pet has underlying conditions like diabetes or other chronic illness, vomiting can be serious and requires immediate veterinary attention
  • Vomiting and diarrhea also occur in cats, and if there is the presence of blood or foreign materials in the vomit or stool, or repeated vomiting/diarrhea, visit your vet or emergency animal clinic as soon as possible 
  • If your pet has ingested something they should not (e.g. chocolate or other foods toxic to animals; rubber bands or stuffing from toys), don't wait! Take them to the vet for treatment right away.

Trauma Or Injury

  • These can include car accidents, bites, falls, cuts or other wounds and injuries. Because internal injury may be present but undetectable at first glance, it is important to have your pet examined by a veterinarian
  • As most of these injuries or wounds cause some degree of pain to your animal companion, and a veterinarian can administer effective medication to relieve pain and discomfort.

Collapse / Weakness

  • Sudden collapse (loss of strength) or weakness has a number of potential causes, including heart disease, hemorrhage, anemia, reaction to toxic substances, diseases and conditions affecting the lungs, and conditions affecting the musculoskeletal and neurological function or structure of the animal's body.
  • Seek immediate veterinary care if your pet suddenly weakens, collapses or loses consciousness as it could be due to a life-threatening condition. 

Respiratory (Breathing) Issues

  • Some common signs of breathing issues include raspy or hoarse breathing, coughing, choking or wheezing
  • For cats, open-mouth breathing or panting is concerning – they do not pant to cool themselves as dogs do
  • Some potential causes of respiratory conditions include allergic reactions, presence of a foreign object in the throat, asthma, lung disease, and others

Urinary Tract & Reproductive Issues

  • If your cat or dog isn't urinating, is urinating frequently or is struggling to pee, or has blood in their urine, visit your vet right away. A potentially serious cause of urinary issues is a blockage, which is potentially life-threatening
  • If a pregnant female dog goes into labor, watch for:
    • more than 2 hours between puppies
    • greenish discharge without the appearance of any puppies
    • continual straining without birthing a puppy (or there is a fluid-filled 'bubble' in the dog's birth canal)
    • a change in behavior (depression, lethargy) or a temperature above 103°F (39.4°C)
    • bleeding from the mother dog's vagina for more than 20 minutes 

     If your dog is expecting puppies and encounters complications, contact your veterinarian right away.

  • If a pregnant female cat begins to give birth, keep an eye out for:
    • more than 20 minutes of labor without the appearance of a kitten
    • more than 2 hours between the birth of kittens
    • intense labor contractions of 10 or more minutes without a kitten appearing
    • mood alteration (depression, tired or lethargic) or has a temperature of more than 103°F (39.4°C)
    • gentle pressure on a trapped kitten fetus causing the mother cat pain
    • fresh blood from mother cat's vulva for over 10 minutes 

     If you have a female cat ready to have kittens, get in touch with your veterinarian if your cat encounters complications.

  • Eclampsia (also called milk fever, puerperal tetany or hypocalcaemia) usually affects mother dogs who are nursing but can develop during late pregnancy. This potentially fatal condition has symptoms that can be hard to spot at first:
    • When the dog's blood calcium levels drop below a healthy threshold, they can exhibit signs of restlessness, panting, stiffness, and increased salivation. Thius condition can swiftly worsen, leading to muscle twitching, fever and death. Get in touch with your vet at once if your pregnant dog displays any signs of eclampsia.

Neurological Issues 

  • Conditions such as seizures can interfere with your cat or dog's ability to control their movements. Symptoms include shaking and tremors, falling unconscious, making 'paddling' motion with the legs, and potential bowel or urinary accidents
  • Other neurological issues can include disorientation, incoordination, walking in circles, extreme lethargy, or coma
  • Geriatric vestibular is often seen in older dogs, and symptoms include loss of balance, tilting to one side and/or tilting the head, and rapid darting eye movements. 
  • Conditions affecting the spine (e.g. intervertebral disc disease) can also affect the use of your pet's limbs 

Ocular (Eye) Issues

  • Problems affecting the eye can rapidly worsen if untreated, resulting in the possible loss of vision or the eye itself
  • Some signs that your pet has an eye problem can include reddened eye or area around the eye, discharge, swelling, squinting or closing the eye, and pawing at or rubbing the eye 

In order to ensure that your pet has a better chance of recuperating successfully, contact your veterinarian to make an appointment to have your animal companion examined.

Allergies / Stings / Bites

  • More commonly seen in spring and summer months, but is possible year-round
  • Symptoms include facial swelling, hives (especially on the torso or stomach), and itching/scratching. More rarely, your pet might experience respiratory reactions, extreme swelling, diarrhea, or shock as a severe reaction to an allergen (e.g. multiple insect stings)

If your pet shows signs of an allergic reaction, contact your veterinarian to have your animal companion seen for urgent medical care as soon as possible.

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.

If your dog or cat is experiencing an emergency, get in touch with your Vienna veterinary team for urgent care, or head to your nearest animal emergency clinic right away.

New Patients Welcome 

Hope Advanced Veterinary Center is always accepting new patients! Our board-certified vets and specialists are passionate about restoring good health to Vienna's pets.

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