Have you ever dealt with a sick or injured pet? Pets are just as vulnerable to illness, injury, and disease as we are. It’s important to not only be able to tell if something isn’t quite right, but also to discern whether an issue is an emergency or something that can wait a few days. A Champaign, IL vet discusses emergency pet care below.
Injuries that are obvious to see, such as limping, wounds, bleeding, or swelling, always require immediate care. Bite marks also require immediate attention, even if they don’t appear serious at first.
Poison ingestion is one of the most common causes of emergency veterinary care. If you know or suspect that your pet has ingested something toxic, or perhaps been bitten or stung by something venomous, contact your vet or a poison control center immediately. The ASPCA one is 888-426-4435. (Charges may apply.) Because time is such a critical factor here, you may be instructed to act at home before bringing your pet in. However, it’s important to follow professional guidelines, as remedies need to match the type of poison ingested. For instance, peroxide may be advised in some situations, while activated charcoal is the correct option in others.
There are also warning signs that signify a medical problem, but one that would require exams and/or tests to diagnose. Some of these include fever, lethargy, dizziness, pale/discolored gums, breathing difficulties, limping, staggering, discharge, bloated tummy, difficulty urinating, dry-heaving, coughing, stiffness, collapse, and seizures. Signs of pain, such as distressed vocalization, uncharacteristic aggression, trembling, and restlessness are also red flags.
If you don’t know if your furry friend requires emergency care, err on the side of caution and either come in or call. In some cases, the clinic may get enough information over the phone to determine whether you need to come in immediately or can wait for an appointment. Calling ahead is a good idea in an emergency anyway. Just like in human emergency rooms, animal ERs see the most serious cases first. Giving the staff a heads up that you’re coming may allow them to get a jump-start on preparations, which could make a huge difference.