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13 Things That Mean Your Pet Needs Emergency Services

Having a sick pet can be very frightening. Knowing what symptoms to look for in an emergency situation could possibly mean the difference between life and death. While we offer urgent care services for your furry friends, we also specialize in emergency vet services for those times that simply can't wait.


So what exactly constitutes an emergency veterinary services? How can you be sure when your pet is just under the weather, or in need of true emergency vet care? This article will help you decipher the signs and symptoms to look for when determining that your pet indeed needs to be rushed to your emergency vet.

Things come up from time to time with our pets that can be worrying and make us feel unsure how to respond or how to help in those situations. The best thing you can do is be aware of the signs that would mean your pet needs emergency vet services - that way you can easily navigate how to properly handle these times of uncertainty.


Here are some things to look for that should warrant an immediate trip to the emergency vet:


  • Gums any color other than pink – lift up your pet’s lip to look at the gums, if they aren't pink, they aren't healthy and need to see an emergency vet ASAP.

  • Eye abnormalities – a needed emergency visit for your pet is necessary when the eyes include swelling, redness, discharge, abnormal motion or position.

  • Swelling, odor, or discharge from the ears or ear flaps – the ears are very sensitive, so any problems can cause severe discomfort and should be addressed as soon as its detected.

  • Difficulty breathing or abnormal breathing – this is absolutely an emergency vet situation that should never wait! Sometimes merely a few minutes can make the difference in the survival of your pet.

  • Straining to urinate or not urinating – yes, urinary problems cause discomfort, but if your pet cannot pass urine, this can progress to severe illness or death and should be treated as an emergency.

  • Bloated abdomen and/or nonproductive vomiting – the primary reason that this symptom requires an emergency vet is because it can be sign of severe disease.

  • Profuse or multiple bouts of vomiting – this symptom will continue to worsen without treatment.

  • Facial swelling – without seeking the help of an emergency vet, facial swelling can quickly progress to throat swelling and difficulty breathing.

  • Bleeding – from anywhere - is never normal and should be treated immediately.

  • Toxin ingestion – anytime your pet ingests something toxic they should immediately see an emergency vet. Also, be warned - supplements, herbs, or “natural” products can be toxic too!

  • Seizures – are never “normal” and require emergency services right away.

  • Trauma – even if your pet does not externally appear injured, if they have suffered a trauma of any kind, they should be evaluated by an emergency vet.

  • Overheating – is especially a concern in Florida’s warm climate and needs to carefully be monitored.


All in all, when in doubt, don't let too much time pass before you take action. An emergency vet can intervene and save your companion's life when brought in early enough and as soon as the symptoms and signs listed above are recognized. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a stupid question, or an unnecessary visit – we will be happy to see your pet any time, for any reason!



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