It’s An Emergency!
When it CAN’T wait until tomorrow morning….
You would recognize that you should get your pet to a veterinarian immediately if they have collapsed, had a seizure, been hit by a car or are having trouble breathing. But there are many other situations when our pets should see a vet WITHOUT DELAY that you may not be aware of.
The following are just a few examples of these other situations:
Sudden Hind limb Weakness/Paralysis
We’ve all seen our elderly pets become progressively weaker on their back legs as they’ve aged due to the effects of arthritis and muscle loss. However, there can be some very serious reasons for this to occur. Dogs may develop Intervertebral Disc Disease (most commonly Dachshunds, Shih Tzus, Coton De Tulear, Corgis and Beagles, but any breed may be affected). Left untreated, this disease may quickly progress to irreversible paralysis. In cats, a sudden and often painful condition called an Aortic Thromboembolism (most common type termed a ‘Saddle Thrombus’) may occur secondary to underlying heart disease.
Any medium-large breed dog that looks as though he is trying to throw up but nothing comes up is ‘retching unproductively’. Sometimes a small amount of white foam is the only thing produced. These dogs may have a very serious and life-threatening condition called Gastric Dilation and Volvulus (GDV or Bloat, for short). In this painful medical emergency, a dog’s stomach becomes bloated with gas and twists on its axis, cutting off the vital blood supply to the stomach. Surgery is necessary to correct this problem and prevent it from recurring again in the future. Dogs most at risk are Barrel-Chested breeds such as Great Danes, Boxers, Standard Poodles and German Shepherds, but any breed may be affected.
Red, Irritated Eyes
As a general rule, when it comes to our pet’s eyes, do not wait to seek veterinary attention. Yes, your pet may have a simple case of conjunctivitis, but something more serious may be underlying. Scratches on the corneal surface, foreign objects and uveitis are all conditions that require immediate attention. Even more serious is Glaucoma, a condition in which the pressure within the eye increases dramatically. Left untreated for even a short amount of time, Glaucoma will lead to blindness in our pets.
Straining to Urinate
Do you have a male cat that urinates outside of his litterbox? Have you ever seen him straining to urinate or seen blood in his urine? He may have a condition called Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). These cats are at high risk of becoming ‘blocked’ ie. unable to urinate, which is a medical emergency. Aside from the obvious discomfort this must cause, the inability to pee causes a cat’s blood potassium levels to climb dangerously high. If left untreated, this will eventually cause your cat’s heart to stop. If you find your cat straining to urinate but nothing is coming out, he should be seen by a vet immediately.
Any change in your pet’s behaviour or routine could be a sign that something is wrong. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet come directly to The Veterinary Emergency Clinic of York Region. We never close. We’re open 24/7/365. Appointments never needed.