Your pet is sick, injured, or acting strange. What should you do?
You know your pet better than anyone, and you probably notice immediately when they need help. But when should you head immediately to an emergency animal hospital?
Seek emergency care for:
Snake, insect, or another poisonous animal bite/sting. In Arizona, it’s not just rattlesnakes to worry about! Pets can be seriously injured by: bark scorpions, killer bee swarms, centipedes, Sonoran toads, Gila monsters, and more. Look for signs of an allergic reaction or poisoning such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Puffiness around the eyes
- Facial swelling
If possible remember what the snake, animal, or insect looked like so you can tell the veterinarian.
- Ingestion of poison or toxic substances – like antifreeze, rodent poison, or human medicines.
- Bite wounds, bleeding, cuts and lacerations. If you can’t get to a vet immediately, flush wounds with saline solution or clean water. Wrap large wounds with bandages or towels. Apply firm pressure to stop bleeding.
- Trouble breathing or rapid/shallow breathing – especially if your pet appears weak, or the gums are white, bluish, or grey.
- Arching back, restless, bloated, or distended stomach.
- Heatstroke/dehydration. Signs include:
- Relentless panting
- Weakness/inability to stand
- Uncoordinated movements
Hose down an over-heated animal and/or cover with wet towels until you can get to an animal hospital.
- Lameness, limping or suspected broken bones.
- Seizures – signs include the inability to stand, loss of bladder or bowel control, uncontrollable shaking or tremors, strange facial movements, or paddling with his paws while tying down as if he’s trying to swim.
Other common ailments – like vomiting, diarrhea, or trouble urinating may require a trip to the emergency hospital if severe, prolonged, or bloody. If you’re worried and can’t get in to see your veterinarian, a trip to an emergency hospital may provide peace of mind.
Keep Your Pets Away From These Items!
Here’s a list of just some of the things that might be toxic and make your pet sick.
Call ASPCA poison control at 888.426.4435 if you suspect your pet has gotten into something poisonous or toxic.
First Aid Supplies for Pets to Keep at Home:
- Antibiotic ointment
- Gauze squares or rolled gauze
- Extra leash/slip lead
- Rubber/latex gloves
- Self-adherent medical wrap
- Sterile saline or contact solution