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What constitutes an emergency?


We get a lot of calls from owners asking if they should bring their pet in to see us or if their pet's condition can wait until their normal veterinarian can see them.  Unfortunately, since we do not know your pet and we have not seen your pet, normally we cannot make that decision for you. We can't diagnose a condition over the telephone.

Pets sometimes display very subtle symptoms only their owner may detect. They may not play as much, they may seem to be withdrawn or the opposite - they may not let you out of their sight. Their appetite may be off. You know your pet better than anyone else. If you are concerned, err on the side of caution. Get your pet to a veterinarian and get things checked out.

There are occasions where we WILL tell you to bring your pet in as soon as possible. If you see any of these symptoms or are unsure if your pet is displaying these symptoms, please bring your pet to us or to your regular vet as soon as possible.

  • Abdominal pain or enlargement
  • Repeated vomiting or gagging
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Pale gum color
  • Rapid or difficult breathing
  • Straining to urinate or defecate 
  • Prolonged labor
  • Seizures, trembling, convulsions
  • Sudden, severe lameness or paralysis 
  • Bleeding or open wounds  
  • Tissue swelling or bruising 
  • Vocalizing as if in pain or distress 
  • Weakness, disorientation or collapse 
  • Suspected poison exposure or ingestion 
  • Persistent cough 
  • Eye injury - no matter how mild 
  • Thermal stress 
  • Snake or spider bite
  • Burns
  • If you suspect your pet has ingested Tylenol or Ibuprofen

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