It’s not uncommon for devoted dog parents to be accused of worrying to excess about their pups. But remember: no one knows your pet better than you. If you feel like something just isn’t right with your dog, it may very well be a veterinary emergency. Don’t ignore your instincts; it’s better to be safe than sorry, so be sure to bring your dog to your local animal hospital if you think something is amiss. And if you observe any of the following five signs of a pet emergency, get your dog to the vet right away.
You may have a veterinary emergency situation if your dog…
- Has difficulty breathing
This is one sign that should never be ignored. It’s a time-sensitive issue, and if you choose to downplay it, the consequences could be dire. If your dog is having trouble breathing normally, is making strange noises when she breathes, or is puffing up her lips when doing so, you need to take her to your emergency veterinarian right away. These difficulties could have any number of causes, but any of them will be extremely serious if left untreated.
- Has signs of bloat
Bloat is a common condition in dogs, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t concern you. In fact, bloat is a life threatening condition that needs to be dealt with immediately. Some dogs exhibit signs of abdominal distention or unsuccessful attempts to vomit, but others will just pant and be restless. You need to keep a sharp eye out for any of these symptoms, as they can be extremely subtle. Without help from a veterinarian, your dog likely won’t survive.
- Has a seizure or collapses
By itself, a seizure probably isn’t life threatening. But because seizures often come in clusters or waves, these conditions can progress if left untreated. In addition, seizures can be caused by ingestion of toxic materials, which could be fatal. If your pup collapses or shows signs of severe weakness, this could be a sign of poisoning, too. It could also be caused by internal bleeding, cardiac issues, organ failure, or a host of other problems. Regardless of the cause, your dog needs to go to the vet right away.
- Keeps vomiting or has excessive diarrhea
An isolated puking incident or gastrointestinal problem may not signal something serious. But if these instances are repeated, it’s likely something more serious is going on. In addition, these events will dehydrate your dog very quickly, which will require medical attention on its own. A good rule of thumb: if it happens more than once in a short period, call up your vet.
- Doesn’t want to eat or drink
Every dog is different; while some may always be ravenous, others may take their time before they chow down. No one knows your dog’s normal behavior better than you. But if your dog goes a day or more without eating or drinking, it’s likely that something is very wrong. And because your pup will likely be dehydrated as well, you should see your veterinarian right away.
Because our pets can’t speak our language, pet owners need to do their best to pay attention to and analyze their furry friends’ behavior. While the signs may not always be totally obvious, being in tune with your pet can make the difference between life and death. Ultimately, it’s always better to be overly cautious — and there’s nothing wrong with keeping your veterinarian on speed-dial.