Common Pet Emergencies and How to React

Common Pet Emergencies and How to React

Common Pet Emergencies and How to React

Owning a pet is a commitment and it is important to understand common pet emergencies so you can respond in a timely way. Restlessness, extreme panting, agitation, increased heart rate, aggression, or lethargy are all signs of possible pet discomfort.

Call your vet if your pet is showing strange behavior and you suspect something is wrong. Pet emergencies come in various forms and can be scary for pet owners, especially if they do not comprehend what is happening.

To help prepare you, here are common pet emergencies you may encounter and how to respond to them.

Bite Wounds


At times, pets may be injured when fighting or playing. If you notice that your pet has a dispute with another pet, you should check instantly for any signs of injury. Bite wounds usually penetrate the skin, fat, and muscles may get infected.

Veterinary treatment is vital with any bite injury, regardless of how tiny it may seem. However, wounds around the chest and abdomen may become fatal. It is necessary to get prescription antibiotics and pain medication from the vet.

Allergic Reactions


Your pet can develop an allergic reaction from a vaccine, insect bite, or food. Symptoms may include itchiness, hives, facial swelling, difficulty breathing, weariness, vomiting, and diarrhea. Call your vet right away if you think your pet is having an allergic reaction.

Choking, Coughing, or Difficulty Breathing


Choking and coughing can mean your pet's lungs are not receiving enough oxygen or have fluid buildup. This is typically caused by inhaling or ingesting toxins, allergic bronchitis, fungal pneumonia, or bacteria.

Anything that compromises your pet’s breathing ability is a serious issue that should be examined by your vet as soon as possible.

Blunt Force Trauma


A blow or even a slight bump by a car on your pet’s body can cause internal bleeding, blood clots, and injuries that can be fatal.

If your pet sustains some degree of blunt force trauma, they may seem fine on the outside and it may take time before symptoms start to show. Therefore, it is critical to see your vet right after your pet experiences blunt force trauma.

Diarrhea and Vomiting


Diarrhea and vomiting can signal a problem in your pet's digestive tract. Your pet can become dehydrated, and, depending on the underlying cause, the symptoms can worsen within hours. An emergency checkup by a vet will help identify the underlying cause and prescribe appropriate treatment.

Difficulty Passing Urine


If your pet has trouble passing urine, they may have a urinary tract infection or bladder stones. Likewise, inflammation, cancer, blood clots, or even anxiety can make it difficult for your pet to pass urine.



Seizures can indicate swelling in your pet's brain, brain tumor, epilepsy, low blood sugar, or electrolyte imbalance. They can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.

For more on common pet emergencies and how to react, visit The Pets Place Animal Hospital at our office in Riverside, California. Call (951) 684-2181 to schedule an appointment today.

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