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Dog Emergencies & What To Do!

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Be sure you know where to take your pet in dog emergencies. Does your veterinarian offer 24-hour emergency service? If not, know where your local veterinary emergency hospital is located.

So how do you know if your dog is experiencing an emergency? If you feel any situation is urgent, call your vet or the closest emergency clinic and speak to a veterinary staff member, who will assess the situation.

It’s a good idea to know some first aid for dog emergencies. This article looks at some common dog emergencies.

Acute Abdominal Pain

If your dog shows signs of abdominal pain (such as tenderness to the touch, standing with his back arched, or refusing food) take him to the closest emergency clinic immediately.

Other signs of abdominal distress can include vomiting, crying, shaking, and difficulty breathing. These may be signs of Gastric Torsion, which must be treated as soon as possible. This condition can come on suddenly and usually affects large, deep-chested dogs but can affect any dog.

Other conditions associated with abdominal pain include constipation, kidney disease, or liver disease. It could be a common stomach-ache, but it is important to have tests done to rule out anything serious.

Uncontrollable Bleeding or Bleeding From the Chest

If your dog gets a cut, apply direct pressure with a clean dry bandage to the wound. The bleeding should stop within ten minutes, after which, make an appointment to see your vet as soon as possible. The vet can only give your dog stitches within a small window of time. However, if the bleeding does not stop within twenty minutes or the bleeding is from the chest, take your dog to the emergency clinic immediately.

Broken Bones

If your dog has been in an accident where you suspect broken bones, first call your regular vet to see if you can get an appointment soon. If not, take your dog to the emergency clinic for x-rays.

Breathing Difficulties

If your dog is having breathing difficulties, take him to the closest emergency hospital immediately. There are many reasons why your dog could be having breathing problems and many of them are serious dog emergencies.

Car Accidents

If a car hits your dog, take him to the closest emergency clinic immediately. Even if he is acting normally, he may have internal injuries that need to be taken care of quickly. Wrap your dog in a blanket to help prevent shock, and stay away from his mouth because many dogs in pain will bite (even if they never have before).

Continuous Convulsions

If your dog has a minor seizure or two, it is a serious problem and you should call your veterinarian at once. However, if your dog has a series of convulsions that last for more than a few minutes, place a blanket over your dog, keep away from his mouth and get him to the nearest emergency clinic immediately. Convulsions could be a sign of epilepsy, metabolic problems, brain tumors, or poisoning.

Shock is a Dog Emergency

Shock occurs when the body does not have enough blood flow to meet its needs. A dog can suffer from four different types of shock:

    • Hypovolemic shock is the most common type of dog shock, occurring when not enough blood is circulating throughout the body. Causes can include internal or external bleeding or poor circulation.
    • Cardiac shock occurs when the heart cannot pump blood fast enough.
    • Neurogenic shock, although rare, can occur when a dog suffers a massive brain or spinal cord injury.
  • Septic shock occurs when an infection has reached the blood stream.

All four types of dog shock exhibit similar symptoms, including pale mucous membranes (inside of the mouth, gums, eyes, etc.), weakness, rapid pulse, and tangible loss of heat to the extremities (particularly the ears).

If your dog has any of these symptoms of shock or experiences any type of injury that can cause shock, take him to the vet immediately.

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Updated: November 9, 2012 — 3:43 pm

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