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Emergency Or Not: When To Bring Your Dog To Emergency Vet

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When it comes to the health care of your dog, there are vets and there are emergency vets. Regular vets typically have steady office hours and prefer to treat their patients by appointment. Emergency vets are typically open all day every day and are there to treat patients for emergency reasons that cannot wait until normal vet hours are available.

As a dog owner, it’s important that you know the difference about when to bring your dog to the emergency vet and what illnesses or issues can wait until your vet is open. The following are some events where you will want to see the emergency vet.

Pregnancy issues.

If your dog is pregnant and seems to be having issues, whether during labor or not, you will want to have them seen by an emergency vet right away. Any indication of pain or unusual behavior in your dog while they’re pregnant should be addressed right away to ensure your dog and the puppies are healthy and safe. If your dog has been in labor for more than four hours without having a puppy, you should also bring them to the emergency vet right away, as this could be a serious sign of stillbirths or other issues.

Trauma.

If your dog has experienced a major medical trauma, you need to bring them to the emergency vet. For example, if your dog was hit by a car, attacked by another animal, abused by another human, took a hard fall, or is bleeding profusely from an area of their body, you will want to have them checked by a vet as soon as possible. Even if your dog seems to be okay on the outside, it’s always good to have a vet have a look at their internal organs to make sure there is no unseen damage.

Trouble breathing.

If your dog seems to be having trouble breathing, you will want to bring them to the emergency vet. This vet will be able to diagnose your dog and determine if they’re suffering from dyspnea, tachypnea or another respiratory illness. If not treated right away, your dog’s respiratory troubles could cause them to have seizures or lose consciousness.

Disoriented.

If your dog seems to be disoriented, it could be a sign of a neurological issue, so it’s important to have your dog see the emergency vet right away. If your dog seems to have trouble seeing, walking straight or even getting up, you want to have them checked right away to find the culprit.

Toxic exposure.

If you know that your dog was recently exposed to something toxic, you need to bring them to the emergency vet right away, especially if a toxic substance was consumed. For example, if your dog ingested or was sprayed by bleach, alcohol or another toxic cleaning solution, you will want to bring them to the vet. All of these items can be life threatening to your dog if they’re not treated right away. Even if your dog seems to be acting normal, damage can still be done internally, so don’t take the risk.

Dr. Andrew Webber is a retired veterinarian and writer who is passionate about promoting pet health and safety and educating pet owners on great ways to increase your pet’s longevity.

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