Veterinary Resources | Common Emergencies

Recognizing Serious or Emergency Conditions

In an emergency, early medical intervention can frequently offer your pet the best possible outcome. Contacting your family veterinarian or an emergency clinic is an important first step in dealing with your pet's emergency.

If any of the following signs are indicated by your pet, you should seek out immediate care:

  • Bleeding from any body cavity/orifice, or extensive bruising of the body surface or gums
  • Bloody diarrhea (especially in small dogs)
  • Distended abdomen, retching, or excessive belching
  • Exposure to severe heat, or cold, for a prolonged period of time
  • Foaming or bleeding from the mouth
  • Hit by an automobile or otherwise subjected to physical trauma
  • Open-mouth breathing (especially in a cat)
  • Pacing
  • Pale, blue, or purple gums
  • Repetitious vomiting
  • Toxic ingestion – human medication, rat poison, antifreeze, snail bait, motor oil, or any unknown suspicious substance
  • Unconscious, unresponsive, or extremely lethargic
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