BrightCare is proud to offer emergency veterinary services here in Orange County. Because animals can’t talk to us with words, it can sometimes be difficult to determine what they need. It can also be difficult to determine if they need emergency veterinary care, or if they can wait for a regular vet appointment. To help you make these calls as an informed pet owner, we wanted to put together a quick guide to some of the most common reasons pet owners need to seek emergency veterinary care for their animals.
One of the most common reasons that an animal may need emergency attention is visible wounds or lacerations. These may be the result of scratches or bites from another animal or an unfortunate run-in with a sharp object like a fence they’re trying to squeeze past. You’ll want to bring your pet in for emergency care in order to lower their risk of infection and ensure that the wounds do not go deeper than they look.
Poison Exposure or Foreign Body Ingestion
If your pet swallows or is exposed to poisonous substances such as rat poison, fertilizer, cleaning supplies, human medicine, or foods that are not safe for animals, you’ll want to call an emergency vet. This is also true if your pet swallows an object they were not supposed to, such as a toy, poisonous plant, or household item.
If your pet experiences physical trauma such as a fall, a bad fight, wound, laceration, or a car accident, we recommend that you contact an emergency vet immediately. If your pet has broken bones or is experiencing internal bleeding, you may not be able to tell from just looking at them. The emergency vet will be able to quickly assess your pet’s situation and perform any necessary tests and x-rays to determine the extent of the damage they’re sustained and make a treatment plan.
Paralysis or Seizure
BrightCare vets are also trained animal neurologists, so our emergency hospital is especially equipped to handle issues like paralysis and seizures. Seizures are a very common pet emergency and the most well known animal neurological condition that pet owners deal with. Dogs and cats have seizures that are very similar to human seizures and occur when there is a disturbance in the normal brain function. Seizures usually cause uncontrollable muscle activity. If your pet is already being treated for a chronic seizure condition, you may not need to seek emergency vet care every time. However, any seizure that lasts more than 5 minutes, or multiple seizures that occur within 24 hours of each other, is cause for emergency veterinarian care.
Vertigo, Limping, or Other Behavioral Changes
If your pet is experiencing vertigo (dizziness), demonstrates limping, or displays any other major physical or behavioral changes, we recommend that you seek immediate emergency vet care for them. Emergency vets, especially ones like ours, who are animal neurologists, will be able to help determine what is causing this change and administer appropriately.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of reasons why your pet may need emergency medical attention. You know your pet best. If you think they may need emergency care, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at BrightCare Emergency Room in Mission Viejo.