BrightCare is proud to offer you the expertise of an emergency veterinarian.
To help you make these calls as an informed pet owner, we wanted to put together a guide to some of the most common reasons pet owners need to seek emergency veterinary care for their animals and why emergency veterinary care is so important.
Being Prepared Before You Need An Emergency Veterinarian
Before anything else, you should be ready to face an emergency and stabilize your dog while you coordinate getting the professional veterinary help they need. Pet parents would do well to prepare an emergency kit to keep at hand when emergencies strike.
There are some basic items you need to face life-threatening scenarios. Still, keep in mind that when disaster strikes, your pet will require professional help. Trust the professionals and get to an emergency veterinarian care center as soon as possible.
Your emergency kit should include:
- Vaccination records and medical history;
- List of medications;
- Absorbent gauze pads;
- Adhesive tape;
- Disposable gloves;
- Scissors with a blunt end;
- OTC antibiotic ointment;
- Alcohol wipes.
Most of these supplies will come in handy if your pet suffers an accident. Still, keep in mind that your pet may only be safe in a hospital setting if the accident your pet suffered is too severe.
You could also visit this checklist put together by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Why You Need an Emergency Veterinarian
The severity of some situations will require specialized help if you want to save your pet’s life. Even minor issues can lead to additional complications if you don’t provide proper care.
Some cuts can be deeper than it seems, putting nerves and ligatures at risk. If you fear that your pet ingested something they shouldn’t and try to induce vomiting, you could complicate the problem if you act hastily.
Trust a professional in a veterinary clinic to help your pet get over their emergency and do their best to save their lives.
Which Situations Require Emergency Care?
Some medical emergencies are more common than others. We do not mean to say situations resulting from congenital conditions but instead, the problems resulting from seemingly ordinary accidents. Please pay attention to any behavioral change or signs of pain so you know how to act and get the medical care your pet needs.
One of the most common reasons that an animal may need emergency attention is visible wounds or lacerations. These may result from scratches, 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 to lower their risk of infection and ensure that the wounds do not go deeper than they look.
Carefully examine the area affected by the laceration and avoid applying pressure near the cut to avoid inducing any more pain on your pet. Try to clean the area as best as possible with running water, and contact your trusted emergency services if the bleeding doesn’t stop.
Dogs can be really energetic and playful animals, and sometimes, they can get into dangerous situations that cause open wounds. This is one of the most common reasons why an animal may need emergency attention. Lacerations can be a scary situation for you and your pet, so you might be wondering what to do when your dog has an open wound.
The first thing you need to do is closely examine the area of the wound before deciding your next steps. Remember that you can take care of superficial wounds at home, but if you see that it is a deep injury, then you need to ask for professional help.
After examining the injury, try to clean the wound with a lot of water. Use as much as you need to remove any debris from the wound; this way, you can avoid other complications. The next step is to dry the area; you can use a clean cloth or a towel. Before bandaging the wound, we recommend that you put in special antiseptic solutions for dogs. Remember that your dog should not lick their wound.
When you are dealing with a severe case of laceration that affects body tissues like muscles or tendons, you need to do whatever you can to stabilize your dog and take them to an animal clinic.
Poison Exposure or Foreign Body Ingestion
Suppose 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. In that case, 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 you notice your pet has any difficulty breathing, you’ll do well to inspect your dog’s mouth and get in touch with an emergency veterinarian as soon as possible.
If your pet experiences physical trauma such as a fall, a bad fight, a wound, a 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 by 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’ve sustained and make a treatment plan.
Such additional examinations are only possible at animal hospitals, meaning that if you want someone to assess the damage to your pet fully, you will need professional veterinary emergency care.
Paralysis or Seizure
BrightCare vets are also trained animal neurologists, so our emergency hospital is specially equipped to handle paralysis and seizures. Seizures are a widespread pet emergency and the most well-known animal neurological condition that pet owners deal with.
Dogs and cats have seizures similar to human seizures and occur when there is a disturbance in normal brain function. Seizures usually cause uncontrollable muscle activity.
If your pet is already receiving treatment 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 help determine what is causing this change and administer care 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.
Hot weather and high temperatures can affect the well-being of our pets, especially if they have been playing or exercising outdoors. Heatstroke is a serious condition that can occur when the body temperature rises to dangerously high levels.
If you suspect your pet is suffering from heatstroke, you should take immediate action; we recommend that you move your pet to a cooler area and offer them fresh water. It is important to keep them hydrated, but be careful not to force them to drink it.
We also recommend that you seek veterinary care, even if your pet seems to be recovering. Heatstroke is a medical emergency that can cause internal damage that you might not notice at the moment.
Frequent Sneezing in Cats
As a pet lover, you might be worried when your cat is frequently sneezing. There are several reasons why this can happen, including allergies, respiratory infections, or reactions to irritant elements. Some of these causes can be more serious than others. However, we recommend that you closely monitor your pet’s situation and check with your trusted vet.
Here are some of the possible causes for your cat to sneeze:
Just like people, cats can be allergic to several factors, such as food, mold, dust, or even pollen.
One of the most common reasons for your cat to sneeze is that they are combating a cold or a respiratory infection caused by a virus.
There are several substances like chemicals, smoke, or strong odors that can irritate the nasal passages of your furry companion.
When we notice an unusual pattern in our pet’s behavior, we can hope that it is not something serious. But in this case, the best course of action is to seek prompt veterinarian attention. This is the only way we can make sure that we have the right diagnosis and proper treatment for our pet.
Several factors can cause diarrhea, including dietary changes, food allergies, infections, or parasites. To determine the cause and receive proper treatment, you should take your pet to the veterinarian. They will examine your furry friend and take action to help alleviate their discomfort.
If you are wondering what you can do in case your pet has diarrhea, then we recommend that you help them to stay well-hydrated. You should ensure they have access to clean and fresh water at all times.
Watering of the Eyes
If you notice that your pet has watery eyes, you can examine the area and try to keep it clean. You can use a clean cloth to wipe away gently any discharge from the eyes. But you need to be really careful and not apply pressure on their eyes. In addition, we recommend that you keep your pet away from potential irritants such as strong odors or cleaning products.
It is important to understand that the eyes of your pet are delicate, and if you notice any issues involving them, you should take it seriously. You should seek veterinary attention so they can help diagnose the cause of the illness and provide treatment. This is the only way you can prevent complications and alleviate discomfort on your pet.
Getting Your Pet to an Emergency Vet
There is no doubt our furry friends are a member of our family, and they fill our lives with unconditional love and joy. While routine vet consultations are essential, emergencies can happen at any time.
When our pets face unexpected health crises, we need to be prepared to give them immediate attention and take them to an emergency veterinarian. At Brightcare Veterinary Group, we are prepared to give you attention at any time you might need it for your beloved pet.