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What Are the Most Common Emergencies for Pets?

Imagine that your pet begins to act weird and show symptoms of ill health or discomfort. However, it is late at night, and you don’t know what to do. Do you make a midnight visit to the veterinarian or wait until the next day? Is it safe to keep your pet in that state all night?

It is quite a confusing situation to find yourself, especially because the nature of most pets makes it difficult to tell for sure how much pain they are going through and whether they need emergency medical attention.
Once you learn how to recognize emergencies when you see them, you will save your pet from lots of discomfort and pain.

Bloating/gastric dilatation-volvulus

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Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) is a situation where the stomach twists. Sometimes, early signs of GDV could be your dog being restless after eating a huge meal. However, as GDV continues to develop, your pet’s abdomen begins to bloat and distend. It will also feel pain and attempt to vomit the content of its stomach. However, it will only succeed in bringing out white liquid or saliva. Your pet might also drool, experience increased heart rate, and breathe faster than usual.

Gastric dilatation-volvulus is common amongst large breeds with deep chests, including German Shepherds and Great Danes.

Take your dog to the veterinarian immediately and begin treatment. The earlier you begin treatment, the better chances of success, say professionals from


If your pet loses strength, causing them to fall and find it difficult to rise, you have a collapse situation on your hands.

Many things can cause it to collapse. They include internal and external hemorrhage, vascular disease, heart disease, lung disease, anemia, neurological disease, toxicity, musculoskeletal illnesses, and reaction to medications.
Once your pet collapses, seek your vet’s attention immediately because its life might be in danger.

Difficulty in Breathing

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You might find your pet choking, wheezing, coughing, or experiencing shallow, weak, or open-mouthed breathing. All these are signs of breathing difficulties. Breathing issues occur due to the presence of foreign substances in the throat, heart or lung disease, asthma, or allergic reactions. If you notice such signs, take your pet to see the vet immediately, because it is a life-threatening situation.

Diarrhea or Vomiting (or both)

Dogs are mostly prone to diarrhea or both. Sometimes, they experience it due to common stomach cases, of which it would calm down in a day. On other occasions, they could be signs of severe health conditions.

If your dog is lethargic or weak, vomits for more than one day, or has blood in the stool or blood, then it is an emergency. If your dog already suffers health challenges like diabetes, take them to the vet immediately they begin to throw up or stool.


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If you think your cat or dog ingested something harmful to their health, contact your vet that instant and get your pet checked. Some things that can be poisonous to your pet include raisins or grapes, slug and rat poisons, human drugs, and chocolate.

The earlier your pet gets attention after consuming something poisonius, the better the chances of avoiding dangerous situations that could lead to death. Once your pet absorbs the poison in its digestive system, extreme effects could follow.


You can identify a seizure when your pet is shaking uncontrollably, losing bowel control, losing consciousness, or paddling with their legs.

Seizures in cats and dogs often happen because of epilepsy. So, if your pet is confirmed epileptic, every seizure isn’t an emergency. However, if it extends past some minutes, you should see your vet. Also, contact your vet if your pet has many seizures in a day or it’s the first seizure.


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A pet might go through trauma following accidents, wounds, and falls, but it is sometimes difficult to tell how much internal trauma they go through. If your pet faces a traumatic situation, take them for examination immediately, even if they seem normal.

Internal bleeding or ruptured organs won’t show up once they occur, but they will cause a lot of issues. Knowing that wounds can be a lot deeper than what meets the eye, you should always take your pet to the vet for an examination.
Also, pay attention to pain because your pet might be in pain owing to the trauma. Your vet should also recommend pain medication for your pet.

Difficulty in urinating or cystitis

Once your pet appears to face difficulty in urinating, having blood in their urine, or not urinating at all, you should take them to the vet for examination and treatment. In some cases, cystitis is a sign that your pet has a serious blockage that could be a threat to life. Most times, this situation is more common in male pets.

Dog Whelping issues

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  • In these situations, it is crucial to contact your veterinary doctor:
  • If your dog has a temperature over 39.4C, suffers lethargy or depression.
  • If your dog enters labor and spends over two hours without delivering any puppies.
  • If your pet begins to experience greenish vaginal discharge even without delivering any puppies.
  • It takes more than two hours between the births of puppies
  • If your pet strains for several minutes with a bubble of fluid or a puppy stuck in her birth canal.
  • If your dog strains and experiences serious contractions that last for over 20 minutes without a delivery.
  • If she suffers vaginal bleeding for longer than 10 minutes.

Kittening Emergencies

  • Here are the signs to tell when to reach out to your vet
  • If your cat has a rectal temperature over 39.4C, suffers depression or lethargy.
  • If your cat spends 20 minutes in serious labor without birthing any kitten
  • If it takes over two hours to deliver each kitten
  • If after ten minutes in intense labor, there is no sign of a kitten in your cat’s vulva
  • If every little pressure on the fetus puts your cat in pain
  • If your cat losses blood from her vulva and it spans over 10 minutes.

About Suzan Vega