5 Things that Can Happen to Pets to Consider Emergency Treatment For

Dr. Rachel Orlowski

May 19, 2021

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Do you own a pet? Are you worried about potential pet emergencies? Do you want to learn more about which emergencies can possibly affect your furry friend? If any of this sounds like you, then you’re in the right place.

In the article below, you’ll find information about five things that can happen to pets where emergency treatment may be necessary. Learn about these risks so you can be better prepared in case any of them happen to your pet. And don’t forget to take the time to find a good quality emergency vet in your area before you end up needing them, too!

Heatstroke and Frostbite

Depending on where you live, you may need to prepare for the risk of heatstroke, frostbite, or both. Heatstroke is more common than frostbite and can occur in any pet who is left in a vehicle, even on a day that doesn’t seem very hot to you. Heatstroke can occur in other ways too, such as rigorous exercise on a hot day. Some breeds may be more sensitive to heat than others, such as bulldogs. Pets may die quickly from heatstroke.

Frostbite is less fatal if caught in time, but is still very dangerous to pets. Parts of a pet’s body that are exposed to the elements, such as paw pads and the tips of the ears, may be more prone to frostbite. Severe frostbite can cause tissue death and may cause your pet to lose a toe, a foot, or another body part depending on the severity of the frostbite.

For both of these issues, it’s important to go to the emergency vet immediately if you suspect either.

Acute Injury

Acute injury can happen to any pet at just about any time. Outdoor pets may be more likely to suffer from acute injuries related to wild animal attacks, neighborhood pet attacks, motor vehicle trauma, and other outdoor threats. Indoor pets may suffer from acute injuries related to falling from furniture, attacks by other indoor pets, and household accidents.

No pet is completely safe from the risk of unexpected acute injury, but you can help your pet reduce this risk by keeping a close eye on your furry friend and putting away any risk factors within your home. If your pet is injured badly, you should go to the emergency vet without hesitation. Even a pet who doesn’t appear to be badly injured externally may suffer from internal bleeding and injuries that need to be treated by a professional as soon as possible.

Anaphylactic Reactions

Pets who have suffered from an insect bite or a snake bite may suffer from anaphylactic reactions. This is another term for a severe allergic reaction which can potentially be fatal if left untreated. Pets who are suffering an anaphylactic reaction will typically swell around the face and muzzle. You may also notice hives throughout their coat, a rapid heart rate, vomiting or fever and in severe cases, trouble breathing!

If your pet has been bitten or stung but isn’t showing any of these signs, there probably isn’t anything to worry about. However, you should keep a close eye on pets after being bitten or stung for the next several hours to ensure they do not have this type of reaction.

Ingesting Foreign Objects

Whether your pet is indoors or outdoors, there is always a chance of foreign object ingestion. Pets who swallow foreign objects may suffer from digestive blockages, which require emergency surgery in order to save the pet’s life.

Pets may eat parts of toys they are chewing on, pieces of shoes or shocks from the household, sticks, rocks, and other objects that are dangerous for them. Cats especially are also prone to swallowing thread or ribbon while playing with it, which can become tangled in the cat’s digestive tract and need to be surgically removed as well.

Eating Toxic Substances

Finally, pets may be prone to eating toxic substances or other common poisons in and around the home too. Some of these substances may include houseplants or yard plants that are toxic to pets in full or in part. Other toxic substances include cleaners, pest poisons, and medication.

Some human food may also be toxic to pets and should be treated as an emergency if your pet eats it, too. Chocolate is one well-known example of this, but there are several other foods that are toxic and can be potentially fatal to pets, including onions, grapes, Xylitol (a sugar-free sweetener), and many others as well.

Seek Immediate Care for Your Pet for Any Emergency Situation

When you can learn to recognize the many risks that may occur in the life of a pet, you can start preparing for the unfortunate possibility of a pet emergency. Of course, hopefully you will never have to use this information, but it’s better to prepare ahead of time than to scramble at the last minute to find an emergency vet in your area.

VEG has 43+ locations nationwide, with each hospital having a team of expert and caring professionals. Since our primary focus is emergency medicine, rest assured that we have all the skills and tools needed to help your pet during any emergency situation! If you’re not sure about what the next best steps are for your pet, call VEG and speak directly with an emergency veterinarian. They’ll talk you through what’s going on and what’s recommended for your pet.

Remember, too, that the list above only touches on some of the situations where pets may need emergency care. There are many others that may occur depending on your pet’s breed, age and overall health. Take time to prepare for any possibility and know that at VEG we are here for you and your pet when you need us most!