Most Common Pet Emergencies in Chicago, IL

If you live in Chicago and have a pet, you may already be aware of some of the most common emergencies your pet may face. However, if you’re not, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these issues before they happen, as well as emergency veterinary hospitals in your area.

Vets caring for common pet emergencies in Chicago, IL

5 Common Pet Emergencies in Chicago, IL

In this article, we’ll explain five of the most common pet emergencies that veterinarians treat in Chicago and the surrounding area. Look through this list so you can understand what to look for when it comes to the health and safety of your pet.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Vomiting may not always be an emergency, but if your pet has vomited multiple times, cannot hold down water, or is acting lethargic or disoriented, he/she should be evaluated by a veterinarian immediately.

Likewise, diarrhea is not always an emergency, but there are multiple cases where pets should be seen immediately due to diarrhea. Some of these cases include if the diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting, if there is blood in the stool, or if your pet is very young or small.

Additionally, pets who have excessive vomiting and diarrhea can become dehydrated. These pets, in addition to needing tests performed to look for a cause of the problem, often need IV fluids in order for their symptoms to resolve.

Breathing Trouble

If you notice your pet having difficulty breathing, you need to take him/her to the closest emergency veterinarian right away. Breathing trouble can be a sign of many different problems, including heart disease and pneumonia. Only a vet will be able to determine and treat the issue.

If your pet is having trouble breathing, contacting an emergency veterinarian is important, but prompt treatment is essential. If you have any concerns about your pet’s breathing, you need to proceed to an emergency hospital in Chicago immediately. When you arrive, let the staff know that your pet is having trouble breathing so that he/she may be assessed and stabilized as quickly as possible.

Acute Injury

Acute injuries are another emergency frequently treated by veterinarians in Chicago. This includes broken bones, bites from other animals, open wounds, and many other potential issues. If your pet suddenly has an injury, he/she will need to see a vet right away.

If you know how your pet was injured, be sure to take note of as much information about the circumstances as possible. This can help in the treatment of your pet by a veterinarian.  If you don’t know how it happened, let the vet know this as well.

If your pet is bleeding significantly or seems extremely painful after an injury, be especially cautious with moving him/her. You may need to wrap an injury in towels to help stop the bleeding until you can seek veterinary care. 

Insect Bites

Pets who are allergic to insect bites or who receive bites and stings from venomous creatures may have severe anaphylactic responses. If this happens to your pet, he/she may start to experience facial swelling or hives. This can start to cause trouble breathing and needs to be treated immediately. 

If you notice your pet experiencing these symptoms, he/she needs to be treated as soon as possible before signs worsen.


Pets who ingest poisonous substances, such as household cleaners, chemicals or other common poisons, will need to go an emergency hospital in Chicago right away.

If you see your pet ingest something that you know is toxic, don’t wait to see symptoms of poisoning. Contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control hotline immediately.

Go to VEG in Chicago, IL for All Pet Emergencies

Remember that no matter where you live, there are always potential risks when it comes to owning a pet. You should be prepared to deal with emergencies quickly and should always be aware of emergency veterinary hospitals near you that can help.

Knowing what to expect during pet emergencies can make a big difference in your ability to respond in a timely fashion. Remember that above all else, you should remain calm while handling your pet’s emergency so you can keep yourself and your pet safe.

Our emergency veterinarians at VEG are available to care for your pet 7 days a week. At our new location in Lincoln Park, opening in November 2020, we’ll be equipped to handle any and all pet emergencies that come through our doors. We’ll work with you directly on developing the best treatment plan for your pet and we’ll always make sure your pet gets the care they need, when they need it. 


Dr. Laura Kozlowski Medical Director, VEG Oak Brook

Washington and Lee University BS in Biology 2009;
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University 2015

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About VEG

VEG is a network of Emergency Veterinarians located across the country. We are dedicated to helping people and their pets when they need it most. If your pet is ever in an emergency situation, use the link below to find our nearest location so we can get your pet the help they need.