Top 6 Most Common Pet Emergencies in Encinitas, CA

Dr. Samantha Kent

Apr 6, 2021

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Do you have a pet? Do you sometimes find yourself wondering what types of common pet emergencies you should prepare for as a pet owner in Encinitas and the Southern California area? Or are you thinking of adopting a new pet and unsure about potential future concerns with your furry friend?

Most Common Pet Emergencies in Encinitas

If any of this sounds like you, don’t worry—we’ve got some information to help you out. Below, you’ll find a list of six of the most common pet emergencies in Southern California so you can better prepare for the possibility with your pet.

Breathing Problems

Breathing problems are a common emergency in pets. These can range from a progressive cough to the inability to breathe at all. If your pet’s breathing suddenly changes without warning, this is a sign that something is very wrong, and should be treated as an emergency.

Coughing heavily, breathing faster or harder than normal, holding their neck out to breathe, wheezing or if your cat looks like it is panting can be sign that they need to be seen by a veterinarian right away. 

Acute Injury

An acute injury can cause pets to require emergency vet care in many instances. An acute injury is any injury that happens suddenly and is not related to an existing medical condition.

For example, if your pet is attacked by another animal or has an accident and breaks a bone, this is an acute injury.

Many acute injuries are easy to spot by just looking at your pet. However, some of them may occur internally, and some pets are very good at hiding these. Pay close attention to your pet to see if she is exhibiting signs that something may be wrong.


Heatstroke can quickly become a common pet emergency, especially if it is not responded to in a timely fashion. If your pet is overheating, you should take her inside and put her in a room with a fan or air conditioner right away. Put cool cloths on her then seek emergency veterinary care.

Allergic Reaction

Pets in Encinitas who are allergic to insect bites and stings may have a severe allergic reaction. This type of reaction involves rapid heart rate, increased body temperature, and swelling of the location where the bite occurred or—most commonly—swelling of the face and snout, hives and itchiness. In more severe cases, pets can have vomiting, diarrhea or collapse. 

If your pet begins to swell or shows any other signs of a bad allergic reaction, call the emergency vet right away. If you know what bit or stung your pet, you should let the vet know this as well.


Seizures can be very scary in pets, and pet owners who have never been through one with their furry friends before may be alarmed by seizures. If your pet is suffering from seizures, this is an emergency situation and needs to be treated by an emergency vet right away. 

Ingesting Toxins and Foreign Objects

Another common pet emergency is the ingestion of toxins or other common poisons. These can include household cleaners, foods that are toxic to specific types of pets, and houseplants, among others. If you are able to tell what your pet has eaten, you should let the vet know, so they can make preparations to treat your pet accordingly while you are on your way.

Ingesting foreign objects can also be a pet emergency. If your pet swallows something that she cannot digest, such as a large chunk of a chew toy, this can cause intestinal blockage. Seek veterinary care if you are worried your pet ingested something foreign.

Rattlesnake Bite

Rattlesnakes are common in our area during all months of the year. A pet’s reaction to a rattlesnake bite can vary in severity but almost always involves swelling at the bite site. Bruising and pain at the site are common, as well.

Rattlesnake envenomation can lead to issues with blood pressure, blood clotting and other serious concerns, so all pets with a suspected rattlesnake bite should be seen immediately by an emergency veterinarian.

Contact VEG’s New Location in Encinitas, CA for Any Common Pet Emergency

As you can see, there are a lot of potential common pet emergencies to keep in mind, and this list really only scratches the surface of possibilities. However, just because pet emergencies can happen, that doesn’t mean they necessarily will. It’s important to be prepared, but don’t spend too much time worrying about these risks outside of making proper preparations and protecting your pet when you can.

Take time, too, to locate a good quality emergency vet before you need one. This way, you’ll know who to call if anything goes wrong in the future.

VEG is opening a location in Encinitas that will be open 24 hours a day, every single day, for emergency veterinary care. Your pet’s health is very important to us, which is why our compassionate and experienced staff are here for your pet when they need us most at any time. You’ll also be able to speak directly with an emergency vet when you call VEG so you can know the next best steps for your pet.