When to Go to the Emergency Vet in Boston, MA

Dr. Rachel Orlowski

Jan 12, 2021

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Pet owners don’t like to consider the possibility of having to go to an emergency vet, but there is always the possibility. Because of this, it’s crucial to find the best emergency vet in Boston, MA and then pay close attention to times when you might need to utilize them.

Situations When You Should Go to the Emergency Vet in Boston, MA

In this article, we’ll help you understand the situations that might require you to take your pet to the emergency vet. When you learn to recognize these times, you will be able to act quickly when your pet needs you to.

Breathing Trouble

If you notice your pet having difficulty breathing in a new or worsening way, this may be a good indicator that you need to take her to an emergency vet immediately. 

It’s important to always be on the safe side when it comes to the health of your pet, so if you’re unsure of what is causing the breathing trouble or if it’s due to a more serious allergic reaction, then you should contact an emergency vet in Boston right away.

Take Note of Normal Breathing Patterns

Be aware of the normal breathing patterns of your dog while playing, walking, and resting. This way, you can recognize when something is not quite right, and you’ll be more aware of any potential problems before they get out of hand. Tell the emergency vet on the phone what you have observed that is causing you to be alarmed.

Signs of Breathing Struggle

If your pet’s breathing becomes very rapid, very shallow, or shows any other signs of difficulty breathing, they should immediately go to the ER. They may be sick with a respiratory infection that needs aggressive treatment, or they could have potentially inhaled a foreign body. Whatever the cause might be, this condition requires immediate vet care.

Known Ingestion of Toxic or Foreign Bodies

If you see your dog swallow a toxic substance—such as anti-freeze for your car or a cleaning solution for your home—or any other common poison, don’t wait to see what will happen. Take her to the emergency vet in Boston immediately, as they may need to perform one of several potential treatments to ensure she doesn’t suffer the effects of poisoning.

Plants and Food

Certain plants and food items can be toxic as well, such as poinsettias or chocolate. Always contact the emergency vet right away if you see your dog eat something like this or if you suspect that they might have.

Chew Toys or Other Foreign Bodies

If you see your dog swallow part of a chew toy or some other type of foreign body, this is also a good time to take her to the emergency vet. Even if you think the piece might have been small enough to pass easily, the vet will need to perform X-rays to determine this for sure.

There is always the risk that a piece of some non-food item will cause your dog to develop a bowel obstruction, which could result in a much more severe condition or even in death.

Unable to Rouse

If your pet is extremely lethargic or is unable to rouse completely, you should take her to the emergency vet in Boston. This is a symptom of a potentially life-threatening problem.

Pets who cannot wake up may need emergency treatment immediately.

First or Severe Seizure

If your pet has a seizure for the first time, they immediately need to go to the emergency vet. Some seizures may be caused by ingesting a toxic substance or by health conditions including viruses, infections, tumors, and more.

Your emergency vet will look for an underlying cause of your pet’s seizure.

What to Do

If your pet has known seizures due to epilepsy or other conditions, time her seizures and keep note of how many she has close together. If she has a seizure lasting more than two minutes or if she has multiple seizures within an hour, take her to the emergency vet.

Contrary to popular belief, do not try to put your hands or any other objects in your pet’s mouth. Keep them on their side and away from anything, like stairs, which could cause accidental injury.

Severe Injury

If your pet has suffered a severe injury, such as a visibly broken bone or a deep wound that is bleeding considerably, take her to the emergency vet in Boston right away. Some injuries, like bite wounds, may not look as bad on the surface, but can cause a lot of damage under the skin.

The veterinarian will be able to assess a wound and let you know if you can wait for care until your regular vet is available.

Vomiting Uncontrollably

If your pet is vomiting without being able to stop, or if she vomits more than three times in a row, see an emergency vet. This could be a sign that they have eaten a foreign substance or that they have a digestive virus or condition that needs immediate attention.

If your pet vomits once or twice, you can call to speak to an emergency veterinarian in Boston to determine if they should be seen immediately.

Anaphylactic Reaction

Finally, if your pet is showing signs of an anaphylactic reaction, she needs emergency veterinary care. This can occur when your pet suffers a snake or insect bite.

Signs of Anaphylactic Reactions

Pets who are suffering an anaphylactic reaction may swell in the snout and face or at the site of the bite or sting. They may also develop a rapid heart rate, pace frantically, or have trouble breathing. They could also have severe diarrhea or significant vomiting.

Be on the lookout for any of these signs and don’t wait to go to the emergency vet in Boston if you notice even one of them.

Need An Emergency Vet in Boston, MA?

Now that you know when you should go to the emergency vet, you should also make sure to find the right vet to suit your needs as well as those of your pet.

VEG opened a new location soon in Boston, MA. Our team of highly trained and skilled emergency vets always make sure your pet receives the care they need, when they need it. We examine your pet and work with you on deciding the best course of action for treatment. No matter the situation, our compassionate veterinary team will be there with you and for you every step of the way.