If you believe that you may have a pet animal emergency, then you should immediately get in touch with either your personal veterinarians or closest animal emergency clinic. It is better to ask and not wait. The vet staff will be better able to guide you than you deciding on your own.
Some situations are obvious, such your pet being hit by a car, but others may not be, for example diarrhea.
You should have the following minimal information readily available:
- Your vet’s emergency phone number
- The local emergency clinic number
- How to get to the emergency clinic
- Poison Control number (888-426-4435)
- How to stop bleeding/apply a basic pressure wrap
- How to muzzle your pet (to keep an injured pet from biting you)
- How to perform basic CPR on your pet
- Seizure, fainting or collapse.
- Eye injury, no matter how mild.
- Vomiting or diarrhea — anything more than two or three times within an hour or so.
- Allergic reactions, such as swelling around the face, or hives, most easily seen on the belly.
- Any suspected poisoning, including antifreeze, rodent or snail bait, or human medication. Cats are especially sensitive to insecticides (such as flea-control medication for dogs) or any petroleum distillate, such as kerosene and gasoline.
- Snake or venomous spider bites.
- Thermal stress — from being either too cold or too hot — even if the pet seems to have recovered. (The internal story could be quite different.) Any wound or laceration that is open and bleeding, or any animal bite.
- Trauma, such as being hit by a car, even if the pet seems fine. (Again, the situation could be quite different on the inside.)
- Any respiratory problem, such as sudden, prolonged coughing, trouble breathing or near drowning.
- Straining to urinate or defecate.
- Hunched-up appearance indicating abdominal pain, especially if the belly seems tight or distended. When in doubt, err on the side of caution, always.