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Common Pet Emergencies and What to Do

If you have a pet or plan to adopt one, you need to know what to expect. You should be prepared to deal with any pet health issues that may arise when they are under your care. It can be hard to determine when your pet’s health issue is life-threatening and when you need emergency treatment.

If you are in doubt, it is always better to err on the side of caution and contact your veterinarian at East Texas Pet Emergency Clinic. Here are some common pet emergencies and what you should do.


Breathing Difficulties

If your pet is experiencing breathing problems, it can constitute an emergency. Breathing issues can range from persistent or progressive cough to inability to breathe. It is a common problem among pets, and it can be due to different issues.

If the breathing problem happens suddenly without warning, it can indicate something very wrong and represents an emergency. Signs to look out for include breathing harder or faster, wheezing, coughing heavily, and panting.


Acute Injuries/Trauma

Many pets experience injuries at some point in their lives. The injuries usually occur suddenly and are not always related to existing medical problems. Your pet can fall and break a bone, or it may be involved in an accident. Injuries can also occur from fights with other animals.

Most of these injuries are obvious. However, some injuries may not be visible, and animals are good at hiding them. Internal injuries can be fatal and require emergency care.  If your pet is acting abnormally, contact your veterinarian for advice.


Vomiting and Diarrhea

Vomiting and diarrhea are common among pets. The symptoms usually occur after the pet has eaten something that did not agree with them. While they are frequently a sign of indigestion or an upset stomach, they can also be a sign of serious illness.

If the symptoms are accompanied by blood, pain, weakness, or lethargy, you need emergency veterinary care. If your pet has an existing medical condition, contact your vet immediately. 



If your pet shows signs of loss of strength or falls and is unable to get up, it constitutes an emergency. Collapsing may be due to heart disease, internal or external bleeding, vascular disease, neurological disease, or anemia.

It could also be due to a musculoskeletal condition, toxicity, or a reaction to some medications or drugs. It is vital to seek emergency care immediately as the condition could be life-threatening.


Poisoning/Ingesting Toxins

The ingestion of toxic substances is a pet emergency. The most common poisons include human foods or medications, household cleaners, houseplants, and pesticides. It is helpful for the veterinarian to know what the pet has eaten. It will help in providing the best treatment.

Ingesting a foreign object, like a toy or hard object, can lead to intestinal blockage. It is vital to seek emergency care if you suspect that your pet has ingested a foreign object.

It helps to perform first aid before you get to the emergency room. You can stop bleeding by applying direct pressure and placing a bandage before transport. It may not be advisable to induce vomiting if you do not know what the pet has ingested. The best thing you can do is call the veterinarian for advice and get to the emergency room as soon as possible. Other pet emergencies to look out for include heatstroke, allergic reactions, snake bites, and seizures.

If you experience a pet emergency, visit East Texas Pet Emergency Clinic at our office in ​​​​​​​Longview, Texas. You can call (903) 759-8545 if you have any questions or concerns.

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