Pet emergencies can arise when we least expect them, but sometimes they aren’t as obvious as we might think. In fact, a large number of dog owners state that they often aren’t sure whether a trip to the emergency vets is necessary or if they should wait and see if their canine pal improves of their own accord.
When you have an older pet, the chances of something being very wrong are significantly increased thanks to the natural deterioration of his body that comes with age. In these instances, it is often better not to take chances. Nevertheless, there are still certain signs that you just shouldn’t ignore.
Common signs of a pet medical emergency
The following are some of the most common signs that your senior dog requires immediate, urgent medical attention from a professional veterinarian.
If your dog has sustained an injury that has caused him to bleed profusely, and the bleeding does not stop within around 5 minutes, you will need to seek the help of your emergency vet. If you can see anything protruding from the wound, such as a piece of glass, do not be tempted to pull it out yourself as this could make the situation worse. Instead, wrap the wound as well as you can around the object before making the journey to your animal clinic.
If your senior dog experiences a serious burn, after administering emergency first aid to cool the wound, you will need to get him to the emergency animal clinic to be assessed. Sometimes burns do not look as serious as they are, so it is better to seek the advice of a veterinarian.
Your dog’s eyes are just as sensitive as your own, and any injury or trauma to this area should always be dealt with as soon as possible and only by a trained professional.
Inability to urinate
Going a reasonably long while between peeing isn’t abnormal in itself, particularly if your dog is used to holding his bladder for some time, such as when you are at work. However, if your furbaby goes a whole day without urinating then it could be that there is a blockage somewhere and this can be a life-threatening situation. Don’t hesitate to contact your emergency animal clinic.
There are plenty of different items that can be toxic if ingested by your pet. Unfortunately, your furbaby isn’t necessarily aware of this and will quite possibly sniff, lick and eat things that could be poisonous to him. In fact, poisoning accounts for one of the most common types of medical emergency seen by veterinarians across the country. If you think there is even a remote chance that your senior dog has eaten something that is toxic to him, get in contact with your vet immediately. Don’t be tempted to try and induce vomiting yourself unless this is recommended by your professional.
If your senior dog can’t breathe properly, you need to get him emergency attention right now. There could be a number of things causing the problem, from a severe allergic reaction to a serious heartworm infestation to choking on something he shouldn’t have swallowed. Unless you can see something blocking his airway and you know you can safely remove it without being bitten yourself or pushing it further into his windpipe, abandon any notion of helping your pet yourself and instead get on the road to your emergency animal clinic.
Dogs can suffer from seizures too, and these are triggered by a sudden and overwhelming neurological change within your dog’s body. This change manifests as a seizure, but every seizure is different, even for the same animal. Some of the symptoms you may witness include drooling, shaking, tremors, paralysis, inability to recognize what is going on around him, loss of bladder and bowel function and even total unconsciousness. Try and make the area around your dog safe so that he cannot do himself any further harm while the seizure is taking place, and take note of how long it lasts. Once over, contact your vet for advice.
Uncontrollable vomiting and/or diarrhea
A little sickness or diarrhea is usually nothing to worry about and in most cases will stop in just a few hours. However, if your senior dog has uncontrollable episodes of either, you should get him to your emergency animal clinic immediately.
If you are really concerned that your senior dog is behaving unusually and aren’t sure if immediate attention is required, it is never a bad idea to contact your emergency animal clinic for advice. By asking you just a few questions over the phone, they should be able to ascertain if urgent attention is necessary or if your pet can wait for a routine appointment at the normal, in-hours clinic.
If you have concerns about the health and well-being of your senior dog, don’t delay. Make an appointment at our animal clinic in Richmond, VA today for a nose to tail assessment of your pet.