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Signs Your Pet Needs Emergency Care & What To Do

Signs Your Pet Needs Emergency Care & What To Do

Pets often conceal their pain and sickness, making it tough to know if they require urgent attention. In this article, our Clovis vets discuss the indicators that indicate your pet needs emergency veterinary care, along with the steps to take during a veterinary emergency.

If you are experiencing a dog or cat veterinary emergency, contact your primary care vet immediately or go to the closest emergency animal hospital for after-hours care.

Does Your Pet Require Emergency Care?

Your dog or cat could experience a veterinary emergency at any time of the day or night and require urgent care, and you will need to be prepared for when (or if) it happens.

Navigating whether your pet needs emergency vet care can be tough. That's why understanding the signs and symptoms that indicate an urgent vet visit is crucial. If you're unsure, reach out to your vet or the closest emergency animal clinic for guidance.

Signs of a Pet Emergency

  • Obvious pain
  • Vomiting or blood in diarrhea
  • Loss of balance
  • Lameness or inability to walk
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Dilated pupils
  • Severe injury (falls, car accidents, broken bones, open wounds)
  • Seizures
  • Bloated, swollen, or painful abdomen
  • Inability to urinate or defecate
  • Ingestion of poisonous foods, substances, plants, or bones
  • Difficulty breathing, extreme coughing or choking
  • Unable to deliver puppies or kittens
  • Sudden blindness, staggering, or stumbling
  • Inflammation or injury to the eye
  • Unconsciousness

Providing First Aid

You need to know that basic first aid on your pet is not meant to replace professional vet care. It's only intended to stabilize your cat or dog until you can get them to the emergency vet. 


Prepare your pet by putting a muzzle on it. If there's bleeding, cover the wound with a clean gauze pad and press down with your hand for a few minutes until the bleeding slows. For serious leg bleeding, tie a gauze tourniquet with an elastic band to stop the bleeding. Don't delay – take your pet to the vet clinic right away.


When your pet has a seizure, it's important to ensure their safety and comfort. Instead of trying to restrain them physically, focus on removing any objects that might cause harm. Once the seizure ends, keep your pet warm and promptly contact your veterinarian for further guidance. Your pet's well-being is the top priority.


Put a muzzle on your pet. Place your pet gently on a flat surface that can work as a stretcher for taking them to the vet. If you can, fasten your pet to the stretcher without pressing on any injured spots.


Sometimes, pets can bite when they're scared. To keep them safe, be careful. If you see something in your pet's mouth, try to take it out gently. Just make sure you don't accidentally push it deeper into their throat. If it's too tricky, don't delay – head to the vet or an emergency clinic right away.

Be Ready

What You Should Know in Advance

You never know when a cat or dog emergency could happen, but being prepared for a pet emergency can help you provide your companion with the quality care they need in a swift manner. Our Clovis vets highly suggest having these items at hand in case of an emergency:

  • The phone number for your vet's office
  • Directions to the Emergency Vet Clinic
  • The phone number for the closest Emergency Vet Clinic
  • Knowledge of how to stop bleeding
  • The phone number for the Animal Poison Control Center
  • How to muzzle your dog when he's in pain so he doesn't bite others
  • Knowledge of basic pet CPR

Financial Responsibilities

Emergency care for your pet can be costly due to the need for tests, monitoring, and treatments. As a responsible pet owner, it's crucial to ensure you can cover the cost of urgent care your beloved animal might require.

To be ready for unexpected situations, you should save money specifically for emergencies or consider getting pet insurance. Choosing to delay veterinary care to save on emergency expenses can jeopardize your pet's well-being and life.

If your pet needs immediate care, contact our Clovis vets straight away or bring them to the nearest animal emergency clinic for after-hours care.

New Patients Welcome

New Patients Welcome

Family Pet Hospital is always accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health and well-being of Clovis dogs and cats. Contact us today to get started! 

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