613.394.4811

When to Call

It can be difficult to know when your pet is having an emergency, here is an outline of how to judge the situation.

Call Immediately:

Seizures

  • How long are the seizures?
  • How many has the pet had?
  • Have a description – loss of bladder or bowels, full body tremors or localized, etc.
  • Has the pet gotten into anything?

Toxic ingestion

  • How much did the pet eat?
  • When did they eat it?
  • How much did they eat?
  • Any symptoms so far?
  • Bring the container to the veterinarian with you

Wounds/trauma

  • How did it happen?
  • When did it happen?
  • Try not to move the pet too much
  • Use a piece of rope as a muzzle – your pet may bite out pain and fear
  • Place a bandage if necessary

Collapse

  • What was the pet doing when they collapsed?
  • What colour are the gums?
  • Any history of heart disease or respiratory disease?

Difficulty breathing

  • Any coughing?
  • Any history of heart disease?
  • What colour are the gums?

Paralysis

  • Did it happen suddenly or were there any signs of lameness or wobbliness first?
  • Any history of trauma?
  • Are they able to stand or walk?

Not passing urine/straining to urinate

  • When did the pet last pass a full volume of urine?
  • Are they passing any urine at all?
  • What is their current diet?
  • Any history of urinary issues?
  • Is any blood seen in the urine?

Distended/bloated abdomen

  • When was it first noted?
  • Any history of trauma, liver disease or heart disease?
  • Any history of collapse?

Facial swelling

  • Was your pet bitten/stung by an insect?
  • When was the swelling first noted?
  • Any difficulty breathing?
  • What colour are the gums?
  • Any current medications or supplements?

Difficulty giving birth

  • There should be a puppy or kitten born within 30 minutes of strong regular contractions, and there should be no more than 2 hours between puppies/kittens
  • When was the due date?
  • Has an x-ray been taken to see how many puppies/kittens are expected?
  • What breed is the father?
  • How many previous litters has she had?

Call in 24 Hours:

Blood in urine – but not straining

  • Any difficulty passing urine?
  • What volume of urine is the pet passing?
  • What diet is the pet eating?
  • Any current supplements or medications?
  • How frequently is the pet urinating/attempting to urinate?

Vomiting

  • What does the vomit look like? Any blood?
  • Any diarrhea?
  • Has the pet gotten into anything recently?
  • Does the pet tend to eat toys or other objects?
  • Are they able to keep water down?
  • Do they want to eat?

Not drinking

  • Are they still eating?
  • Any weight loss?
  • Are they producing urine and feces?
  • Have they gotten into anything?
  • Any vomiting or diarrhea?

Red, runny eyes, squinting, rubbing eyes

  • What does the discharge look like?
  • Any sneezing or nasal discharge?
  • Any history or trauma?

Lameness – not weight bearing

  • Any history of trauma?
  • Which leg is it?
  • Is it always the same leg?
  • Have any ticks ever been found on this pet or any other people or pets in the house?
  • Any previous history of lameness?
  • Any current medications or supplements?

Coughing?

  • What colour are the gums?
  • How often is the pet coughing?
  • Is the cough keeping them up at night?
  • Any travel or boarding history?
  • Any history of heart disease?
  • What does the cough sound like?
  • Is the pet coughing anything up?

Vaginal discharge

  • When did it start?
  • Is she spayed?
  • Any change in her appetite, drinking, urination?

Call Next Business Day:

Red, sore, dirty, smelly ears

  • Has the pet had any ear infections in the past?
  • Any current medications or supplements?
  • What diet is the pet currently eating?
  • Is the pet itchy anywhere else (e.g. feet)?
  • Has the pet been to the groomer, swimming or snowdiving?

Diarrhea of the pet is still eating and drinking

  • How often is the pet passing BM?
  • Any blood or mucus in the stools?
  • How long have they had diarrhea?
  • Have they gotten into anything?
  • Is the pet still eating and drinking?

Not eating or eating less

  • Are they still drinking?
  • Are they refusing treats as well?
  • Any weight loss?
  • Any change in the amount of urine produced?
  • Any vomiting or diarrhea?
  • What is the current diet?
  • Any change in the diet?

Weight loss

  • How long have they been losing weight?
  • Are they still eating and drinking?
  • Any change in the amount they are drinking or urinating?
  • Any vomiting or diarrhea?
  • What is the current diet?

Lameness – weight bearing

  • Any history of trauma?
  • Which leg is it?
  • Is it always the same leg?
  • Have any ticks ever been found on this pet or any other people or pets in the house?
  • Any previous history of lameness?
  • Any current medications or supplements?

Bad breath

  • What is the current diet?
  • What do they chew on?
  • Any vomiting or diarrhea?
  • Are they still eating or drinking?
  • Any difficulty picking up the food, chewing or swallowing it?
  • Any blood noted on their chew toys?
  • Any change in how much they are drinking or urinating?

Tumour/Swelling

  • When did you first notice it?
  • Has it changed in size?
  • Is the pet scratching it?
  • Is it painful to touch?
  • Any discharge noted from it?
  • Is there more than one?

Not passing feces/Constipation

  • Any urine produced?
  • Are they still eating and drinking?
  • Are they straining?
  • Are any stools being passed? What did they look like?
  • When was the last bowel movement?

Written by Hillcrest Animal Hospital

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