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Is It An Emergency?

Evaluate the Situation

  • Is the situation for you and your pet safe?

Do not put yourself in danger

  • Do not walk or run into a busy street or intersection
  • Do not attempt to break up a fight between two dogs that you cannot control – get help!

Evaluate your pet

  • Level of Consciousness – Is the pet fully conscious, partially responsive, or non-responsive?
  • Heart Rate – Does the pet have a heartbeat? Is it normal, fast, slow or irregular?
    • You can check your pet’s heartbeat at the point where the left elbow touches the chest when bent
    • Put your hand in this area and count the number of beats in 60 seconds
    • Normal Heart Rate (can vary based on breed, age and activity)- canine = 50-150 per minute, feline = 160-220 per minute

***If your pet does not have a heartbeat, begin CPR and contact us immediately

  • Respiratory Rate – Is the pet breathing? Is the pet breathing normally?
    • Looking at the chest, count the number of times the chest rises and falls in 60 seconds
    • Normal (can vary based on temperature, age and activity)- canine = 10-12 per minute, feline = 20-30 per minute
    • Open-mouth breathing in cats (similar to panting in dogs) is normally a sign of respiratory distress. Contact us for additional information

***If your pet is not breathing, begin CPR and contact us immediately

  • Body Temperature
    • Use of a digital or mercury thermometer is recommended
    • Carefully lift the tail and visualize the anus just below where the tail meets the body
    • Insert the thermometer into the rectum approximately ½ inch (just enough to cover the bulb or metal tip)
    • A mercury thermometer should be read after approximately 1- 1 ½ minutes. A digital thermometer can be read as soon as it beeps
    • Normal- canine and feline= 101°F to 103°F
  • Mucous Membrane Color
    • What does the color of the gums look like? Are they pink? Is the capillary refill time prolonged (> 2 seconds)?
    • Your pet’s gum color will help you determine if the oxygen level in the blood is sufficient
    • Locate the mucous membranes by lifting the upper lip
    • Pink indicates that enough oxygen is in the blood stream
    • Gums that appear white, pale, blue, purple, or yellow are indicative that your pet is in a crisis situation-contact us immediately 

***Note: Some breeds have naturally occurring black pigmentation in the gums. The inside of the lower eyelid can be observed if your pet has black pigmentation in the gums.

Warning Signs of A Pet Emergency

  • Loss of consciousness, seizures, disoriented, syncope, Collapse
  • Emergency Trauma, such as being hit by a car
  • Seizures, Electric Shock, Heat Stroke, Snake Bite
  • Vomiting/Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing/Congestive Heart Failure
  • Bleeding , Bite Wounds , Lacerations, Burns
  • Pale gum color, Fainting episodes
  • Persistence of bloody vomit/diarrhea
  • Ingestion of toxins, antifreeze, rat poison
  • Extremely bloated abdomen
  • Retching unproductively, with or without abdominal distension
  • Eye problems (of any kind)
  • Difficulty or inability to urinate, constipation/inability to pass stool
  • Inability to walk/move legs
  • Body temperature over 104 degrees or under 99 degrees
  • Difficulty delivering puppies or kittens (Dystocia)
  • Severe hives or severe itching especially around the face
  • Tylenol can kill your cat