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Five Medical Emergencies

September 2, 2015

A big responsibility in having pets is ensuring their health and safety. Since they can’t speak, it’s our job to recognize when they have a medical problem.

Here are five health situations that can’t wait.

Poisonings happen frequently because pets like to get into everything. Things to be aware of are common houseplants, mushrooms, medications, rat and snail baits and one that’s becoming more prevalent- marijuana ingestion. Any of these poisons cause a variety of symptoms such as salivation, stumbling, excitement or drowsiness.

Gastric dilatation-volvulus is a fancy name for twisting of the stomach. It is more common in deep chested dogs like shephards and Great Danes. The common scenario is eating a big meal and then going outside to play. The food acts like a pendulum and twists the stomach. Symptoms include retching, salivating and abdominal distention.

Sudden collapse or recumbency has many different causes. Not all conditions are immediately life-threatening so prompt evaluation by your veterinarian is warranted to access the situation and initiate a proper diagnostic workup.

Any pet demonstrating signs of labored or rapid breathing, or spitting up blood should be immediately seen.

Trauma can present in many different ways. Bleeding from any body part, limping or non-weight bearing limps, skin abrasions, and lethargy may indicate that your pet had a traumatic encounter.

Your pets can’t speak to you in words. They communicate by their actions and behavior. It’s up to us to interpret their actions.

When in doubt, have them checked out.

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