Unfortunately, your pet cannot talk and let you know what’s wrong if they feel sick or if something is wrong with them. So, as a pet owner, it can be difficult to know whether your pet’s condition is a medical emergency that needs immediate attention from an ER vet or not. Some issues, like itchy skin, urinary tract infections or diarrhea, can wait until you can see your regular vet. However, if you are worried, then the safest option is to take your pet to the ER veterinarian, no matter the time. This will help give you peace of mind, but it will also help you make sure that nothing life-threatening is happening to your pet.

These are some signs that you should bring your pet to the emergency room.

Having Trouble Urinating or Defecating

Either of these symptoms might be a sign of a tumour’s presence or might indicate neurological issues. A bladder stone will usually block urine from exiting the body and can cause buildup. This excess pressure can rupture the bladder or even result in kidney failure or kidney disease.

Swollen Limbs or Limping

These symptoms could mean that your pet has muscle trauma, a broken bone or Lyme disease. Overall, having swelling or hives could mean an allergic reaction, which can end up with your pet in anaphylactic shock. If your pet is limping for over a day, we recommend calling your vet. If your pet avoids putting any weight on a leg at all, then this is an emergency.

Lack of Appetite, Repeated Vomiting, Not Drinking Water, Diarrhea or Unproductive Retching

These symptoms are usually seen together. If you see any blood in the vomit or stool, time is critical. Your pet could have a toxin in their system (like antifreeze, poisonous plants, or xylitol), or they might have contracted an infectious disease or developed dysfunction in their organs. Vomiting can be a sign of bloat. This is when your pet’s stomach is filled with gas and twists into itself, which can obstruct blood flow. If you see these symptoms last longer than 24 hours, you should bring your pet to the vet. Or if you see all of these symptoms together one or two times, your pet should be evaluated quickly.

Suddenly Collapsing, Fainting, Disoriented, Unconscious or Experiencing Seizures

These symptoms could indicate that your pet has issues such as anemia, infectious disease, lung issues or internal bleeding. Fainting is typically caused by a heart issue, as in your pet is not getting enough oxygen to their brain.

Weakness, Dragging Hind Legs, Inability to Stand, Wobbling

These symptoms could be signs of an issue with the brain, spine, heart, or lungs. If your pet is dragging a leg, this could mean they have a clot in the arteries that support the limb. This condition will need to be treated immediately, or the pet might permanently lose function in the limbs.