Dog Emergencies

by Miss Debra Rae

You know your dog. You know when your dog is just not feeling well. But when is it necessary to get them to an Animal Emergency Hospital? First, stay calm and focus. If you panic, so will your dog. Be gentle, loving, and compassionate. Your dog knows you'll do your very best to care for them.

The following is a list of symptoms and/or situations that require an Animal Emergency Hospital room & Veterinary care pronto!

*Difficulty breathing, noisy respiration, gasping for air or shallow breathing.
*Blue tongue.
*Bleeding from anywhere that doesn't stop. (get a clean, lint free cloth; apply some pressure and go to the E.R.)
*Hypersensitive or a bloated belly.
*Your dog tries to go pee or poop and can't or they're in obvious pain when they go.
*Uncontrolled urinating or pooping in an otherwise potty trained dog.
*Bloody pee or poop.
*Heavy panting that doesn't stop.
*They're obviously weak; your dog can't get up or falls down when they get up.
*Fever--104 degrees Fahrenheit is a canine fever.
*Difficulty in labor or delivery of puppies.
*Contractions lasting more than an hour.
*Labor pain lasting longer than 15 minutes.
*A puppy fetus or its membrane is showing.
*Any seizure, tremors, coma, staggering, convulsions or sudden blindness (running into things).
*Head tilting or snapping at imaginary objects.
*Sudden & severe behavior changes--withdrawal/depression/aggression.
*Chronic crying/whimpering or obvious pain.
*Any major trauma: vehicle accident, fall, porcupine encounter, gun shot wound, broken bone, venomous/poisonous snake bite.
*Rapid heartbeat.
*Disorientation, having a bewildered look, your dog doesn't recognize you.
*Pupils are dilated.
*Exposure to poison: fertilizer, herbicide, certain plants
*Ingestion or exposure to common household cleaning supplies like cleanser, pine cleaner, borax, window cleaner, and bleach. (bring the suspected poison container or plant to the E.R.)
*Puncture wounds from a dog fight or running into a sharp object. (these wounds can go deeper than you think & injure internal organs. They also become infected easier than a scrape.

*Prolonged vomiting or diarrhea--especially if there's any blood.
*Refusal to eat or drink for more than 1 day.
*Limping; can't put weight on a leg.
*Green goopy stuff/crustiness in or around their eyes.
*Swelling or redness around the eyes or snout (dogs sometimes eat a bee, hornet or wasp and must be seen immediately).
*Redness or hotness of ears: Especially if they're scratching or have constant head shaking (ear infections, mites and fox tails happen fast).
*Any chronic, severe itching or patchy red spots on the skin--self mutilation is soon to follow & can cause more infection.
*Your dog is acting really weird.

If you're unsure of what's going on with your dog and if it's an emergency, call your Veterinarian (many Veterinarian's handle all their own emergencies) or call the nearest Animal Emergency Center/Hospital.

Often times, at an Animal Emergency Hospital, you can speak with a highly trained veterinary technician, triage intake worker or the Veterinarian. These incredibly dedicated people will help you assess whether your dog needs to be seen immediately, sometime today, or if it can wait until tomorrow.

If you have any doubts, call a Veterinarian. Whatever you do,remember you're caring for a family member who doesn't understand what's going on. Your dog is scared and confused. Be calm. Be brave and do the very best for your cuddly canine. The rewards are endless.

About The Author: Miss Rae has been a poet & writer since college at UW, class of 1996. Click on over to her site for all your dog's needs from training programs to nutrition to choosing a vet, dental health and books galore. Visit

Please use the HTML version of this article

For more free-reprint articles by Miss Debra Rae

Back to Articles

Back to Home Page