ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

When to call your veterinarian

Updated on June 23, 2008
 

Almost every pet owner one day or another will find himself debating on whether it will be necessary to call the vet. Working at a veterinarian office, I have received many calls from owners unsure if their dog should be treated at home and monitored or if they needed to be rushed into the hospital. Often, I was responsible in doing some "triage work" and major decision making on which pets needed immediate attention and which could have waited.

I will list below some conditions were I have told owners to bring in their pets same day or even within minutes:

"My cat is straining to urinate".

This is an emergency especially in male cats as they are prone to urinary blockage which will eventually cause death by lethal toxic build up in their system. Cats that are able to pass a few drops of urine are usually better than those that produce no urine at all.

Often owners may think their cat is constipated when in reality they are exhibiting symptoms of a urinary tract problem or owners may think their cat is having behavior issues when they urinate around the home. Cats that are straining in the litter box, urinating in places other than the litter box, exhibiting blood in urine, vomiting, acting lethargic and licking their genitalia should be suspected of having a urinary issue.

In female cats signs of a urinary tract infection may not be an emergency as in males but still requires prompt vet attention.

"My dog is unable to keep food down and has not produced a bowel movement"

This may indicate a foreign body that is blocking up the dog. The dog will vomit after eating and often even after drinking since the blockage does not permit food or water to go past the obstruction. Puppies are pretty prone to obstructions since they tend to eat and chew just about anything. If caught early within minutes or hours the foreign object may be retrieved by inserting a tube down their esophagus, but if it has gone past the stomach surgery may be the only solution.

"My cat had developed hives and facial swelling after the vaccination"

These cats are exhibiting signs of an allergic reaction. Cats may develop these signs as well, after a bee sting or after giving a certain medications. Cats may further develop signs of anaphylactic shock with trouble breathing and pale gums.

"My dog is retching, his stomach seems large and is pacing"

This may indicate a condition called bloat that can turn deadly if not treated promptly. Bloat affects mostly deep chested dogs of large-giant breeds. Causes may be linked to dogs drinking large amounts of water after exercise or after eating, stress, and exercise after eating. The treatment would consist of untwisting the stomach and treating for shock.

"My cat has very pale gums"

Gums signal good health and should be normally be a nice bubble gum pink. Any cat with pale, grayish gums should not hesitate to have vet attention as this may indicated internal blood loss or a cardiac or respiratory issue.

"My puppy has been vomiting and now has diarrhea with blood"

Parvo is a deadly disease most commonly affecting unvaccinated puppies. The dehydration deriving from the copious vomiting and diarrhea is the major for concern. Puppies may need IV fluids and supportive care in order to fight off this potentially deadly virus.

"My senior cat has suddenly lost use of his rear legs and they feel coooler to the touch"

In many cases this turn out being saddle thrombosis, basically a blood clot cutting off blood supply to the rear legs. Some cases may be treated with anticoagulants and surgery when discovered promptly.

"My dog is giving birth and has been contracting for more than hour"

Anytime a dog giving birth seems to be in excessive pain and has had contractions for more than one hour with no puppy coming out a vet should be seen promptly. A vet should also be seen if a pup is stuck mid canal or if more than four hours pass and the dog still seems to have pups inside. Every owner of a pregnant dog should have emergency contact numbers ready and give a head's up to their vet upon beginning of contractions, in cases of a complication.

"My cat has had seizures lasting for more than 5 minutes"

Any time a seizure lasts more than five minutes (status epilepticus) seek a vet promptly as it may cause brain damage and possibly death. Pets should be seen as well if the seizures present frequently during the day usually within minutes or hours.(cluster seizures).

These examples above are just a few when compared to the hundreds of cases that needed prompt or emergency vet attention. As a general rule of thumb, I always suggest to have a pet seen when it is acting differently, being lethargic and not wanting to play or eat as usual. Any case of ADR (Ain't doing right) may need attention so to find out the underlying cause.

Of course, trouble breathing, pain, panting, bleeding, fever, swelling, or any general discomfort or unusual activity are as well signs of needing vet attention.

Disclaimer: None of the above examples are to be used as a substitute for your veterinarian's advice nor are they to be considered standard emergency signals. Each pet may exhibit a different symptomatology that may or may not relate to the above conditions described.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)