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Common Veterinary Emergencies for Pets

Most people consider pets to be part of the family. Therefore, in the same way people react when human beings are in need of emergency medical attention, pets should also receive the same concern. However, to keep pets safe at all times, one would need to know the common veterinary emergencies and when to seek help. Some of the common pet emergencies include:


Difficulty in Breathing


If you notice your pet is ‘open mouth breathing,’ it means they are having difficulty breathing. You need to go to the vet immediately. Pets, especially dogs, are prone to panic when they cannot breathe normally. If your dog is choking, never attempt to put your fingers in the mouth. 


Ingestion Issues


Not all human foods are good for pets. Some are particularly toxic for pets. Chocolate especially is bad for both cats and dogs. If your pet has ingested foods such as nuts, grapes, and raisins, you should contact our vets at Waco Animal Emergency Clinic immediately. Additionally, if you notice your pet is foaming in the mouth, it may mean they have accidentally ingested toxic chemicals. Be careful where you store household cleaners and insecticides.




If you notice a bulge behind the rib cage of your dog, it likely means your pet is bloated. Bloating can be a serious condition and, if left unchecked, can lead to death. In the initial stages, the dog attempts to vomit but unsuccessfully. The abdomen then continues to swell and eventually the dog may collapse due to shock. 


Bites and Fight Wounds


This is one of the top reasons most pets make an emergency room visit. If your pet has been attacked by other animals and has deep cuts and wounds, you need immediate veterinary intervention.


Wounds that are not deep can be cleaned at home but don’t take any chances if they involve the head. Be careful when approaching an injured animal since they are unpredictable. When moving an injured pet, minimize the motion of its spine, neck, and head. 




It can be hard to tell how bad a burn is because the fur tends to make it hard to examine the injury. Burns caused by chemicals and electricity require immediate attention. Don’t attempt to nurse your pet as you may make the situation worse. Apply cool water to the affected area before going to Waco Animal Emergency Clinic. 




Heatstroke is quite prevalent during summer when it is hot. Never leave your pet in the car for long periods without ventilation when it is hot. Signs that your pet is experiencing heatstroke are distress, lethargy, and panting. Before you rush your pet to the vet, try to cool your dog with a water hose or immersing it in a tub of cool water. Never use cold water as it may cause your dog to go into shock. On your way to the vet, ensure all the car windows are down. 


Eye Injury


If your pet gets an eye injury, do not allow them to rub or scratch the affected area. If an injury is not obvious, you will notice a colored discharge from the eyes. Eye injuries require immediate attention since they can lead to blindness if left untreated. 


To learn more about common veterinary emergencies, or to contact us in case of an emergency call Waco Animal Emergency Clinic in Waco, Texas at (254) 752-6100.

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