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he differences in behavior that you pick up on in your pet can be just the type of information a doctor might need to know to determine whether a medical problem could be the underlying cause. Making that phone call and speaking with a professional who can ask a few questions and get important information is often the first step in determining your pet’s health needs. When your pet is hurt or ill, the sooner they are seen by a veterinarian, the more likely they are to make a full and rapid recovery. Prompt medical care can alleviate unnecessary suffering and pain for your pet, and make all the difference in a patient’s prognosis. Look at it this way: if your pet is experiencing a less than serious health issue and you take it to your family veterinarian or other urgent care provider, then the worst that is lost is a little time and a nominal exam fee, but you gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing your pet’s health is not at risk. On the other hand, if your pet is experiencing a medical emergency and you hesitate to get help, it could cost your pet their health or possibly even their life. The following list will identify some of the most com-

Prompt medical care can alleviate unnecessary suffering and pain... mon pet emergencies. Some are quite obvious, others less known and some are conditions that always require immediate medical attention for your pet:

Seek Care if... •  Your pet isn’t breathing or is having difficulty breathing. •  Your pet is unconscious or won’t wake up. •  Vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours, or, if either contains blood. •  Major trauma, large wounds, or suspected broken bones from a collision or fall. •  Any type of seizure activity. •  Your pet is bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose or mouth, or if there is blood in the urine or feces. •  You suspect that your pet has ingested anything toxic, such as rat poison or antifreeze, flea medication, marijuana or any pharmaceuticals

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that weren’t prescribed to them, or any other household chemicals. Some other, lesser known, dangerous toxins come from licking Bufo Toads, eating macadamia nuts and grapes for dogs and ingesting any part of lilies for cats. •  Your pet, particularly your male cat, is unable to urinate or strains to urinate or has difficulty defecating. •  Your pet shows signs of severe pain, such as whimpering, trembling or anti-social behavior. •  Your pet suddenly collapses or can’t stand up. •  Any signs of disorientation, loss of balance or loss of coordination, i.e. staggering/stumbling. •  Your pet’s abdomen is swollen or hard to the touch and/or they’re trying to gag or vomit. •  Any visible irritation, inflammation or swelling to the eyes or dilated pupils. •  Rapid heartbeat (in general, over 160 for dogs, over 200 for cats.) •  Inability of the mother to deliver puppies or kittens on her own. If you see any of these symptoms in your dog or cat, you should seek immediate emergency veterinary care. The first place to call is your family’s regular veteri-

Profile for Island Dog Magazine

Island Dog Magazine  

Hawaii's favorite dog culture magazine since 2008. The Fall issue features how to identify common pet emergencies, "do nothing" dog training...

Island Dog Magazine  

Hawaii's favorite dog culture magazine since 2008. The Fall issue features how to identify common pet emergencies, "do nothing" dog training...