How do I know if my pet needs to go to the vet?

Your pets are an important part of your family and they depend on you for food, shelter, love and medical attention, if required.

However unfortunately, if there is something wrong they just can’t tell you about it, and their survival instincts are to hide any symptoms that show weakness or illness.

So if you’re worried your pet is not feeling 100% or if you think they’re acting strangely, how do you know when it is an actual emergency?

And how can you tell whether your pet needs to go to the vet or not?

Definite emergencies

There are certain symptoms or situations that are definite emergencies, indicating
your pet need to see a vet as soon as possible.

  • After a fight with another animal. Even if you can’t see any external injuries your pet might have internal damage and the teeth of another animal will introduce bacteria that can cause a severe infection.
  • Experiencing some kind of trauma, such as being hit by a car or falling from a height of more than a couple of metres.
  • If your pet is unconscious, won’t wake up, isn’t breathing, or you can’t feel a heartbeat.
  • When your pet has been vomiting or has had diarrhea for more than 24 hours, or is vomiting blood.
  • Difficulty breathing or a seizure. Cats should never pant.
  • Your pet has swallowed a weird, foreign object or is acting like they have something stuck in their throat.
  • Ingesting something toxic.
  • Paralysis ticks. Even if you’ve safely removed the tick the poison may well already be in your pet, causing paralysis and even death.
  • Bleeding from the eyes, nose, or mouth, or blood in urine or feces.
  • Suspected broken bones.
  • If your male cat is straining to urinate, or is unable to.
  • Any signs of extreme pain, such as whining, shaking, or refusing to socialize.
  • If your pet collapses or can’t stand up.
  • If your pet refuses to eat and appears constipated.
  • Any irritation or injury to your pet’s eyes, especially if they suddenly seem to
  • become blind, bump into things or suddenly become disoriented.
  • A swollen abdomen that’s hard to the touch and you pet’s gagging and tryingto vomit.

If your pet has any of these symptoms and you can’t get your pet to a vet, a mobile vet can come to you.

Other worrying issues

While you will need to consult your vet about the following symptoms, they usually do not necessitate an emergency 24 hour vet hospital consultation.

  • Sudden weight loss
  • You discover an odd lump while petting (unless it’s a tick, in which case you
  • will need to see a vet ASAP)
  • Itchy skin or coat problems
  • Your pet is constantly tired
  • Your dog drags its rear along the floor
  • Your pet’s bowel habits have changed

Although not life-threatening, these symptoms are all signs that your pet is unwell, so if you are in anyway concerned please don’t hesitate to contact us and seek advice.

Trust your instincts

If you’re in any way concerned about your pet, you should never feel embarrassed about calling a vet.

You know your pet better than anyone else and you know if they’re behaving strangely or really not themselves.

Often we can often tell you over the phone whether you need to see a vet or not, simply by asking you some simple questions.

Even if you find out nothing’s wrong with your pet, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and you’ll be relieved to have your mind put at ease.

At Vetaround we’re open 7.30am -7pm weekdays and we come to your home. If you need emergency assistance outside of these hours, you can find details of local 24 hour emergency access hospitals here

How Can I Help Your Pet?