When should I take my sick dog to the vet? Find Out Here

10 Most Common Dog Emergencies Seen in the Vet ER

If your dog has sustained some form of trauma such as a fall, gunshot wound, getting hit by a car or is involved in a dog fight then immediate veterinary attention is needed. Even if your dog appears fine initially a check-up with your veterinarian is still necessary because sometimes injuries sustained from a traumatic event such as a ruptured lung, diaphragmatic hernia or internal bleeding will not manifest symptoms immediately. Wounds such as lacerations and bite wounds may be deeper than they appear and complications such as infection can result from delaying veterinary attention. Sometimes the traumatic event is not witnessed by the owner, if you find your dog limping, seemingly in pain or is just not acting right then it would be best to have her checked out.

Dyspnea is also known as difficulty breathing and can manifest as wheezing, choking, weak and raspy breathing or respiratory arrest. This can be caused by a foreign body in the throat, allergic reaction, heart disease or pulmonary disease. If there is a foreign body present it is important not to try and extract it yourself – doing so may lodge the object even deeper, completely obstructing the airway. Breathing problems almost always indicate major dog health problems so do not wait to take immediate action.

Neurological problems can manifest in your dog as disorientation, incoordination, severe lethargy, unresponsiveness, and coma. A normal healthy dog is bright, alert and responsive; any pronounced change in your dog’s mental status requires immediate veterinary attention. Lethargy and weakness can be seen with any serious illness and should never be ignored. Sometimes neurological disorders do not affect mentation (for instance loss of use of the hind limbs can sometimes be cause by a ruptured intervertebral disc). Again these are serious disorders that need prompt veterinary attention to achieve the most favorable outcome.

Seizures are also considered a neurological condition but are so common in dogs it deserves its own category. Any dog that has never experienced a seizure before needs to be seen immediately. Signs associated with a seizure include uncontrollable shaking and tremors, loss of consciousness, paddling with the legs and possible loss of bowel or urinary control. The most common cause of seizures in dogs is epilepsy. If your dog is diagnosed as epileptic not every seizure will constitute an emergency. If your dog has multiple seizures within a 24-hour period or if a seizure lasts longer than a couple minutes then your epileptic dog may need immediate veterinary attention. Talk to your veterinarian more about how to manage epilepsy and what to watch for. Other causes of seizures include hypoglycemia in puppies, insulinoma in older dogs and toxicities in dogs of all ages.

You found a chewed up rat bait while running some laundry down to the basement or you notice the bag of fertilizer in the garden shed has been ripped open. If you suspect your dog has gotten into something potentially toxic call the ASPCA animal poison control at (888) 426-4435 for immediate advice on what to do. A veterinary toxicologist may advise you to induce vomiting, seek immediate veterinary attention or simply monitor at home if the substance ingested turns out to be innocuous. Keep a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in the house at all times in case you are ever asked to induce vomiting.

Vomiting and diarrhea are common problems in dogs and while they can be signs of a serious dog health issues the majority of cases are simple gastric upset that typically resolves within 24 hours. If your dog is otherwise acting fine then rest the stomach by withholding food for 4 to 6 hours and make sure your dog has access to plenty of water so they can stay hydrated. If she develops additional clinical signs such as lethargy, weakness or seems to be in pain then immediate veterinary attention is indicated. Also if vomiting or diarrhea persists more than 24 hours OR you notice blood in the vomitus or the diarrheas then go see your veterinarian immediately. If your dog has a chronic medical problem such as diabetes and starts vomiting then it is not recommended to wait 24 hours and to seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.

They’re eating less than usual Any change in your pet’s diet is worth noting. iStock

Not all pets have huge appetites, but most animals should be eating regular meals and have an interest in food.

A loss of appetite or avoidance of food might be a sign of illness or mouth injury, Travis Arndt, veterinarian and director of the Animal Medical Center of Mid-America, told INSIDER. Keep an eye on your pets eating habits and make a vet appointment if its been more than a day or two since your animal has eaten.

Your pet seems hyperactive

Extra energy might not seem like a symptom of illness to us, but hyperactivity can often signal a medical problem or injury in an animal.

“When your dog is running around nervously and just cant seem to get still, they may be telling you that they are not feeling right. It could be anything from a stomachache to a fever, but hyperactivity can indicate they cant get comfortable,” explained Ochoa.

Pain or discomfort can be an unusual sensation for pets and it may make them squirm or run around anxiously. Its also possible that they simply have something in their fur or feathers that is making them itch, so be sure to give your pets coat a once-over before calling the vet.

How Can I Tell If My Dog Is Sick? | Ultimate Pet Vet

Its natural to want to keep your pets as healthy and happy as possible. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be tough to figure out exactly how your pet is feeling and when they may need medical care.

INSIDER spoke with veterinarians to identify a few signs that your pet may need to see a vet.

Keep in mind that although knowing these symptoms can be useful, if you are concerned about your pets health at any time, you may want to visit a veterinarian for a professional evaluation.