Sometimes it is difficult to determine what symptoms require emergency treatment.  We always recommend speaking with a veterinarian if you are unsure about what to do.  The following symptoms may require immediate medical attention:


  • Choking, difficulty breathing or nonstop coughing and gagging
  • Swollen or distended abdomen, with or without productive vomiting
  • Inability to urinate or defecate, or obvious pain associated with urinating or defecating (Cats may repeatedly go to the litter box)
  • Injuries to your pet’s eye(s)
  • You suspect or know your pet has eaten something poisonous such as:

xylitol (sweetener in sugar-free gum)
chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic
rodent poison
prescription or over-the-counter medications
illegal drugs
nicotine (cigarettes, cigars or patches)
household cleaners
marijuana (including edibles or CBD products with THC)
poisonous plants (lilies, marijuana, sago palm, bulbs, etc.)

  • Staggering, continuous seizures or convulsions
  • Traumas, such as being hit by a car, falling from a height, or experiencing a blunt force, even if the animal is not showing any ill effects
  • Fractured bones, severe lameness, or inability to move legs; apparent paralysis
  • Collapse or inability to stand or walk
  • Loss of balance or consciousness or unresponsiveness
  • Penetrating wound, such as bite wounds, gunshot, or stab wounds
  • Severe bleeding that does not stop within 5 minutes
  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea – more than two episodes in a 26-hour period, or either of these combined with obvious illness or vomiting or diarrhea with blood
  • Heatstroke: heavy panting, weakness, temperature greater than 104 degrees
  • Refusal to drink for 24 hours or more
  • Pale Gums
  • Rapid Breathing, weak or rapid pulse

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