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Common Types of Pet Emergencies That Warrant an Urgent Care Visit

Like humans, pets have life-or-death situations that require urgent attention. Even without veterinary training, you need to know the signs of an animal in distress. At these moments, seeking immediate medical assistance can be the difference between life and death.

Here are some of the pet emergencies that require an urgent visit to the vet.




Animal seizures can result from several conditions, including exposure to toxins and epilepsy. If you want favorable outcomes from situations like toxicity and brain injuries, seek immediate care. Epilepsy alone may not warrant an emergency response.

However, your pet requires thorough diagnostic testing and evaluation to determine the cause of the seizures. Doing this helps the vet outline a treatment plan for your furry friend. Seek immediate medical help for your pet’s first seizure, especially one that lasts over five minutes.


Pet Immobility

Sudden loss of mobility should be a cause of concern for any pet parent. Such a condition may result from insufficient blood flow or an injury to the spine. Issues like intervertebral disc disease or IVDD cause a disc on your pet’s back to constrict the spinal cord abruptly. The situation leads to pain, weakness, or complete paralysis.

For the best prognosis, the vet must perform emergency surgery to relieve the constriction. In feline pets, blood clots can restrict circulation to the rear legs, causing paralysis. It causes excruciating pain, and immediate care through corrective surgery may be the best solution.


Severe Bleeding

Pets may incur traumatic injuries from fights and car accidents that cause skin lacerations. If bleeding is incessant after trying to control it through applying pressure, seek immediate assistance.

Excessive loss of blood can exacerbate your pet’s current condition. Puncture wounds and skin lacerations require immediate treatment since they are prone to infections. The situation is riskier if the injury is from a bite from another animal.


Breathing Issues

Your pet may experience respiratory emergencies like weird chest movements, rapid breathing, gasping for air, or struggling to breathe. Without an immediate supply of oxygen, this issue can become fatal in minutes.

In this scenario, transport the animal to the closest veterinary medical center as soon as possible. There, they will administer oxygen before attempting to diagnose the cause of the emergency.


Exposure to Toxins

Pets are naturally curious, which may cause them to taste or eat harmful substances. Some common household toxins include rodent bait, herbicides, antifreeze, fertilizers, poisonous plants, and insecticides. Some foods that are good for humans may be hazardous for pets. They include garlic, onions, grapes, macadamia nuts, xylitol, raisins, chocolate, and raw yeast dough.

Though toxicity may not present immediate symptoms, it can lead to life-threatening organ failure. Once you suspect your pet has eaten something toxic, seek immediate treatment. React the same way even when you are not sure because, in such scenarios, time is of the essence.



Acute pain in pets, like in humans, always requires immediate care. Some of the signs that your furry friend is in pain include:


  • Shaking

  • Grumpiness

  • Hunching while walking

  • Whining or whimpering

  • Avoiding contact

  • Hiding

For more about the types of pet emergencies, contact Eastern Animal Hospital at our Baltimore, Maryland office. Call (410) 633-8808 to schedule an appointment today.

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