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What to do in a Pet Emergency

The emergency vets in Fort Collins and surrounding areas see all kinds of pet medical emergencies. Sometimes they’re false alarms, but in many cases, getting a pet to a hospital immediately saves its life. Before we examine what you should do in case of a pet medical emergency, the top factor in survival after a serious injury or medical condition is the time it takes to receive emergency medical attention. There are several things you can do to immediately help your sick or injured dog or cat before going to the emergency room, but you can’t take too much time to deliver your pet to the experts. Obviously, every situation is different, and sometimes first aid is the best thing you can do for your pet at the moment. But having your emergency vet’s contact information and address handy is the first step in preparing for a pet emergency.

What to do in an Emergency

  • Stay calm and assess the situation. This is sometimes easier said than done when you see your pet hurt and in distress. The most common emergency room cases treated by veterinarians in this situation involve trauma and gastrointestinal issues. If your dog hurts themselves, starts vomiting, or having diarrhea, the safest option is to take him to an emergency vet Fort Collins pet owners trust. In order to transport your pet there, you need to be calm enough to drive a car. Your pet will also feed off your anxious energy, which could make the situation worse.
  • Don’t ignore certain symptoms. Vomiting and diarrhea, as you probably know, could be signs of serious illness, especially in dogs. An upset stomach is one thing, but continued gastrointestinal distress could be an emergency-room-worthy situation. Another common emergency room symptom is bloating, which can be the sign of other more serious gastrointestinal issues. Symptoms of bloating are a distended stomach, difficulty breathing, inability to get comfortable when lying down, continuous vomiting, and retching with no vomit production. Bloating causes the stomach to press against other organs, including the lungs, making it difficult for your pet to breathe. If you notice any of these symptoms take your pet to your emergency vet immediately as a bloated stomach can be life-threatening.
  • Transport your pet carefully. All pets, especially dogs, will be more likely to bite or scratch when they’re injured, even if they normally never would. Examine your pet very carefully, and avoid putting your face or hands near the pet’s mouth or claws if possible. When moving the pet, take care not to put any pressure on the injured area. Try to splint or stabilize the injured area as much as you can, and keep the pet in a confined space while in transit to avoid them re-injuring themselves on the way to the emergency veterinarian.

When You Return Home…

  • Make sure you can provide adequate home care. Ask questions of your veterinarian when they release your pet from the emergency room. Sometimes, close observation is needed, or a host of medications. Ask about how to make your pet more comfortable upon being released. Your vet should give you medication schedules and instructions, but to speed up recovery and avoid re-injury, you should create a comfortable, safe space you can watch for your pet to recover. Always carefully follow your vet’s instructions to help your pet recover faster.
  • Don’t trust medicines and homeopathic remedies for humans. Over-the-counter pain medications can be particularly harmful to an ailing pet. Tylenol, for example, can cause serious liver damage. Believe it or not, there are many home pet care remedies involving everything from essential oils to motor oil to treat certain maladies. Don’t trust them. If you think you have a good home remedy solution you found on the internet, consult with your veterinarian first.

Visit an Emergency Vet You Trust

One final tip: Make sure you know how to get to your emergency vet. If you’re traveling with your pet, look up the nearest emergency vet clinic. Many people put their pets at risk because they take too much time to get to a veterinarian. Be prepared with basic first aid supplies and ready directions to the emergency room. Remember this, above all else: if you’re unsure if your pet needs immediate medical attention, it’s better to err on the side of caution.


Contact Us

Royal Vista Veterinary Specialists


4630 Royal Vista Circle, Ste 11 Windsor, CO 80528

Clinic Hours

Emergency department: Friday-Sunday: 24 Hours Monday: 12:01 AM - 9:00 PM Tuesday-Friday: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM Surgery Department: Monday-Friday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM (by appointment only) Internal Medicine Department: Tuesday-Friday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (by appointment only)