Animal Lover 101: Emergency Pet Care

Since you all know how much I love my animals, lets talk about emergency pet care today! 

Veterinary services have never been so advanced. Pet owners can take care of their animals in ways that were never available in the past. There is now better information about pet care, better pet food and other products, and better services. To some, perhaps the most important advance is the advent of the animal emergency clinic. Finally, families do not have to wait for normal business hours to take care of the health emergencies of their beloved pets. They do not have to be forced to “let nature take its course”.

Are Emergency Services Truly Available 24/7?

In many ways, animal emergency services operate in the same way as human emergency care clinics. Although the local center may have exceptions, many clinics operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and on holidays.

How Do I Know Whether My Animal Needs Emergency Attention?

A pet owner may find it challenging to know exactly when to bring their pet to a clinic. Here are some guidelines. Generally, owners should take their pets to the clinic under the following conditions:

·         Hit by a car
·         Persistent coughing or sneezing
·         Pale gums
·         Sudden onset of a limp
·         Wheezing or difficulty breathing
·         Suspected poisoning
·         Convulsions or seizures
·         Excessive thirst
·         Exposure to toxic plants, or other substances
·         Bloating
·         Excessive urination or difficulty urinating
·         Nasal discharge
·         Bloated or distended abdomen
·         Facial swelling / hives
·         Persistent or severe diarrhea or vomiting
·         Difficulties giving birth

Each of these conditions may be symptomatic of serious problems or illnesses. Pet owners should respond in order to care for the safety and health of their animals.

Should I Treat My Animal First?

Although it makes sense to help the animal as quickly as possible, if it is likely that the pet may need veterinary care, it is important not to administer any medicine or supplement. A common idea is for a pet owner to give the animal a small bit of aspirin or other pain reliever. Giving human medicines to animals should be avoided. These medicines can be toxic, even in small doses.

Pet owners can prepare themselves for the eventuality of a visit to the emergency clinic. First is to make sure that they have a proper carrier for their animal. The first reason is that clinics may insist an animal be in a carrier, to avoid problems interacting with other animals in the offices. Second, owners often find themselves having to bring their pets to the clinic on their own. Driving with an animal bouncing around the car can be even more distracting than composing cell phone texts. Third, animals can become frantic when they are in a moving vehicle. They need to be in a comforting carrier to help them remain calm, and perhaps keep them from doing themselves even more damage.

Another good tip is to call ahead to the clinic before leaving the house. Any preparation owners can give the veterinarian works in their favor.

Will An Emergency Clinic Be Very Expensive?

This is a good question to ask ahead of time. Pet owners can scope out the animal clinics in their areas, compare services, and check out prices. In that way, there will be no surprises during an emergency.

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