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When to call the vet

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    This is a great idea. Everyone needs to know all this info so they can keep their furkids healthy.

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  • DianeP
    This is all excellent, and I'm going to stick this thread. Dogs forum might want to copy it to that forum as well.

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  • LindaD
    You may have intended the list for cat owners, but most of the issues could also be useful for dogs. Most of our emergencies have involved the dogs and the two that I recall most vividly are described below. Both require urgent care.

    1. If your animal' is stung by a bee or other insect and his face or any part of the body is swelling rapidly. It could be allergic reaction which requires urgent action.

    BTW, our dog, Bacchus, apparently bit and was stung by a bee in or around his mouth. His entire head, neck and front legs started to swell. By the time we got to the vet 20 minutes later, his eyes were swollen shut and he had wrinkles on top of wrinkles on his face. He looked more like a Sharpei than a Doberman. Immediate action saved his life because he developed breathing problems while at the vet's office as his trachea was swelling shut. An hour later we were on our way home, he was still swollen, but much more comfortable.

    2. Again a dog issue -- swollen abdomen with retching or gagging. This could indicate bloat. Time is of the essence.


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  • calicokitty
    If your cat scratches their ear, and one of their rear feet does a "thumper motion", then your cat is in pain. Could be as tirvial as needing an ear cleaning, or could indicate an infection. Neither one is expensive, but your cat deserves a vet trip to clean out their ears and determine the problem.

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  • BeckyMorgan
    started a topic When to call the vet

    When to call the vet

    Most of us longtime posters have a fairly good relationship with our vets, but a lot of newcomers wonder what to do and when to call. I'd like to set forth what our vets have suggested over the years and see what everyone else thinks:

    Start to the vet's office AT ONCE, calling on the way to Urgent Care, if your animal is--
    bleeding more than a small scratch
    having trouble breathing
    is giving birth and appears to be having serious problems
    has an obvious broken bone
    is unconscious or appears to be seriously confused/dizzy/weak, or more so than usual in an old or known ill animal
    is having a first seizure (not necessarily a breakthrough seizure in a known case unless it's severe)
    has been hit by a car or has fallen far enough to appear dazed
    has been bitten by an unknown animal
    may have eaten or drunk something poisonous
    has a serious injury to an eye or ear
    is having obvious pain on urination

    Call right away if the animal
    has a fever
    is wheezing (and it's not just from crud on the nose of an overly enthusiastic digging dog...thank you for not laughing at me for that one, Dr. C)
    has no appetite for longer than a day (half a day at most for a small puppy or kitten)
    is limping without signs of a broken bone
    vomits more than once or twice, especially without an obvious reason
    seems to be having trouble chewing
    is rubbing an eye or ear as if it hurts

    Make an appointment soon when the animal
    is new to you
    shows unexpected behavior change (animal you thought too young to spay/neuter exhibits sexual behavior, cat begins to spray/inappropriate urination...)
    seems to be gaining/losing weight slowly without a change in diet or activity
    seems to be stiff or acting generally achy with age
    loses interest in old activities
    has been on medication that no longer seems to be working
    does anything else that makes you wonder what the heck is going on in her furry little mind

    We've also been told that where you are may make a difference--if you live next door to the vet's and the office is open, the best first aid may be grabbing the pet and running there, while in our "half an hour away in good weather and traffic" case, vets usually give standing orders: "If she does X, give Y, do Z, and call on the way here." The Red Cross now offers pet first aid classes if you don't have any human medical experience.

    Comments? Suggestions?