Signs of Medical Emergency
If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, he needs immediate medical attention:
- Difficulty breathing
- Major trauma (fall, hit-by-car, large wound, broken bone)
- Penetrating wounds
- Seizure activity
- Staggering, stumbling, head-tilted, sudden blindness
- Lameness or nonweight bearing on any limb
- Ingestion of poison or foreign material
- Inflammation, swelling or other irritation to the eye(s)
- Severe hives or itching
- Bleeding that does not stop
- Bloated, distended, swollen or painful abdomen
- Inability to urinate or defecate
- Inability to deliver puppies
- Loss of balance or consciousness
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dilated pupils
- Vomiting or diarrhea with blood or violent episodes
In Case of Emergency
If you suspect that your dog has been injured or poisoned, contact a veterinarian immediately.
For quick reference, place the following emergency numbers in an easily visible and accessible place:
- Regular Veterinarian: Include your vet's name, number and address. If you are going out of town, call beforehand to authorize treatment and payment should something happen while you’re away.
- Emergency Veterinarian: Include the name, number and address of the closest 24-hour emergency vet.
- Poison Control: The ASPCA Poison Control Hotline can be reached at 888-426-4435.
- Emergency Contact: Include the name and phone number of a person who can be called if something happens to you.
- Medical Information: Include a list of critical medications, allergies and other essential medical information about your dog.
Signs of Medical Concern
These signs should trigger a call to your vet:
- Continual diarrhea
- Continual vomiting
- Open mouth breathing, difficulty breathing or increased effort to breathe
- Bleeding that will not stop
- Unexplained bruising in the skin
- Not eating or drinking; a lack of interest in food
- Lethargic or an unexplained reduced level of activity or play
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Loss of color in the gums
- Abnormal discharge
- Difficulty urinating or defecating
- Lumps under the skin
- Marked weight loss or gain
- Hair loss
- Excessive scratching or licking
- Swollen or painful abdomen