Emergency pet care
Emergency pet care starts with trying to define what an emergency is in terms of pet health.
This can be more difficult than one would expect because what constitutes an emergency is
usually defined by the pet owner. The interpretation of an emergency therefore can vary widely
depending on that person's previous experience, there knowledge of what is
, and the extent of the human- animal bond.
Emergency pet care can usually be divided into 2 broad categories. The first is usually an obvious emergency
e.g. Pet is run over by a car or bitten by a known
. In these cases the pet has
been fine up till the incident that triggers the emergency and the pet owner can often make good use of a
first aid kit
and, if necessary,
,to help alleviate the situation until the pet can be got to a veterinarian
The second broad category is the "end stage" of
a medical condition and for most people this is far more difficult to recognise as an emergency. In these cases the pet may not
have been 100% healthy for a preceeding period of time, but this might not have been evident or the pets altered behaviour was deemed
to be of no consequence.
An example here would be a male cat with a blocked bladder.
The signs might have been there for a few hours or days (e.g. spending long periods in the litter box) while the
condition developed. However, once the urethra becomes totally blocked and the cat cannot pass any urine, the situation rapidly
becomes a life threatening one.
From an emergency pet care point of view, there is probably very little you can do for the second
broad category of emergency. The best thing you can do for a pet in this situation is to
get the animal to a vet as fast as you can. Phone ahead if possible to alert the vet
to the situation and try to write down as much as you can about the pets behaviour over
the past few hours/days/weeks.
For most pet owners, pet emergencies are a traumatic experience usually undertaken in a blur of
By writing everything down, you force yourself to slow down and think. Once at the vet
the written notes decrease the chance of you forgetting to tell the vet something that might
be of importance. Although you might be in an agitated state, remember that the vet will have
to ask you a range of
in order to focus the search for a diagnosis and then institute
the appropriate treatment.
Category one emergencies such as
etc lend themselves more to first aid procedures. This does not mean you
should delay getting to a vet as fast as possible as
emergency pet care
is only a stopgap, albeit a very useful one, that can be applied between the occurence of the emergency and
getting professional help.
Other common emergencies
Other common emergencies include:
Sudden sore abdomen