Does My Pet Need Urgent Care?

As a pet owner, you don't want anything bad to happen to your companion. However, accidents and trauma can impact pets as they do humans. While it can be frightening and nerve-racking to see a pet in distress, the best thing to do is to get the animal urgent care for a diagnosis and treatment. Knowing beforehand whether a veterinary office treats pets after hours or for emergencies can be helpful. Some practices work with emergency or urgent care facilities, while others treat pets 24/7. Practices like New Hope Animal Hospital in Durham, NC, provide emergency pet services during normal business hours.

pet emergency

When to Seek Urgent Pet Services

If a pet has a serious medical condition such as chronic kidney disease, the pet may already be undergoing treatment. In these cases, urgent care may be necessary if the pet's condition gets worse or the animal starts displaying additional symptoms. In pets that do not have a known illness or condition, some of the signs that trauma has occurred or urgent pet services are needed include the following:

  • Pale gums
  • Difficulty breathing or labored breathing
  • Fast breathing
  • Inability to stand or unstable walk
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Seizures
  • High or low body temperature
  • Faint or rapid pulse
  • Paralysis

Suspected poisoning, severe diarrhea, and ingesting known harmful foods such as chocolate or grapes can also call for a trip to the vet. If a pet has sustained severe injuries to its body due to trauma or an accident, this is also considered an emergency that needs immediate attention. When animals are in distress or in pain, they may act aggressively towards others, even their owners. Acts of aggression can include biting, so it is important to approach injured or traumatized pets slowly and calmly before lifting them into a car or putting them into a carrier.

Should I Treat My Pet at Home?

If you're unsure of whether you need to bring your pet in for treatment, call your vet. Describe the symptoms, including the severity and duration, to the vet in detail over the phone. Some symptoms, such as severe or watery diarrhea, may not need immediate or same-day treatment unless those symptoms get worse or are accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting. Your vet will be able to tell you whether immediate treatment is necessary, what home treatments to try, and what to watch out for. 

Urgent Pet Care in Durham

In the event that urgent veterinary services are needed, have a back-up plan and the name, number, and location of nearby urgent pet care facilities on hand. If your pet needs immediate care during normal business hours, call New Hope Animal Hospital in Durham, NC, at (919) 490-2000.

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