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What is an Emergency?

Wounds: If there is bleeding, apply direct pressure with a clean, dry, towel. If the bleeding continues for more than 5 minutes, if the wound is larger then a nickel, if the wound is on a paw, seek veterinary care. Do not apply peroxide to open wounds. It can damage tissues.

Trauma: All animals that have been hit by a car, attacked by another animal, fallen from a height, should be examined as soon as possible. Even if they look OK on the outside, there may be internal, life threatening injuries.

Seizures, collapsing episodes: The first time your pet has a seizure or a collapsing episode, immediate veterinary care is indicated for treatment and testing. Once a diagnosis has been made and treatment started, seizures do not always require emergency care unless they last longer than 5 minutes or your pet has more than 2 episodes in a 24 hour period.

Vomiting and/or diarrhea; If it lasts longer than 24 hours, if there is blood in the vomit or the stool, if your pet appears weak, wobbly, lethargic or your pet’s rectal temperature is above 103 or below 100 (normal is 101-102) you should seek immediate care. Younger animals (less than 6 months) or older animals, and smaller animals (pets less than 15 pounds) get dehydrated much quicker and should be evaluated by a veterinarian sooner.

Poisons; If you think your pet ate a plant, was exposed to household chemicals or medications, even over the counter medications (products like Tylenol, Advil and antihistamines can be very dangerous to our pets) call your veterinarian immediately.

Presented by Katy Meyer, Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency, Offices in Pinellas & Hillsborough. (727) 531-5752 & (813) 265-4043.


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