Types of Pet Emergencies

pet emergencies

Unfortunately, medical emergencies don’t only affect us as humans. Our precious pets can also suddenly become very unwell or suffer an injury that means that they need to be seen by a professional vet as a matter of urgency. Most experienced pet owners have already sourced an out-of-hours veterinarian who can provide emergency care if a problem arises outside of their vet’s usual office hours. This means that their pet is covered in the event of an emergency, no matter when it happens.

There are lots of different types of pet emergencies, with the following being some of the most common.


Most pets will be sick or experience diarrhea at some point during their lifetime. However, excessive occurrences of either of these mean that something could be seriously wrong with your pet and it’s important to get them checked out by a vet as soon as possible. If your pet has diarrhea or is vomiting for more than 24 hours, has blood in their urine or feces, or is in obvious pain, seek urgent veterinary attention.

Breathing Problems

Unsurprisingly, if your pet is experiencing breathing problems, they must be seen by your veterinarian urgently. This includes if they are gasping for breath, wheezing, choking, having a coughing fit, shallow breathing or making unusual sounds when breathing. There can be a variety of causes of breathing problems in pets, including:

  • Allergic reactions

  • Asthma

  • Heartworms

  • Heart disease

  • A foreign body lodged in the airway

Some breathing problems are potentially life-threatening so don’t wait to contact your vet if you suspect that your pet’s breathing is compromised in any way.


There are many different substances that can be toxic if consumed by animals, with some of the most common causes of pet poisoning including consumption of chocolate, antifreeze, human medications, grapes/raisins and candy containing xylitol. All animals react slightly different to poisoning and how they will react will depend on several factors including:

  • What they have come into contact with

  • How much they have consumed

  • Their size/weight

If you suspect your animal may have eaten something that could be toxic, don’t delay seeking professional advice from your emergency vet.

Unable to Pee

Urinating is an essential bodily function for all mammals and is the way in which we eliminate waste from our bodies. No human or furbaby should go too long without urinating as it can be very harmful. If your pet hasn’t emptied their bladder in the last 16 hours, is having obvious difficulty passing urine or has blood in their urine, you shouldn’t delay in getting them seen by a vet as soon as you can. Bladder blockages can be fatal so contact your vet immediately.

Traumatic Injury

Our animals are just as likely to sustain an injury as we are, and while some types of injury are mild and no help is needed, some warrant emergency veterinary attention. It isn’t always easy to tell how seriously injured an animal is, particularly as there is every chance that there is damage beyond what we can physically see. For example, if your cat is hit by a car, they may look fine on the surface, but broken bones or internal bleeding are distinct possibilities. For this reason, it is strongly advised that you arrange for your pet to be professionally assessed after any accident or injury, even if they seem ok.

Veterinary emergencies can seem scary, but they don’t have to mean disaster for your pet. Make sure that you have the details of a preferred, experienced and reputable emergency veterinary service stored in your cell so that you have it to hand if the need arises. Please contact Lake Emma Animal Hospital in Lake Mary, FL animal hospital for more information.