Emergency Situations

Small Animal Emergency Situations

First aid for pets is very similar to humans. Below is a list of some of our most common emergencies and what you can do in these circumstances.

All animals should be seen immediately if you suspect they have a life threatening problem - phone us immediately on 094351924.

NEVER give human medication to animals unless instructed by a veterinarian.

Collapsed pet 

Call the closest vet clinic immediately. CPR can be attempted if the animal is not breathing and has no heartbeat but getting the animal to a veterinarian urgently is their best chance for survival. If your pet is choking, attempt to remove the obstruction if safely possible.

Hit by car 

Remember to check for hazards if collecting the animal off the road. The animal may well become aggressive if it is in pain, so a makeshift muzzle made from a crepe bandage may be required for dogs. For cats/small dogs you can wrap a towel/jumper around their head to prevent yourself from getting bitten. Pressure can be applied to any wounds bleeding heavily if tolerated by the animal but do not apply a tourniquet. 

Poisonings

Do not delay in getting treatment as poisonings can be life threatening. Bring the packet with you if you know what your pet has consumed.

Symptoms will vary greatly, depending on the poison but can include:

  • Lethargy, twitching or seizures, bleeding from nose/mouth, vomiting, diarrhoea
  • Animals that have often just consumed a poison may have remnants (usually blue or green) around their mouth.


Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) or “Bloat”

Call a veterinarian urgently! This occurs most commonly in large deep chested dogs (rarely small dogs/cats) often after consuming a large amount of food (with or without exercise). The stomach becomes enlarged with food and gas causing the stomach to twist and rapidly cut off its blood supply causing the dog to go into shock rapidly. Death occurs within hours if not treated promptly.

Symptoms are:

  • bloated abdomen
  • retching, drooling
  • lethargy
  • collapse


Blocked bladder 

This occurs most frequently in male cats (usually neutered and overweight) but can occur in female cats and male/female dogs. Urinary crystals and/or stones lodge in the urethra causing the bladder to become blocked,  i.e. they cannot pass urine. This is another life threatening condition that needs urgent veterinary attention.

Symptoms are:

  • Straining to urinate without passing urine or passing bloody droplets/small amounts
  • lethargy
  • distress
  • not eating
  • collapsing