Abnormal breathing or difficulty breathing, including a progressive cough – Besides primary lung diseases such as bronchitis and pneumonia, several other conditions can cause serious breathing problems. These include:
- congestive heart failure
- bleeding disorders with bleeding into the lungs
- fluid accumulation around the lungs
- collapsed lung (pneumothorax)
Difficulty passing urine (dysuria) – Abnormal urination can be seen with lower urinary tract infections, stones, and tumors. Urinary obstruction (inability to pass urine and empty the bladder) can be a life-threatening problem. This is most often seen in male cats and dogs.
Weakness and lethargy – These symptoms can be caused by a variety of problems, including cardiovascular disease, shock, and neurologic disorders. Diagnostic testing is usually needed to determine what is causing the weakness or lethargy to occur. Seizures – Seizure activity may range from mild tremors without loss of consciousness, to full-blown generalized motor seizures. These seizures often involve:
- rhythmic contraction and extension of the muscles of all the limbs
- loss of consciousness
- uncontrolled elimination of urine or stool
If your pet has never had seizures before, or is known to have seizures but is having clusters of seizures or prolonged seizures, a visit to our emergency animal hospital is warranted.
Severe vomiting or diarrhea – While one event of vomiting or diarrhea may not be a serious problem, repeated events will lead to fluid losses, dehydration and weakness. Testing is needed to determine what is causing the vomiting or diarrhea, and how best to treat it. Urgent care may also be necessary to prevent severe dehydration.
Wounds – Wounds that puncture the skin, especially bite wounds, should be seen by an emergency vet. It can be difficult to assess the depth and amount of damage done to tissues, and if there is any foreign material embedded in the wound. Once the wound has been assessed, a plan of care can be determined to help your pet heal.
These are just a few of the common emergency situations that may require help from an emergency vet. Ultimately, you know your pet best and if you see any symptoms that seem out of the ordinary, it doesn’t hurt to call. If you have questions or concerns about your pet, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (901) 274-1444 or Animal Emergency Center at (901) 323-4563.