Veterinary Emergencies

When owning a pet, it is important to know what consists of an emergency so that when they occur, they can quickly be recognized and attended to. It is also important to know where emergency clinics are located in your area so that in the case of an emergency, you know exactly where to head. If you have a concern at home and are debating whether or not veterinary help is required, it is always safer to come in and have your pet examined.

Edmonton Emergency Vet Clinics:

North Side: VetEmerg – 780-423-9111 located at 12831 97 Street

Central: Capital City – 780-433-9505 located at 11104-102 Ave

Guardian Vet Centre – 780-436-5880 located at 8606 99St

Common Veterinary Emergencies:

-Difficulty breathing- if your pet seems to be struggling to breathe, has abnormal breathing sounds, is constantly hacking, or your cat is open mouth breathing, they need veterinary attention. When they come in for an exam, the veterinarian listens to their heart and lungs to assess the rate, clarity, and see if there are any abnormal sounds. Chest radiographs may be required.
-Difficulty urinating- specifically male cats that are having difficulty in the litterbox, howling, or struggling to pass full volume urinations. Male cats can have urinary blockages that often need to be treated by urinary catheterization involving hospitalization.
-Chocolate ingestion-Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine which can result in vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, heart racing to abnormal rates, and in extreme cases, death. When a dog comes in after chocolate ingestion, we need to induce vomiting and give charcoal, which absorbs any toxins remaining inside.
-Rat poison ingestion: Interferes with the clotting cascade, which can result in hemorrhage (internal bleeding) leading to weakness and ataxia (stumbling, drunk appearance), brain swelling, kidney failure.
-Lily ingestion-specifically for cats
-Anorexia (not eating)-especially in cats. When cats do not eat, a condition called Hepatic Lipidosis, or Fatty Liver Disease, can occur.
-Collapsing and/or Seizures
-Hit by car-even if your pet appears to be unharmed, it is important to have them examined as there may be internal damage that you cannot see.

In emergency situations it is important to stay as calm as possible so that your pet can get the help it needs.  Remember that depending on the emergency, your pet may be in pain and when they are in pain they are unpredictable so take caution when transporting them. They may feel vulnerable and use methods of self defense that could harm you. If you have a second person with you, have them contact the emergency clinic that you are heading to so that the clinic staff can be prepared. If ever in doubt of what an emergency consists of, do not hesitate to call us and ask and we will always do our best to help you and your pet.

By Liz Espejo, RAHT