~~When is it an emergency?
Most pet owners have been in a situation like this: Buster slipped on the way down the stairs and now he’s walking with a limp. It just happened - should you call us, or are you just being a worrywart?
You’re never wrong to call. If you’re concerned about your pet, you should never feel embarrassed to call us at (509) 928-PETS (7387). Our doctors are used to emergencies and they prepare for them. We are available Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm and Tuesday, Thursday from 8:00am to 7:00pm. If it is after hours you may contact the Pet Emergency Clinic at (509) 326-6670. This means you have 24 hour access to emergency medical care.
Remember, you know your pet better than anyone else. If you notice your pet behaving in a way that’s unusual for her, or if something just doesn’t seem right, you may have picked up on a subtle sign of a real problem. To find out, you can call your veterinary hospital, or an emergency animal hospital near you. By asking a few questions over the phone, an emergency veterinarian should be able to tell you whether you should bring your pet in right away, or whether she can wait for an examination during your hospital’s normal office hours. Even if you find out nothing’s wrong, you’ll be glad to have your mind at ease.
There are some times, however, when you won’t need to call first. If you notice any of the following problems, bring your pet in immediately for emergency care.
Your pet has been experienced some kind of trauma, such as being hit by a car or a blunt object or falling more than a few feet.
• Your pet isn’t breathing or you can’t feel a heartbeat.
• Your pet is unconscious and won’t wake up.
• Your pet has been vomiting or has had diarrhea for more than 24 hours, or she is vomiting blood.
• You suspect any broken bones.
• Your pet is having trouble breathing or has something stuck in her throat.
• Your pet has had or is having a seizure.
• Your pet is bleeding from the eyes, nose, or mouth, or there is blood in her urine or feces.
• You think your pet might have ingested something toxic, such as antifreeze, rat poison, any kind of medication that wasn’t prescribed to her, or household cleansers.
• Your pet, particularly your male cat, is straining to urinate, or is unable to.
• Your pet shows signs of extreme pain, such as whining, shaking, and refusing to socialize.
• Your pet collapses or suddenly can’t stand up.
• Your pet begins bumping into things or suddenly becomes disoriented.
• You can see irritation or injury to your pet’s eyes, or she suddenly seems to become blind.
• Your pet’s abdomen is swollen and hard to the touch, and/or she’s gagging and trying to vomit.
• You see symptoms of heatstroke.
• Your pregnant dog or cat has gone more than three to four hours between delivering puppies or kittens.
What to do if it’s an emergency
If you notice any of the symptoms above or you suspect a serious problem, try to get directly in touch with us at (509) 928-PETS (7387). Don’t leave a voicemail or use the Internet or email. If we do not answer the phone or if it is after hours call 509-326-6670.
Once you decide to bring your pet in for emergency treatment, make sure you know where you’re going and how to get your pet there safely. Our address is 510 S. Sullivan Rd. Spokane Valley, WA 99037. If it is after hours the Pet Emergency Clinic is located at 21 E. Mission Avenue Spokane, WA 99202. If you have any questions about directions or how to move your ill or injured pet, call the hospital and ask.
The best way to deal with pet emergencies is to prepare for them, just in case. The next time you bring your pet in for a checkup, ask us what you should do in case of emergency. We have magnets and stickers to provide emergency contact information for relatives, house sitters or pet sitters. Keep our number next to your other emergency numbers such as hospitals, fire department, etc.
Most important, remember to trust your instincts. You know and love your pet, and you have the right to be worried if something seems wrong. Pet Vet Hospital and Wellness Center understands your concerns and is happy to be here for you when you need us.