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Signs Your Dog or Cat Needs an Emergency Vet

Pets, like people, can sometimes suffer from conditions that require immediate emergency intervention. Our Fremont vets explain what situations warrant emergency care and what to do when that happens.

Contact your veterinarian or emergency vet clinic immediately
if your pet is having an emergency.


How do I know if my pet needs Emergency Care?

Situations that require emergency care can occur at any time, day or night, and you'll need to be prepared for if - or when - it happens to your pet.

Knowing when your pet requires emergency care is not always obvious, so be aware of some signs and symptoms that indicate a trip to the Emergency Vet is required. If you are unsure, contact your veterinarian or an emergency vet clinic for assistance.

Signs of a Pet Emergency

  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Vomiting or blood in diarrhea
  • Lameness or inability to walk
  • Bloated, swollen, or painful abdomen
  • Dilated pupils
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness
  • Severe injury (falls, car accidents, broken bones, open wounds)
  • Unable to deliver puppies or kittens
  • Obvious pain
  • Loss of balance
  • Sudden blindness, staggering or stumbling
  • Inflammation or injury to the eye
  • Difficulty breathing, extreme coughing or choking
  • Inability to urinate or defecate
  • Ingestion of poisonous foods, substances, plants, or bones

Basic First Aid

Please be aware that attempting first aid on your pet is not intended to replace veterinary care, it is solely to stabilize your pet for a trip to your vet or emergency clinic.


Begin by muzzling your pet. Apply a clean gauze pad to the wound and apply pressure with your hand until blood clotting begins (usually several minutes). Severe leg bleeding necessitates a gauze tourniquet and an elastic band to secure it; take your pet to the vet right away.


Remove objects that may hurt your pet. Do not attempt to restrain them. Keep your pet warm after the seizure is over and phone your vet.


Muzzle your pet. Lay them on a flat surface that can be used as a stretcher to transport them to the vet. Secure them to the stretcher if possible, avoiding the injured area.


Be cautious, as your pet may bite in fear. Look for objects in their mouth and try to remove them if possible, taking care not to push the object further into their throat. If it's difficult, don't waste time on it; you could be wasting valuable time. Take your pet to the vet right away.

Being Prepared

What You Should Know in Advance

Our vets recommend preparing and having the following available in case of an emergency:

  • The phone number for your vet's office
  • The phone number for the closest Emergency Vet Clinic
  • The phone number for the Animal Poison Control Center
  • Directions to the Emergency Vet Clinic
  • Knowledge of basic CPR for pets
  • Knowledge of how to stop bleeding
  • How to muzzle your dog when he's in pain so he doesn't bite others

Financial Responsibilities

Emergency care for your pet can be expensive due to the amount of diagnostic testing, monitoring, and treatment necessary. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to ensure you can financially care for your pet in a time of crisis.

Savings for emergencies or pet insurance plans may make it easier to plan ahead for unforeseeable circumstances. Delays in care to avoid emergency fees may jeopardize your pet's life, so keep this in mind when you become a pet owner.

If your pet is in need of emergency care, please contact our Fremont Animal Hospital or go to your nearest ER for pets immediately.

New Patients Welcome

Newark Pet Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Fremont companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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