What is an Emergency?

We all become worried when our beloved pets become ill, but when should we take them to an emergency hospital? Most larger communities have an ER for pets, but when do we need to utilize one? What symptoms are serious and need immediate attention, and what can wait until the next day for your regular doctor? The following list will help you decide.

1. Almost any problem involving the eye should be seen right away. Glaucoma, corneal ulcers, and foreign bodies beneath the eyelids are common eye diseases where waiting could make the problem worse.

2. Profuse vomiting is another sign that needs immediate attention. Vomiting has many causes. A common reason, though, is an intestinal obstruction since pets love to eat so many weird things! If this occurs, the pet can die in a matter of hours, so an ER trip is warranted.

3. Difficulty breathing is also a problem that should not wait. This symptom again has many causes but almost all need immediate attention. Difficulty breathing may be a severe cough, but more commonly it is exaggerated effort in breathing, with pets often using their abdominal muscles to help them breathe. At first people may not notice their pet is having difficulty, but they may note that their pet does not want to lie down.

4. If there is active hemorrhage, of course, the pet needs to be seen by a veterinarian right away. If there is a small wound with just a few drops of blood, it is probably OK to wait for your regular veterinarian.

5. If your pet suddenly can't use its back legs, is dragging its rear legs, or is unable to get up, this is a reason for an emergency trip. This is a common problem, especially in Dachshunds, and emergency surgery may be needed to save the spinal cord. For the best outcome in these cases, time is of the essence.

6. If your pet has its first seizure, it should be examined immediately. Seizures are just a symptom, they have many causes, and they should be checked without delay. The pet should be monitored closely for the next several hours as another seizure may occur. If your pet has had seizures before, has been diagnosed with epilepsy, is on medication, and has another seizure, it may not need to visit the ER each time it has a seizure, but if a seizure lasts more than a couple minutes, or there are clusters of seizures, then a trip to the ER is warranted.

7. If your pet ingests a toxin, they should be taken to the emergency hospital as soon as possible. The doctor may induce vomiting to try to eliminate some of the toxin, so time is important. If there is even a possibility the pet ingested antifreeze, it is important to get to the ER immediately. There is a test to determine if they did drink any of the poison, and the antidote needs to be given within a couple of hours.
8. If your pet is pregnant, and is having difficulty having the babies, it should see the emergency veterinarian. This problem is called a dystocia and an emergency caesarean section maybe needed. Veterinarians advise that a puppy or kitten should be born within two hours of the mother starting active labor, and there should be no more than one hour between puppies or kittens. But, if you see a baby stuck in the birth canal, take them to an ER right away.

Of course, there are many other problems that pets can have. Dogs and cats can get into some very odd predicaments that may also use ER care. The dog that gets a tin can stuck to its tongue, or the bone lodged around its lower jaw, does not have a true emergency, but they sure will be happier if they can get them removed as soon as possible!

If you need advice on whether your pet's symptoms should have immediate attention, call the Emergency Hospital for advice. They will be happy to discuss your pet and their problem.

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Office Hours

Doctor Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Monday:

7:30 am

5:30 pm

Tuesday:

7:30 am

5:30 pm

Wednesday:

7:30 am

5:30 pm

Thursday:

7:30 am

5:30 pm

Friday:

7:30 am

5:30 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Closed

Sunday:

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Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "We are from out of town and our dog erin had an ear infection. We were able to see a doctor quickly who took care of the problem. We appreciate what you did for us."
  • "I have never been disappointed with the care received with Berwick."
  • "Great visit! I loved how they smeared peanut butter on the exam table in order to distract my puppy while the Dr gave her her vax. Great idea! I’ve never seen that before! The entire staff was professional and super friendly. They understood our full-time RV lifestyle and were very accommodating to help us to get our new puppy off to the right and healthy start. Thank you!"
  • "We still get the same high quality and friendly service that we got ten years ago. The staff at Berwick animal Hospital is exceptional. You know you’re in a good place when your pet is excited and happy about going in!"
  • "I called at the last minute wanting to get Macie in for a cytopoint injection as we were going out of town. Ashley and Bridget put their heads together and got us in and out in under 30 minutes. These ladies ROCK!"
  • "Your staff is always helpful and courteous. I appreciate their kindness."
  • "Staff were friendly, professional, and showed true concern for the health of my pet. I am truly satisfied with services I received. I would recommend Berwick Animal Hospital!"
  • "We love Dr. Douglas and everyone that works at Berwick! Y all are so sweet and make it a calming experience for our dogs instead of a stressful one."