Dog Emergency Care - The Best Ways To Handle Dog Emergencies

What should I do if my dog is having an emergency?

The first thing you should do if it's during business hours is you can go ahead and give us a call. Our number is listed on our website 281-801-1444. If it's outside of business hours then you can contact the nearest veterinary emergency clinic. We often send a lot of patients over to the veterinary emergency group in Katy. I think their phone number is 281-888-8713, and that's who you would call if we are closed. There are also All Pets, Animal ER, and there's Blue Pearl Katy that you can also reach out to. I believe those are going to be the three that are going to be the nearest.

Dr. Meghan Denney
Four Paws At Fulshear

What is considered a dog emergency?

I think that's a really great question. Let's go ahead and put us in the human frame of mind. If you have a migraine headache, that's probably not going to constitute an emergency, you'd probably go to an urgent care. If you crack your head open and you fall and something is bleeding or you lose consciousness, then that's going to be an emergency. Other types of emergencies include if your dog gets bit by a snake, stung by a wasp or a bee, any kind of sudden swelling, profuse vomiting, vomiting that's happening more than one time in a 24-hour period, and diarrhea that's happening more than once in a 24-hour period because our pets can dehydrate relatively rapidly. Other examples of emergencies are being hit by a car and coughing when your dog has a heart condition. If you look at your dog and they are super lethargic and you look at their gums and their gums are white when they're supposed to be nice and pink, these are things that you know there's something seriously wrong. When I worked a lot of emergencies, we occasionally had people coming in for ear infections. While the dog is very uncomfortable and the problem needs to be addressed, it is not life threatening, so they would have longer wait times so we can get to the urgent cases first. That is something to keep in mind when taking your dog to the emergency clinic.

Is it best to call an emergency hospital first before coming in?

I always think that calling when something is happening or when you're on the way is always better than just showing up. Give the clinic a heads up so we can have an idea of what kind of things you might need if there's an allergic reaction. If we have a puppy that's vomiting and suddenly limp, we might think of anaphylaxis so we'll know to have some oxygen and maybe some glucose water ready to go on their gums. It gives us an idea of what we'll need to approach the emergency best.

Should I give my dog first aid at home and what should you have in your first aid kit?

This is going to depend on where you're at and what's happened. If your dog has just been hit by a car, first aid is going to need to happen at the veterinary clinic. You need to just take your dog or cat and go. If you are out and you are not near a veterinary clinic and there is a large gash and it's gushing blood, having some bandaging material to help staunch or stop the bleeding and placing a temporary bandage wall so you have time to transport the pet somewhere will be necessary. There are classes that teach you how to do CPR on pets. Unfortunately, the success rate of CPR is 10% or less, even in a medical facility. But if a pet passes out, you need to get them to the nearest hospital. If your dog is overheated, come in and put them in a pool with cool water before bringing them to the veterinarian will help.

Why is prompt treatment in an emergency situation so important to my dog's health?

Early intervention sometimes means the difference between an alive pet and a pet that's deceased. With heat stroke patients, if we get to a dog or cat in time we can save them. Even delaying 30 to 20 minutes can be the difference between life or death for a pet. So delaying care is not only going to make the prognosis for your specific pet worse but it's also going to increase the chances that we're not going to be able to fix it and it may be more expensive to treat. So it's always better to, at the first sign of an emergency or when you know something's not right, contact your veterinarian. You can feel free to call us at Four Paws. I have a bunch of years of critical training and working at the emergency clinic so we handle a lot of emergencies here so you can feel free to give our clinic a call.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (281) 801-1444, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram

Dog Emergency - FAQs

Dr. Meghan Denney
Four Paws At Fulshear

How will I know if my dog needs first aid?

You'll know because you're observing them. Indications such as bleeding, limping, or clear cuts signal that first aid is necessary. A bone stuck on the lower jaw also requires immediate attention. If your dog appears to be choking, inspect their mouth for blockages. This should be done quickly as there's limited time for resuscitation if they lose their airway. If your dog's behavior isn't normal and mirrors a situation where a child would need first aid, it's likely that your dog needs first aid too.

How do I know if my dog needs CPR?

Identifying the need for CPR can be difficult. By the time a patient requires CPR, if their heart has stopped or they're not breathing, there's little you can do at home. Signs include collapse, gums turning purple or blue, loss of pink color on the tongue, absence of breathing, limpness, and non-responsiveness. These are definite indications for CPR. Classes on pet first aid and CPR are available in local communities. I will tell you that the percentage of pets that can actually be saved by these procedures is relatively low, just like in humans, unfortunately. However, it is a good thing to know.

How can I find out quickly if my dog has ingested something poisonous?

You can refer to the ASPCA toxins site or call the poison control hotline. If the substance ingested is, for example, chocolate, the toxic dose for your dog can be calculated based on their weight and the amount and type of chocolate consumed. Also, consult your veterinarian's office as they might direct you to call poison control.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (281) 801-1444, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram