Apple Valley Animal Hospital

1207 Cedar Creek Grade
Winchester, VA 22602


Know the Signs of a Pet Medical Emergency

There are pet emergencies, and then there are issues that can wait until morning. If you have any questions though, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian for more insight. You know your pet best - especially if you suspect an emergency situation

Below is a list of just some of the symptoms that can be life-threatening without immediate attention:

Your pet can’t urinate at all. He’ll probably also be in obvious discomfort and may even start to panic. This [could mean] there’s a complete blockage somewhere in the urinary tract and your dog or cat must be seen right away. The inability to pass waste is a life threatening emergency.


Seizure. Especially if your pet doesn’t come out of it right away.

Loss of balance. If your dog or cat can’t right herself or is unable to maintain her balance and is falling over.

Changes in respiration. If your pet is gagging, if his mouth or tongue is turning blue, if he collapses and can’t get up, this means he’s not getting enough oxygen.

Penetrating wounds to the chest. Deep lacerations or punctures to the chest cavity.

Ingestion of known poisons.

Uncontrolled vomiting or diarrhea.

Uncontrolled bleeding.

A fever over 104 and profound lethargy.

Bulging eyes and sudden blindness, or any major trauma to the eyes.

Burns or injuries in which a bone is exposed. (Source)

How to Safely Transport Your Injured Pet

If your pet is injured or in extreme pain, they may act aggressively. The first step is to protect yourself and then support your pet’s neck and back in case they’ve suffered a spinal injury.

“For dogs: Approach your dog slowly and calmly; kneel down and say his name. If the dog shows aggression, call for help. If he’s passive, fashion a makeshift stretcher and gently lift him onto it. Take care to support his neck and back in case he’s suffered any spinal injuries.

For cats: Gently place a blanket or towel over the cat’s head to prevent biting; then slowly lift the cat and place her in an open-topped carrier or box. Take care to support the cat’s head and avoid twisting her neck in case she’s suffered a spinal injury.

Once you feel confident and safe transporting your pet, immediately bring him to us or an emergency care facility. Ask a friend or family member to call the clinic so the staff knows to expect you and your pet.”