Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

7 Pet Emergencies That Require Immediate Attention

For most pet parents, our furry friends are part of the family. This means that we often treat them with the same kinds of considerations as we would our children or other cherished family members. When it comes to emergency preparedness, our pets need us more than we know. They are much less likely to show us they are having trouble than our human family members will. This means we need to take proactive steps to ensure we know what to look for when it comes to pet emergencies that require immediate attention. Having this information at hand can save your pet’s life when they need you the most.

The Most Common Signs Of A Pet Emergency

You may not be able to prevent every little issue from arising. However, with an eye on the most common signs of a pet emergency, you can be ready to take action if something truly serious arises. Let’s take a closer look.

Wounds & Trauma

Some of the most obvious emergencies are blatant wounds or traumatic events that cause injury to your pet. If you notice a wound that is deeper than a scratch that continues bleeding consistently for more than five minutes you need to get it checked out.

Certain wounds, like eye injuries, are serious and require immediate attention. This is doubly important if there is blood coming from the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, rectum, or found in the urine.

If your pet undergoes a traumatic event like an animal attack, a fall from a height, or a vehicular accident, make sure to visit an emergency clinic right away. Internal bleeding, concussion, broken bones, etc. can all be lurking just under the surface even if your pet looks fine on the surface.

Problems Breathing

If you notice that your pet is having difficulty breathing they may be experiencing a serious health problem. Uncontrollable coughing is also something to be acutely aware of. There are various underlying issues that can be at the root of breathing difficulties that should be looked at immediately by your veterinarian or emergency animal clinic.

Excessive Vomiting or Diarrhea

There are many environmental dangers for pets in an average household. Industrial toxins, household cleaners, antifreeze, or even chocolate can pose a serious health risk to pets if consumed in even small quantities. If your pet is showing signs of gastrointestinal distress through heavy vomiting or diarrhea make sure to visit the emergency clinic immediately.

Elimination Problems

In extreme cases, if your pet has not ‘gone’ for more than 12-hours it could indicate a serious blockage in their system that could require surgical intervention to correct. It’s also important to have them checked if they experience noticeable signs of pain while urinating or defecating as well.

Stops Eating/Drinking

Pets love food. Surely you know this fact all too well! So, if your pet stops eating and drinking, or severely limits their normal intake, this is an immediate cause for concern and requires attention right away.


If your pet is showing obvious signs of pain, they are likely in big trouble. Pets are instinctually wired to hide pain for survival reasons. Thus, if they are showing obvious pain symptoms, they are potentially in serious trouble. Although this is not always the case, it’s worth having them immediately looked at just in case.


Just like in humans, a high fever can cause major problems, even death in some cases. If your pet has a rectal temperature over 103ºF, then they require emergency veterinary attention right away.

Final Thoughts

Pet emergencies are no joke. To prepare yourself for a worst-case scenario, make sure to have the contact information of your local emergency animal clinic and veterinarian stored on your mobile device and written down in an easy to access location. Always take immediate action if any of the above conditions arise. It can save your pet’s life when they need it the most. If you suspect your pet is in trouble, reach out to us right away. Your team of veterinary professionals here at Animal Emergency San Diego is ready and able to assist you in this time of need. We are a top emergency clinic in San Diego, and look forward to meeting your furry friend!

If you notice any of these situations in your pet contact our Poway vets immediately to inform them of your emergency.

Experienced Emergency Vet Care in Poway

Animal Emergency Clinic of San Diego is a family-run after-hours and critical care hospital, providing veterinary emergency care since 1985. If your pet is experiencing an emergency, contact us to get the help your pet needs.

Contact Us

Contact (858) 748-7387