5 Signs Your Pet Needs to See an Emergency Vet

As a pet owner, it’s crucial for you to learn how to recognize signs of emergencies in your pet. However, if you’ve never been through a pet emergency before, it may be difficult for you to understand what to look for.

In the article below, we’ll discuss five of the most common signs of pet emergencies you need to watch out for. With the help of this guide, you’ll learn more about which symptoms may indicate a serious problem for your pet, and you’ll know when it’s time to go to the emergency vet, too. Read on to find out more.


Struggling to Breathe

One of the most common and most important reasons to take your pet to the emergency vet is difficulty breathing. If your pet is suddenly having trouble taking a breath, if she is wheezing or her sides are heaving when she breathes, or if she can’t breathe at all, she needs emergency vet care right away.

Difficulty breathing can be related to a wide variety of health problems in pets. The emergency vet will work to stabilize your pet first, and will then diagnose the underlying cause of the problem before helping you decide on a treatment plan.


Visible Injury

Visible injuries that can be considered moderate to severe should always be seen right away by an emergency vet. Mild visible injuries, such as a broken toenail or a small cut, likely do not need to be seen by an emergency vet unless they get worse.

Moderate to severe injuries you can see may include large wounds, bites from other animals, broken bones, or trauma to the eye. There are many potential injuries a pet can suffer from, so it is important to take your fur baby to the emergency vet right away if you notice any severe injuries.

5 Signs Your Pet Needs to See an Emergency Vet

Vehicle Accident

If your pet is struck by a vehicle, go to the emergency vet, even if it does not look like she has any injuries. Vehicle accidents and trauma can often cause damage to the internal organs, even without any outwardly visible signs.

Additionally, if you and your pet are in an automobile accident together, take your pet to the emergency vet to be checked out (after you yourself are examined). Once again, the risk of potential internal damage is high in this situation, and pets are notoriously good at hiding pain.


Excessive Panting and Drooling

Excessive, unexplained panting and drooling are never a good sign in any pet. In many instances, these symptoms can indicate heatstroke, which is potentially fatal if left untreated. If you notice your pet panting and drooling a lot and you know there isn’t a reason (such as playing hard outside on a warm day), it’s time to see the emergency vet.

By taking your pet to the vet at the first sign of these symptoms, you can give your dog a good chance of recovering from heatstroke. If you wait too long, however, your dog may risk irreversible damage from this dangerous condition. Reduce your pet’s risk of heatstroke by never leaving her alone in a vehicle for any length of time.


Bitten or Stung by Unknown Snake or Insect

It is possible that your pet may be bitten by a snake or stung by an insect that you cannot see or cannot identify. If this happens, it’s best to err on the side of caution and take your pet to the emergency vet to be checked out. Although there is a good chance everything is going to be okay, it’s best not to take any risks when it comes to potentially venomous bites or stings.

5 Signs Your Pet Needs to See an Emergency Vet

Additionally, if your pet is bitten or stung and begins to show signs of anaphylaxis, this is also a sign that you need to see an emergency vet. Signs of anaphylaxis include excessive panting, rapid heart rate, high body temperature, and swelling of the face, neck, and snout. Any one of these symptoms can be potentially life-threatening if left untreated. When taking your pet to the vet following an insect or snake bite or sting, provide as much information as you can about the cause of the symptoms, even if you don’t know what might have bitten your pet.



This list is not exhaustive, and your pet may experience a wide range of other emergency signs and symptoms as well. However, this guide can give you a good starting point to help you better understand what a pet emergency might look like and when you should respond.

If you think your pet is experiencing an emergency, even if you’re not sure, don’t wait to go to the emergency vet. It is much better to take a pet to the emergency vet who doesn’t need to go than it is to avoid going when necessary.


At Central Broward Animal Hospital in Plantation, FL, we are ready to help with whatever emergency your pet may be having. Call us at (954) 792-6323!