If you saw a person have a seizure or fall down the stairs or wreck a car, what would you do? You'd call 911. But what should you do when the crisis involves your pet? You call a pet emergency number. Ask your veterinary hospital how they handle after-hour emergencies.
Emergencies arise unexpectedly and it is important to stay calm. After realizing what has occurred, it is important to contact your veterinarian for recommendations in order to provide the best chance for a successful outcome. Once you have received initial instructions, it is important to transport your dog to your veterinarian for a complete examination as soon as possible.
A caesarean section, or C-section, is major surgery performed to remove puppies from the uterus. This is most commonly performed as an emergency procedure when there is difficulty with natural birth.
Diabetes mellitus results from an inadequate production of insulin from the pancreas. The primary treatment is replacement by insulin injections. The body’s response to the injections needs to be regularly monitored by glucose curves over 12-24 hours. There are several glucometers that can be used at home for this purpose. Insulin must be stored and reconstituted carefully to ensure dosing is accurate. Giving subcutaneous injections of insulin can seem daunting at first, but by following the directions in this handout, it will quickly become second nature to both you and your pet. Hypoglycemia can result from too much insulin, not enough food, or excess exercise. Pet owners are trained to recognized hypoglycemia and treat or obtain emergency veterinary attention.
Eclampsia is hypocalcemia in a dog who has recently given birth. Breeds such as Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Toy Poodles, Miniature Pinscher, Shih Tzu, and other small breeds are at an increased risk. Eclampsia is considered an emergency and immediate medical attention should be sought. It can quickly progress from weakness to tremors, seizures, or paralysis. Treatment involves immediate intravenous injections of calcium and other drugs. Recovery from eclampsia is usually rapid and complete if treated early.
An anaphylactic reaction or anaphylaxis is an immediate hypersensitivity reaction to a foreign substance, especially a foreign protein. Any foreign substance can produce an anaphylactic reaction. Clinical signs are dependent on the route of exposure (mouth, skin, inhalation, injection, etc.), the amount of antigen and the level of the pet's IgE response. An anaphylactic reaction is a medical emergency and immediate treatment is required.
Amitraz is a topical solution in the form of a medicated dip, spot-on treatment, or collar used to treat demodectic mange or for the prevention of flea and tick infestations. Common side effects include sedation, incoordination while walking, slow heart rate, gastrointestinal effects, skin irritation, and a temporary high blood sugar. This medication is contraindicated in very young, and used with caution in old, debilitated, diabetic, or small-breeds. While animals may exhibit signs of sedation, contact your veterinary office if your pet cannot be aroused from sleep or if the sedation lasts for more than 72 hours. Amitraz is toxic if swallowed, especially in the form of a collar, so contact your veterinary office immediately if this occurs. If they are not available, follow their directions in contacting an emergency facility.
Moxidectin topical is applied to the skin and is commonly used to prevent heartworms and to treat topical and intestinal parasites. It has also been used off label to treat adult heartworms. Side effects are uncommon but may include lethargy, vomiting, uncoordinated walking, anorexia, diarrhea, and itching. It is contraindicated in sick, debilitated, or underweight animals. If you suspect an overdose or an adverse reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately. If they are not available, follow their directions in contacting an emergency facility.
A caesarean section or C-section is major surgery performed to remove kittens from the uterus. This is most commonly performed as an emergency procedure when there is difficulty with natural birth. Most cats recover quickly from this procedure. Most cats have fully recovered from anesthesia by the time they are discharged to go home.
Emergencies arise unexpectedly and it is important to stay calm. After realizing what has occurred, it is important to contact your veterinarian in order to provide the best chance for a successful outcome. Basic first aid in the meantime can help reduce the chance for complications.