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What is a Veterinary emergency? Featured

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What is a Veterinary emergency?

Veterinary practices offer 24hr emergency service for their patients, but not all animal owners are aware of this.  Sometimes they worry about calling in the middle of the night, or think the problem can be left until the morning.  Although we don’t have time to talk in depth about different emergencies, we will highlight common signs in which immediate veterinary attention should be sought:

  • Superficial grazes, cuts and wounds that do not bleed or seem painful can be cleaned and dressed at home.  If there is continued bleeding, discharge, pain or open wounds, the animal will need pain relief and further treatment.

CRGV (Alabama Rot)

  • There has been a confirmed case of CRGV (Alabama Rot) in the area in the last few weeks. This disease is extremely rare but often fatal. Most cases start with sores and swelling, normally on the paws or lower legs, but they can be anywhere on the body or face. The majority of skin problems are not caused by CRGV, however if you are concerned please contact your vet. The cause of this disease is currently unknown so it is difficult to give specific advice regarding prevention. You may wish to bathe your dog's legs and face if they get muddy following a walk, however it is not known if this has any benefit in preventing the disease.

There is more information available on the Anderson Moores facebook page and website (http://www.andersonmoores.com/owner/CRGV.php).

  • Blocked Bladder. Male cats attempting to urinate but not able to pass any urine, or only small amounts.  Although this may be a simple cystitis, some are prone to a blocked bladder, which can rapidly become a very serious condition.
  • Some large breed dogs are prone to bloated stomachs (GDV).  This often occurs after food or exercise. They quickly bloat, start retching, become subdued and can collapse.  They need rapid treatment.
  • Road traffic accidents are common in cats.  Signs vary from scuffed nails, pain, difficulty breathing, bleeding and collapse.  Animals should always be checked over as some injuries are not always initially apparent.
  • Breathing difficulties.  Dogs often pant if hot or excited.  If a dog is struggling to breathe or their gums are pale, blue or purple, they need treatment.  If a cat pants or is making excessive effort to breathe it needs attention immediately.  There are many reasons for this, such as asthma or heart failure but they all need immediate attention.
  • Collapse.  Dogs, cats and rabbits may collapse for many different reasons.  Any collapsed animal should be seen by a veterinary surgeon to assess the cause and give treatment as necessary.
  • Heatstroke.  With the hotter weather coming, heatstroke becomes a real risk. Dogs left in cars, even for a few minutes, can develop heatstroke and die.  They are also at risk if they over exercise in hot weather and do not drink enough.  Be aware of excessive panting and increased body temperature.
  • Poisoning.  Dogs and cats frequently eat things they shouldn’t.  The common culprits are chocolate, raisins, lilies, rat bait, slug bait, antifreeze, permethrin (found in some flea products) in cats and human medications such as ibuprofen.  If you suspect any of these, call a vet immediately.

This is not an exhaustive list but may give you food for thought when worrying whether to call a vet or not.  Sometimes a phone call and peace of mind may be all you need!

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