No one wants to imagine about the worst case scenario when it comes to loved ones—and that applies to our pets too. But surprises happen and we can obtain peace of mind by being prepared. In order to be there for your pet and your family, Woodland Veterinary Hospital hosts emergency hours. During the week we are open until 9pm for emergency services, on Saturdays we remain open until 6pm, and on Sundays a veterinarian is on call from 8:30am-6pm. But how do you know if your pet is having a medical emergency?

Veterinary emergencies come in all varieties, some more evident than others. Above all other questions, if your pet is not acting like himself, he may be having a medical emergency.

Easy to identify veterinary emergencies include toxin exposure or consumption; consumption of non-food objects; traumas such as being hit by a car or cut by a metal object; seizures; animal fights. But many medical emergencies are not so easy to point out, so here are a few tips to identify signs that your pet may be medically in danger:

Being extremely tired, or lethargic, all of the sudden is very worrisome for our pets. If you wake up one day and your pet does not greet you as he always does or is not waiting by the food bowl, he may be very ill. Animals are very good at hiding sickness—it is part of their evolution—so reluctance to interact with you and disinterest in food often alerts us that there may be a medical problem occurring.

Acute vomiting and diarrhea can also be indicative of a problem occurring internally in our pets. There is a cause for all behaviors, so the question as to why your pet is experiencing gastrointestinal upset so suddenly should be addressed. Blood work and x-rays can often give us extensive information on your pet’s internal health.

Many people check their dogs’ nose for signs of sickness, but checking their gums is a great idea too. Pale gums can indicate loss of blood flow to certain areas of the body—it can also indicate internal or external bleeding, or hemorrhage. Pale gums with sudden lethargy should always be considered a potential medical emergency.

While there are many other signs that can indicate sickness in your pet, we want you to feel informed and ready to act in case of a veterinary emergency. Even if your pet’s symptoms are not listed here, always feel free to call our hospital to speak to a staff member—we will always help you decide if an emergency visit is the right choice for you. If your pet’s medical signs are difficult to pin down, sometimes “acting weird” can be the start of a medical emergency. Our doctors are only a phone call away, and peace of mind is sometimes worth the hospital visit. We hope to be there for you in times of need for you and your pet.

Call Us
Skip to content