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Common Emergencies in Cats & Dogs

Owning a pet is a big responsibility. Your pets depend on you to protect them from harm. It will be easier for you to protect your pet from dangerous health and safety issues if you are well-prepared. You should be aware of the most common emergencies in cats and dogs. Be sure you know how to recognize the symptoms, how to prevent pet emergencies, and what to do if one occurs. 

Open Wounds & Bleeding

Open wounds are scary, and if they are serious, your pet could suffer significant blood loss. Even minor cuts and gashes require attention to prevent infection and disease. If your pet is bleeding, use a clean cloth or gauze to apply pressure to the wound. Call your closest veterinary hospital and let them know you are on your way.


Ingesting certain food, plants, chemicals, and foreign objects can cause serious health issues for your pet. Keep all dangerous substances, including medications, locked away or out of reach of your pet. Be aware of human foods and plants that can be toxic to pets, and prevent your pet from having access to them. Keep the trash can tightly closed, and monitor your pet when he is outside the house to make sure he doesn’t eat something dangerous. 

Breathing Problems

Choking, obstructions, and allergic reactions can cause breathing problems in cats and dogs. The situation can quickly become life-threatening, so if you don’t know why your pet is having trouble breathing, it’s best to bring them to an emergency veterinarian. If you notice rapid, shallow, or labored breathing, open-mouth breathing in cats, or choking or wheezing sounds, your pet needs to see a veterinarian. 

Don’t delay in seeking emergency veterinary care for your pet in the event of an emergency. Watch for symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, loss of consciousness, bleeding, seizures, lethargy, disinterest in food or play, swelling, and breathing problems.

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