When to Take Your Pet to the Emergency Room

It’s important for pet owners to know exactly what constitutes an emergency and when to rush their animal to their local emergency pet hospital. The quicker you act, the more likely your pet will be okay. Here, an Indianapolis veterinarian tells you about the most common instances that warrant a rush trip to your emergency room.

Traumatic Event

If your dog or cat suffers a traumatic event like a run-in with a car, a high fall, or gets the wrong end of a fight with another animal, it’s time to take your pet to the ER. Do what you can to make your pet comfortable as possible and stem any bleeding, then get on the road. Talk to your vet for more examples of trauma-inducing accidents.

Difficulty Breathing

A pet that is having trouble breathing needs immediate attention. Any number of causes could be to blame, and your vet will need to examine your pet quickly.

Excessive Vomiting or Diarrhea

If vomiting or diarrhea continues for an extended period of time, it’s time you saw your emergency veterinarian. Dry-retching and gagging also counts—your pet needs attention.

Suspected Poisoning

If you think your pet might have ingested something poisonous, you need to take him or her to the ER to get the toxin flushed out of your pet’s system. Possible household poisons include chocolate, grapes and raisins, cleaning chemicals, pest-control chemicals, and toxic plants, to name a few.


If your pet seems to be shaking uncontrollably or can’t move properly, a seizure might be occurring. Rush your pet to your Indianapolis veterinarian to get him or her examined.

Bloody Urine or Stool

Excessively dark stool could be a sign of internal bleeding. Bloody urine could be caused by a number of things—take your pet to your ER right away.

This is by no means an exhaustive list—there are many other instances in which you’ll want to rush your dog or cat to the emergency room. Talk to your vet about other emergency situations. The more prepared you are ahead of time, the better chance your pet will have of recovering fully.


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