Common Reasons Cats and Dogs Visit the Emergency Room

Many medical problems pets experience are treatable at home. However, medical emergencies do occur and sometimes the best course of action isto take your pet to an emergency animal clinic.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Gastrointestinal issues are one of the most common reasons petowners bring their cats and dogs to an emergency room. Vomiting and diarrhea are some of the most typical symptoms of these kinds of problems.Eating specific types of “human food” and plants, ingesting cleaning supplies, and swallowing small objects and articles of clothingcan also cause GI issues.


Trauma is high on the list of reasons cats and dogs end up in an emergency room. Examples of trauma include getting hit by a car or bitten by other pets. Bites can come from animals living in the same household or ones you don’t know. In certain circumstances, wild animals will also attack domesticated ones.

Lethargy and General Discomfort

If your cat or dog seems lethargic, uncomfortable, or refuses to eat for an extended period of time, it may be a sign of a bigger problem.Snake and spider bites, or eating a poisonous substance can cause these types of symptoms. Other explanations may be your pet has a tumor or other form of cancer.

When Should You Take Your Pet to the ER?

Sometimes it isthe best choice to take your cat or dog to the emergency room. Diarrhea alone does not usually warrant a trip to the ER. However, if it is bloody or comes with other symptoms it is a good idea to have a vet immediately evaluate your animal. If your pet is in pain, can’t breathe properly, or has a distended abdomen, those are also signs going to the ER should be seriously considered.

Tips for Avoiding Emergency Room Visits

There are a number of preventative measures you can take toavoid trips to the emergency room.Some of the most basic include not feeding your animals foods outside their recommended diet, locking up cleaning supplies, and picking up small objects around the house. Cats and dogsare also more are more likely to get injured around animals they don’t know because aggressive instincts and behavior may surface. Crating pets so they can gradually get used to unfamiliar animals is one way to handle thesesituations. Keeping your pets inside during the night is another way to protect them; they can be harder to see when it is dark and more likely to get hit by a car.

For many people, pets are important members of the family. Keeping them safe and out of the ER is apriority for many pet owners. However, understanding when going to the ER is the right choice is equally important.