If you and your animal are in a situation requiring emergency pet care it is best to have a plan in place before you face an emergency. At Town & Country Animal Hospital in Naples, FL after hours emergencies are referred to Emergency Pet Hospital of Collier County (239) 263-8010.
Finding 24-Hour Emergency Pet Care
Unfortunately, accidents do happen. When a medical emergency befalls our furry friends, pet parents may find it difficult to make rational decisions, especially if something occurs during the middle of the night. That’s why it’s crucial to have an emergency plan in place—before you need it.
Talk to your veterinarian about an emergency protocol. Does your vet provide 24-hour service or does he or she work with an emergency clinic in the area? Some practices have multiple veterinarians on staff who rotate on-call services after hours. Check to see if your primary care vet has partners who might answer an emergency call. It’s also a smart idea to keep the name, number and address of your local emergency clinic tacked to the refrigerator or stored in your cell phone for easy access.
Signs Your Pet May Need Emergency Care
Your dog may need emergency care because of severe trauma—caused by an accident or fall—choking, heatstroke, an insect sting, household poisoning or other life-threatening situation. Here are some signs that emergency care is needed:
- Pale gums
- Rapid breathing
- Weak or rapid pulse
- Change in body temperature
- Difficulty standing
- Apparent paralysis
- Loss of consciousness
- Excessive bleeding
Pets who are severely injured may act aggressively toward their pet parents, so it’s important to first protect yourself from injury.
For dogs: Approach your dog slowly and calmly; kneel down and say his name. If the dog shows aggression, call for help. If he’s passive, fashion a makeshift stretcher and gently lift him onto it. Take care to support his neck and back in case he’s suffered any spinal injuries.
For cats: Gently place a blanket or towel over the cat’s head to prevent biting; then slowly lift the cat and place her in an open-topped carrier or box. Take care to support the cat’s head and avoid twisting her neck in case she’s suffered a spinal injury.
Once you feel confident and safe transporting your pet, immediately bring him to an emergency care facility. Ask a friend or family member to call the clinic so the staff knows to expect you and your pet.
For more information on emergency pet care go to aspca.org