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Metropolitan Animal Specialty Hospital

What is a Vet Emergency?

A woman, girl, and dog sitting on a couch.

When your furry friend is sick, you can have a lot of questions. The first being when to take them in. Because our pets cannot speak, they cannot always tell us what is wrong or what hurts. Due to the fact that they have to suffer in silence, it can be more than most owners can take. It is important to notice the signs of a vet emergency. In this blog, will tell you the signs you should look for in your pet. If they exhibit any of these symptoms, it is important to transport them to your nearest animal hospital.

How to Tell If It Is an Emergency?

Stomach aches are common in pets, especially dogs. Many breeds of dogs can eat too quickly or even eat questionable items. Due to their lack of restraint with certain ingestible items, their stomachs can be damaged and cause vomiting and diarrhea. However, just because your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to rush to the animal emergency room. Sometimes, dogs can easily move on from the problem with a bit of time. If your animal has ingested something that they should not have, such as a toy or a ball, you will need to take them to the emergency hospital immediately.

Labored or Shallow Breathing

One way to tell if something is seriously wrong with your pet’s health is by monitoring their breathing. If they have rapid, shallow, or labored breathing, there could be something seriously wrong in their airways. Due to this, if you find your pet struggling to breathe, it is important that you meet with a veterinarian right away.


If your pet is experiencing a seizure, it is important that you wait until the seizure is over and do not touch them. While in a seizure, they could unknowingly bite you or others around you. After the seizure is done, you will need to take your pet to an emergency room for a physical examination. If your pet’s seizures last more than five minutes or they are experiencing multiple seizures in a row, it is best to take them immediately to the nearest animal hospital. It is important that you clear all children away from a pet when it is seizing repeatedly. Also, try to touch it as little as possible. Do not muzzle a seizing animal, even if it seems like it may bite — only if it is absolutely necessary should you muzzle a seizing animal.

Pale Gums

If your dog seems sick, you may want to take a look at their gums. If your pet’s gums are pale, even white, you should take them to the vet.

Sudden Unconsciousness or Lameness

If your pet is struggling to stay conscious or in control of their body, you should call your vet and load them into your car. Typically, if an animal is having difficulty controlling body movements, this can be a sign of a spine or brain injury.

Visit MASH In Your Time of Need

It is natural to question the severity of your animal’s illness. Though it is important to wait and see if the situation is severe, some symptoms are clear signs of a life-threatening issue. If your pet is exhibiting any of these symptoms, bring them to your nearest animal hospital.

In Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Animal Specialty Hospital is here to assist your pet in their care. Contact us today if your pet is in need of immediate care.