Pets are good at hiding pain and illness so it isn't always easy to tell if your pet needs emergency care. Here, our vets in White Settlement talk about the signs your pet will display when they need emergency vet care and what you should do in a veterinary emergency.

If you are experiencing a dog or cat veterinary emergency contact your primary care vet immediately or go to the closest emergency animal hospital for after-hours care.

Does Your Pet Require Emergency Care?

Your dog or cat could experience a veterinary emergency at any time of the day or night and require urgent care, and you will need to be prepared, for when (or if) it happens.

We know it can be hard to determine if your pet does require emergency vet care which is why you need to know the signs and symptoms that require an emergency trip to the vet. If are still unsure whether to take your pet in for veterinary care, contact your vet or nearest emergency animal clinic for advice.

Signs of a Pet Emergency

  • Obvious pain
  • Vomiting or blood in diarrhea
  • Loss of balance
  • Lameness or inability to walk
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Dilated pupils
  • Severe injury (falls, car accidents, broken bones, open wounds)
  • Seizures
  • Bloated, swollen, or painful abdomen
  • Inability to urinate or defecate
  • Ingestion of poisonous foods, substances, plants, or bones
  • Difficulty breathing, extreme coughing or choking
  • Unable to deliver puppies or kittens
  • Sudden blindness, staggering or stumbling
  • Inflammation or injury to the eye
  • Unconsciousness

Providing First Aid

You need to know that basic first aid on your pet is not meant to replace professional vet care, it's only intended to stabilize your cat or dog until you can get them to the emergency vet. 


Muzzle your pet before beginning. To help stop the bleeding, place a clean gauze pad over the injury, applying pressure with your hand for several minutes until blood clotting begins. A tourniquet of gauze with an elastic band to secure it will be required for severe leg bleeding. Immediately bring your pet to the veterinary clinic. 


Don't try restraining your pet. Do your best to remove the objects that could hurt them. After the seizure is over, keep your pet warm and phone your vet. 


Muzzle your pet. Lay your pet on a flat surface that can be used as a stretcher to transport them to the vet. If possible, secure your animal to the stretcher, avoiding putting pressure on the injured area.


Your pet may bite out of panic, so it's important to be cautious. Check your pet's mouth for objects and try to remove it if possible. Be careful to not accidentally push the object further into your animal's throat. If this is too difficult, don't waste precious time trying. Immediately transport your pet to the vet's office or emergency veterinary clinic for care.

Be Ready

What You Should Know in Advance

You never know when a cat or dog emergency could happen, but being prepared for a pet emergency can help you provide your companion with the quality care they need in a swift manner. Our White Settlement vets highly suggest having these items at hand in case of an emergency:

  • The phone number for your vet's office
  • Directions to the Emergency Vet Clinic
  • The phone number for the closest Emergency Vet Clinic
  • Knowledge of how to stop bleeding
  • The phone number for the Animal Poison Control Center
  • How to muzzle your dog when he's in pain so he doesn't bite others
  • Knowledge of basic pet CPR

Financial Responsibilities

Because there is a lot of diagnostic testing, monitoring, and treatments required, emergency care for your cat or dog can be expensive. It's the responsibility of the pet parents to make sure they can afford the quality urgent care their furry companion needs.

You have to prepare yourself for any unforeseeable circumstances by setting money aside that is designated for emergencies only, or by signing up for a pet insurance plan. Delaying veterinary care in order to save money on emergency fees puts your pet's health and life at risk. 

If your pet needs immediate care, contact our White Settlement vets straight away or bring them to the nearest animal emergency clinic for after-hours care.