7 alarming signs your dog needs emergency care – Don’t ignore these symptoms!

Recognizing the signs of emergencies and knowing how to handle them is critical to pet ownership. Preventing pet emergencies is the best way to protect your beloved pet from discomfort and pain. Keep reading to learn the alarming signs of pet emergencies and take appropriate measures to save your pet’s life.

A Swollen Abdomen

  • If your pet’s belly is swollen and feels firm to the touch, it could be a sign of a serious medical emergency called bloat or GDV. Gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) is a fatal condition commonly occurring in large dogs.

This condition happens when the stomach twists and fills with air, cutting off blood supply. Dogs, especially larger breeds like Great Danes, are more prone to GDV than cats. Surgery is urgently needed to address this issue.


  • Poisoning is not uncommon in pets. Pets often eat or interact with harmful products in various settings, which can lead to poisoning. Some of the most common signs of poisoning are frothing at the mouth, vomiting, weakness, and watering eyes. Identify the source of poisoning and take your pet to emergency care. This can help save your pet’s life and prevent any complications.

Excessive Vomiting

  • Excessive vomiting in pets is a potential sign of a medical emergency. In addition, it can lead to severe dehydration. If your pet’s vomiting is persistent, severe, or prolonged, it’s crucial to seek emergency veterinary care.

Moreover, blood in your pet’s vomit, urine, or feces is a concerning sign. It can indicate minor issues like a urinary tract infection when it’s in the urine. However, it may also signal a medical emergency.


  • Shock in dogs and cats demands immediate emergency veterinary care. It can result from severe trauma, heatstroke, or even intense bouts of vomiting and diarrhea in small or young pets.

Key indicators of shock include:

  • A rapid heart rate
  • Pale gums
  • Severe dehydration
  • Signs of extremely low blood sugar
  • Slow breathing rate

Small dogs, puppies, and kittens are particularly vulnerable to shock, but even large dogs can experience it in extreme situations like car accidents. It is imperative to rush to the emergency vet without delay if you observe any signs of shock.

Severe Pain

  • Severe pain is another reason to seek immediate attention from an emergency vet. While injuries can be a common source of extreme pain, they may also indicate other underlying conditions. If you suspect your dog is in severe pain, it’s always wise to consult with a veterinarian, especially if the pain is intense.


  • dog needs emergency careFractures are common, especially when it comes to smaller pets. You can identify a major fracture if the pet avoids putting pressure or weight on certain areas of its body. Muzzle your pet to prevent it from biting anyone, and put them on a stretcher after identifying where the fracture is. Ask for help if you have a big pet that can’t be picked up alone and take it to the veterinarian.

Difficulty Breathing

  • Breathing difficulties can indicate a medical emergency in pets. If your pet struggles to breathe, it’s essential to seek immediate attention from the emergency vet. This includes cases of abnormal breathing in dogs with preexisting medical conditions that affect their breathing, like airway syndrome in dogs.

At Autumn Trails and Veterinary Center, we provide you with the best urgent care services that keep your pets healthy and happy, especially in the case of an emergency. We offer our veterinary services in the city of Charlottesville, VA. To book an appointment, contact us on our number (434) 971-9800.