Issues Requiring Medical Help

Sometimes it’s very obvious your pet needs medical help, but sometimes the signs are more subtle. Know when your pet should visit the emergency vet – you might just save their life.


Pets often get into scrapes and suffer traumatic injuries in any number of ways. Even if your pet seems okay, visit your vet as soon as you can as they could be suffering from internal injuries.

Seizures longer than five minutes

Any seizure that lasts for more than five minutes or reoccurs rapidly is a medical emergency.

Your pet might collapse, lose consciousness or even briefly stop breathing. A severe seizure could be a sign of a brain injury, heatstroke, poisoning or liver failure – acting quickly could save your pet’s life.

Loss of consciousness or collapse

If your pet collapses, take them to a vet straight away as it could be a sign of:

  • Dehydration
  • Heatstroke
  • Poisoning
  • Anaphylactic shock
  • Infection
  • Choking
  • Bloat
  • Addison’s disease
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Heart abnormality

Difficulty breathing

If your pet is having difficulty breathing it could be a sign of choking, poisoning or heart failure. Seek medical help from your vet straight away, but try to stay calm as your pet may be feeling panicked. Blue or white gums are a sign of oxygen deprivation – if you see this act quickly because you might not have much time.

Severe vomiting

Repeated vomiting is an emergency, especially if it contains blood or is accompanied by diarrhoea.


Pets often eat things they shouldn’t and have 24 hour diarrhoea as it passes through, but it could be a sign of a serious problem. Call your vet if:

  • It contains blood
  • It looks black and tarry
  • It continues for more than a day
  • Your pet also has a fever.


If you’ve seen a snake around your pet and they exhibit any of these symptoms, go to your vet immediately:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Weakness in hind legs
  • Trembling
  • Drooling
  • Pale gums
  • Pacing around anxiously
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Panting
  • Collapsing, then acting normally
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Bleeding from nose, mouth or bite site

Keep calm, call your vet

It can be very distressing to see your pet in pain. Please remember to try and stay calm and keep them comfortable. Check out the articles below for more detail and learn when you should get your vet on speed dial.

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