When to See a Veterinarian

We’re now into the busy — and expensive — holiday season. One of the top frustrations veterinarians see in January are issues that pets have been forced to “tolerate” through the month of December because the pet parents have decided to “wait it out.”


So, how do you know which issues or symptoms can wait and which need to be seen right away? First of all, if you are concerned about something your pet is doing or struggling with whether to take the pet in to see the veterinarian, CALL or GO. It’s better to be safe than sorry. But, if you’re undecided, I hope this brief guide below can help:

My pet is vomiting. Call your veterinarian right away.

There’s blood in their diarrhea. Call right away.

My dog isn’t eating. This one is less cut and dry. Does your dog walk up to food and then walk away from her dish? Well, you may simply assume she is not hungry and put it off. But you have to ask, “What is your dog’s normal behavior with their food?”

Normally, most dogs wolf down their food. So, if all of the sudden your friend — who’s normally wolfing down his meals — shows no interest in food, call your veterinarian. It may not be a sign of something really serious, but it could be. A veterinarian will want to rule out cancer, a foreign body — like a toy, a twisted intestine, or an infection. Pneumonia often will present like that, a patient not eating.

Bottom line: If a pet goes more than 24 hours without eating, you need to call your veterinarian.

My pet is bleeding. Bleeding is obvious and should not be put off. Go see your veterinarian.

My using a leg or not walking at all? Not using their rear end? All Emergencies! Call your veterinarian.

I think my pet is in pain. PAIN in pets can be really vague. There may be times when you can reach for your dog and he flinches or yelps and then you do exact same thing and he won’t. But, if something is going on with nervous system… like a disc in the back…the pain will come and go. If you know your dog is in pain, call your veterinarian.

The longer you wait, the longer the risk or greater the risk of a permanent damage.

My dog is straining to pee or poop. If they are straining (poor guys!) and nothing is coming out, this is an emergency and must be seen right away! It could be a blockage and the last thing you want is the bladder to rupture.

So, I hope this helps! While pets can’t talk, they do try to show you when something is wrong. Don’t ignore them. If you have concerns about your pet, at least CALL and talk to your veterinarian!

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