Common Veterinary Emergencies for Pets

Emergencies that require medical attention don’t only affect humans. Animals can become injured or unwell and need urgent professional treatment too. If this happens you will want to ensure that you have the details of a reliable, experienced and caring veterinarian in Cooper City FL on hand so that you can get your pet the help he needs when he needs it most.

Some types of emergency are more likely than others. Here are some of the most common veterinary emergencies for pets in the United States.


Vomiting and diarrhea may not seem like particularly serious conditions, and in many cases, they do resolve themselves within around 24 hours. However, if your pet has diarrhea or is vomiting for more than 24 hours, has blood in their stools or feces, or exhibits other concerning symptoms such as lethargy or obvious pain, it is important that you get him checked by your veterinarian.

Breathing Problems

It is fairly obvious that if your pet is experiencing breathing problems, he needs to be seen by your veterinarian as a matter of priority. Many people seem to think that breathing problems are only characterized by gasping for breath, when in fact, wheezing, choking, coughing fits, shallow breathing and unusual sounds when breathing also warrant a visit to your vet. There can be any number of causes for breathing problems in pets, including:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Asthma
  • Heartworms
  • Heart disease
  • A foreign body lodged in the airway

A delay in getting medical attention could prove fatal so don’t wait to contact your vet if you suspect that your pet’s breathing is compromised.


There are many different substances that can be toxic to animals, with some of the most common causes of pet poisoning including consumption of chocolate, antifreeze, human medications, grapes/raisins and candy containing xylitol. All animals react slightly different to poisoning depending on what they have come into contact with, how much they have consumed and their size. If you suspect your furry friend has eaten something he shouldn’t, don’t delay seeking professional advice.

Inability to Urinate

Urinating is a normal and essential function since it enables us and our pets to eliminate waste products from our body. No mammal should go too long without urinating, so if your pet hasn’t been in the last 16 hours, is having difficulty/straining to pee or manages to go but you notice blood in his urine, it could signify there is a serious problem in play. Bladder blockages can be fatal so ensure you contact your vet immediately.


Our animals are just as likely to be involved in accidents as we are, and if your pet sustains an injury, he may well need emergency veterinary attention. It can be difficult to tell how serious a trauma is as often there is damage beyond what we can physically see. For example, if your cat is hit by a car he may look fine on the surface, but he could have broken bones or be bleeding internally. Since it may be impossible to assess exactly how bad his injuries might be yourself, we strongly recommend that you always consult with your vet if your pet suffers a trauma.

Seizures / Loss of Consciousness

Although seizures are fairly rare, they are caused by uncontrolled and unexpected surges of electrical activity in the brain. This triggers a range of responses from shaking and tremors to loss or bowel/bladder function to total unconsciousness. Unless your pet is diagnosed as epileptic, all seizures should be treated as emergencies. Keep your furbaby safe during the episode by moving furniture and other animals away, time how long the seizure lasts, then contact your vet for advice.  

If you would like more advice about our emergency veterinary services in Cooper City FL, please do not hesitate to contact our Cooper City Vet office. You can also learn more about our Emergency Services here.