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      What is a Pet Emergency?    

Common cases that require immediate medical attention and which may progress to fatal without treatment are:

  • A deep chested dog with a distended abdomen, possibly attempting to vomit or acting distressed
  • A male cat straining to urinate
  •  A cat unable to move its hind limbs and that continues to cry and pant  
  • Any pet having difficulty breathing – and especially a cat that is panting
  • Hit by a car, even if there are no obvious wounds to the outside – internal bleeding can be subtle
  • A puppy with an incomplete vaccination series that is vomiting or has diarrhea
  •  Any vomiting pet unable to keep plain water down          
  • Any pet with pale gums that has collapsed or acts weak; this can also include gums of any other color besides pink (e.g. grey, yellow, brick red)
  • A small dog bitten by a large dog – even without breaking the skin, the large dog can crush internal organs
  • A birthing mother that has not produced the first pup after two hours of hard labor (not pre-labor or nesting behavior), or more than two hours between pups (usually dogs under 20 pounds)
  • Pets eat the craziest things.  Other possible scenarios that may require immediate medical attention are ingestion of the following:

Rodent Bait

Grapes or raisins

Wild mushrooms

Human Medications

Inland Salmon


Ibuprofen or Tylenol

String (especially cats)

Lilies (only cats)

Sago Palms










If your pet has ingested something not on this list, you are welcome to us at 760-728-0551 and discuss possible toxic effects.  Other sources of information include:



(888) 426-4435

Pet Poison Helpline


You know your pet better than we do.  If you are concerned enough to call, your pet should probably be seen.  We make no attempt to diagnose or treat over the phone.  But we will tell you if we think the pet should not wait another moment to be seen or if the next available appointment would be best.