Are Your Prepared For Pet Medical Emergencies?

Are Your Prepared For Pet Medical Emergencies?

It's not always easy to know when a dog is in need of emergency treatment. Take the following two scenarios:

  • Not long after gulping down dinner, a German Shepherd begins retching and pacing. The dog's owner calls a friend, who suggests that the best course of action is to just let the German Shepherd rest overnight. But the pet parent decides to take the dog to the veterinarian instead. Once in the vet's office, the dog is immediately taken back for treatment for a life-threatening condition known as bloat.
  • A pug is out for a walk on a warm, but not hot day. Suddenly, the canine becomes disoriented and starts to pant loudly. Concerned, the pet parent takes the pug to the veterinarian, where it is treated for hyperthermia (overheating). The owner learns that flat-faced dogs, such as pugs and boxers, can easily overheat when exercising in temperatures exceeding 75 degrees.

In both of these potentially deadly situations, it would have been easy for an owner to dismiss the pet's symptoms as not a big deal. And that is why responsible pet parents should do the following:

Be prepared for an emergency with these items

You'll want to keep the following items in a place where you can easily access them if your dog should get sick or injured:

  • A first-aid kit for canines. Some of the items that should be included in this kit are gauze, non-stick bandages, adhesive tape, antibiotic lotion, a digital thermometer, a syringe and hydrogen peroxide.
  • The phone number for Animal Poison Control Center: 888-4ANI-HELP (888-426-4435).
  • Your veterinarian's phone number, as well as the number of the closest emergency veterinarian hospital.

Understand your dog's breed

Some breeds are more susceptible to certain health issues. For example, it is believed that dogs with deep chests, such as Great Danes and German Shepherds, are more likely to bloat than other breeds. Some terriers are also more inclined to get pancreatitis. Understanding what types of emergencies could affect your dog can help you decide whether your pet's symptoms are mild or if it needs to be taken to the veterinarian's office immediately.

Consider getting pet insurance

You love your pet and want only what is best for it. But sometimes what is best can cost you far more than you're financially prepared to pay out. For example, it can cost between $1,500 and $3,500 or more to treat a dog for parvo, according to Preventive Vet. If you're concerned that you might not have enough money to cover emergency treatment for your dog, consider purchasing pet insurance, which could help you pay for a substantial chunk of your veterinarian bills.

Keep this emergency medical guide on hand

Knowledge is power. And the more you know about common emergency situations that could affect your pup, the better you'll be able to help your beloved fur baby. So, take the time to read this Dog Medical Emergency Guide. It's also a good idea to print it out and leave it by your doggy first-aid kit.

Author bio: Lizz Caputo is Content Strategist at Figo Pet Insurance — provider of the industry’s best pet insurance plans. She is an animal enthusiast and owner of a rescued senior American bully.