Veterinarians examine a dog during a pet emergency in Oceanside.

Pet ownership, like other close relationships, has its share of ups and downs. The highest moments might include their unbridled joy when we return home from work, or their close companionship during movie night. Alternatively, a low moment may involve a sudden injury or illness that threatens their well-being. As most pet owners can attest, it’s not “if” a pet will face a life-threatening experience, it’s “when.” Preventing a pet emergency is critical, but it’s equally important to know the signs and seek help immediately.

Into Focus

Few moments rival the realization that a pet requires immediate veterinary attention. It can be overwhelming to know what to do, but in most situations, time is of the essence. Being aware of what a true pet emergency looks like can go a long way toward a calm, proactive approach. Knowing tell-tale symptoms and behaviors can lead to better results. The ability to perform CPR and administer first aid can save a life. 

Twenty-Four Hours, Seven Days a Week

Of course, pet emergencies can certainly occur during normal business hours and we are able to accommodate your pet’s needs whenever they need us. Unfortunately, many pet emergencies also happen at night. When other animal hospitals are closed, Surfside Animal Hospital staff members are available to treat traumatic injuries or other medical events every day from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Signs of a Pet Emergency

A sudden accident, like a fall or getting hit by a car, can cause severe trauma. Other life-threatening instances may include poisoning, stings, bites, heatstroke, and  bowel obstructions. To minimize the impact of a pet emergency, never ignore the following tell-tale signs:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Fractured limbs
  • Swelling of joints
  • Seizures
  • Rapid or labored breathing, coughing or choking 
  • Weak or rapid pulse
  • Pale gums
  • Changes in body temperature (below 99 degrees, over 104 degrees)
  • Gait difficulties, or trouble standing
  • Disorientation
  • Stiffness or apparent paralysis of the limbs
  • Persistent limping
  • Crying or straining when urinating or defecating
  • Bloody stool or vomit
  • Difficulty giving birth

A cat or dog that is suffering from any of the above can be incredibly defensive. This can make transporting them extra difficult. First, call us at (760) 439‑5500 to let us know what’s going on. We can prepare for your pet’s arrival and give you tips on moving them. 

Act Quickly

In a pet emergency, it’s natural to feel stressed and anxious. We aim to provide the best possible care for your pet, while keeping you involved in every step of the way. 

Depending on your pet’s illness or injury, we offer the following services:

  • Rattlesnake anti-venom
  • IV fluids
  • Plasma
  • Blood transfusions
  • Surgery
  • Hospitalization and vital sign monitoring

Our emergency veterinarians and technicians are dedicated to upholding your pet’s health and safety. We remain close to them throughout their entire stay with us, and support all of their needs. 
If you have additional questions or concerns about dealing with a potential pet emergency, Surfside Animal Hospital is always here for you at (760) 439‑5500.