Common Pet Problems Requiring Urgent Care


When our beloved pets face sudden health issues, it can be a worrying time for any pet owner. Knowing when to seek urgent care is vital to ensure their health and happiness. At Animal Ark Animal Hospital in Franklin, Tennessee, we’re here to provide the support and medical attention your pet needs during these critical times. This blog post will highlight some common pet problems that require immediate veterinary attention. If you notice any of these signs in your pet, please call us at (615) 778-0880 to make an appointment or for further guidance. 

Recognizing Signs of Distress in Pets

Pets can’t tell us when they’re feeling unwell, so it’s up to us to recognize the signs of distress. These can vary widely but often include changes in behavior, appetite, or activity levels. For instance, a normally playful dog becoming lethargic or a cat that suddenly stops eating could indicate a problem. Other signs to watch for include difficulty breathing, excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, or sudden weight loss. Acting quickly when these signs appear can make a significant difference in your pet’s health.

Unusual Behaviors to Monitor

  • Lethargy or excessive sleep: More sleep than usual could indicate illness.
  • Aggression or withdrawal: Changes in social behavior are often the first signs of discomfort or illness.
  • Excessive vocalization: Increased barking, howling, or meowing can signal distress.

Poisoning: A Critical Emergency

One of the most urgent emergencies is poisoning. Common household items, including certain plants, foods, medications, and chemicals, can be toxic to pets. Symptoms of poisoning can vary but often include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, seizures, and lethargy. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care immediately.

Common Toxic Substances for Pets

  • Foods: Chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, and xylitol (found in sugar-free gum)
  • Plants: Lilies (extremely toxic to cats), sago palm, and tulips
  • Household items: Antifreeze, rat poison, and certain medications

Trauma and Accidents

Accidents can happen at any time, and trauma is another critical reason pets may need urgent care. Whether it’s a car accident, a fall, or a fight with another animal, trauma can lead to internal injuries that aren’t immediately apparent. Signs of trauma may include visible wounds, limping, or an unwillingness to be touched or move. Immediate veterinary evaluation is essential to assess and treat any injuries.

Heatstroke: A Seasonal Emergency

During the warmer months, heatstroke becomes a significant risk, especially for pets left outside without shade or water or in a car on a warm day. Signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, drooling, red gums, lethargy, and in severe cases, collapse or convulsions. Heatstroke is a medical emergency that requires prompt veterinary attention to prevent organ failure and death.

Additional Emergency Situations

There are other situations that may require immediate veterinary care to prevent further health complications. Here are some additional emergencies that should prompt a quick visit to Animal Ark Animal Hospital:

  • Severe bleeding or bleeding that doesn’t stop within five minutes
  • Choking, difficulty breathing, or non-stop coughing
  • Inability to urinate or pass feces, or pain associated with doing either
  • Eye injuries
  • Suspected broken bones or inability to move legs
  • Seizures or staggering
  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea – more than two episodes in 24 hours
  • Refusal to drink for 24 hours or more
  • Extreme temperature changes or fever

When to Call Animal Ark Animal Hospital

Understanding when to seek urgent care for your pet can be challenging, but it’s always better to err on the side of caution. If you’re ever in doubt about your pet’s health or behavior, please call us at Animal Ark Animal Hospital at (615) 778-0880. Our team is ready to provide the guidance and care your pet needs, ensuring they return to health as quickly as possible.

Remember, acting quickly in these situations can significantly impact the outcome for your pet. Whether it’s a sudden illness, an accident, or a case of poisoning, we’re here to help every step of the way. 

Supporting Your Pet Through Health Emergencies

Pets are more than just animals; they’re family. Recognizing the signs of distress and understanding when to seek urgent care are crucial steps in keeping them healthy and safe. At Animal Ark Animal Hospital in Franklin, Tennessee, we’re dedicated to providing rapid and compassionate care in emergencies. If you notice any concerning symptoms in your pet during our business hours, call us at (615) 778-0880. Together, we can ensure the best possible outcome for your pet’s health emergency.

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About Us

Animal Ark Animal Hospital offers exceptional, quality pet care with a highly skilled and compassionate staff who understands what a pet means to you and your family.