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When to Visit an Emergency Vet

Accidents happen and sometimes pets suffer from conditions that require immediate veterinary care. Our La Pine vets share a few examples of situations that warrant emergency care and what you should do if they happen.

Contact your veterinarian or emergency vet clinic immediately
if your pet is having an emergency.


How can I tell if my pet needs Emergency Care?

Emergency situations can happen at any time, so it's important to be prepared before they happen. 

Understanding when your pet requires emergency care isn't always obvious, so it's good to be aware of some signs and symptoms that indicate a trip to the Emergency Vet is needed.

If you are unsure whether your pet requires immediate veterinary care, contact an emergency vet clinic. When it comes to our pets, it is always better to err on the side of caution.

When to Take Your Dog or Cat to the Emergency Vet

If your pet shows any of the following signs or symptoms it's time to immediately call the vet for further instructions or to let them know you are on the way with a sick pet.

  • Unconsciousness
  • Severe injury (car accidents, broken bones, open wounds)
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Vomiting or blood in diarrhea
  • Lameness or inability to walk
  • Bloated, swollen, or painful abdomen
  • Dilated pupils
  • Seizures
  • Inability to urinate or defecate
  • Sudden blindness, staggering or stumbling
  • Inflammation or injury to the eye
  • Unable to deliver puppies or kittens
  • Obvious pain
  • Loss of balance
  • Difficulty breathing, extreme coughing or choking
  • Ingestion of poisonous foods, substances, plants, or bones

Basic First Aid

First aid on your pet should never replace veterinary care, it is solely meant to stabilize your pet for the trip to your vet or emergency clinic.

It is also important to be extra cautious around your pet if they are hurt. When pets are in pain they may try to bite or lash out, even at their loving owners.


Examine your pet's mouth for foreign objects and, if possible, carefully remove them. Take care not to accidentally push the object deeper into the throat. If it's difficult, don't waste your time on it. Take your pet to the vet right away.


Begin by muzzling your dog. Place a clean gauze pad or cloth over the injury then apply firm pressure until the wound begins to clot and bleeding slows (typically several minutes). If your pet has a severe leg injury, bleeding will require a tourniquet of gauze and an elastic band to secure it. Bring your pet to the vet immediately for medical attention. 


To avoid injury while attempting to assist, muzzle your dog. To transport your pet to the vet, place them on a flat surface that can be used as a stretcher. Secure your pet to the stretcher as much as possible while avoiding the injured area. Inform the vet's office of what has occurred and that you are on your way.


If your pet is having a seizure, clear away objects that may cause injury. Do not attempt to restrain your pet. Cover your pet with a blanket to help keep them warm, then once the seizure is over call your vet for further instructions.

Be Prepared

What You Need to Know in Advance

In case of a veterinary emergency it is a good idea to have the following readily available: 

  • The phone number for your vet's office
  • The phone number for the closest Emergency Vet Clinic
  • The phone number for the Animal Poison Control Center
  • Directions to the Emergency Vet Clinic
  • Basic understanding of CPR for pets
  • Knowledge of how to stop bleeding
  • A muzzle and an understanding of how to put it on your dog so that people trying to help do not get bitten

How much does the emergency vet cost?

The truth is, emergency veterinary care can be expensive due to the amount of diagnostic testing, monitoring, and treatment necessary. Prices can also vary. An emergency visit to the vet for a c-section might cost more or less than if your pet is unconscious (depending on the reason for your pet being unconscious).

As a loving pet owner, it is your responsibility to ensure you can financially care for your pet when emergency treatment is required.

Planning ahead for unforeseeable events, such as emergency savings or pet insurance plans, can make emergency situations less stressful. Delaying care to avoid emergency fees may endanger your pet's life.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your pet requires emergency care, please go to your nearest emergency veterinarian clinic immediately.

New Patients Welcome

We are accepting new patients to our La Pine vet clinic. Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of all pets in Central Oregon. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

Contact (541) 536-2001