At Westerville Veterinary Clinic, our team is on call 24/7 to aid your pet during emergencies. We combine excellent emergency and critical care with love and dedication to our patients and clients, and like family, we will be there when your pet needs us most. Seeing our team members’ familiar, caring faces reduces your stress and your pet’s, whereas a large, emergency practice can be daunting and overwhelming. If you think your pet needs emergency care, call us immediately at 614-882-2332. Below, read about the most common summertime emergencies we see at Westerville.

Pets with vomiting and diarrhea

Vomiting and diarrhea are common signs of gastrointestinal problems. Your pet may vomit or have diarrhea occasionally, which is not an emergency, but if she is vomiting or experiencing diarrhea multiple times per day, she needs veterinary attention. Vomiting is more urgent, and often requires hospitalization because your pet is losing nourishment and fluids, and she may require replacement fluids given through an intravenous (IV) catheter. Many conditions, including infectious diseases, metabolic diseases, and intestinal obstruction, can cause gastrointestinal distress. If your pet has a bloody or black stool or vomit, she should receive veterinary care immediately.

Urinary issues in cats and dogs

In cats, we often see feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC), a sterile bladder inflammation that can lead to a complete urinary tract obstruction. An obstruction places your pet at risk of a build-up of toxic waste products in the blood, electrolyte imbalances, and potential bladder rupture. FIC signs include:  

  • Restlessness
  • Straining to urinate
  • Frequent urination in small amounts
  • Blood in the urine
  • Excessive licking at the penis or vulva
  • Urination in inappropriate places, like outside the litter box
  • Vocalizing while urinating

Stress from a change in your cat’s environment, such as a new pet, new caretaker, decreased activity, or metabolic change, can trigger FIC, and you will need to take steps at home, such as slowly introducing a new pet or a dietary change. Some cats make large crystals, which can create a urinary tract obstruction that will require surgery.

In dogs, we often see frequent or inappropriate urination cases. Owners commonly assume a pet has a urinary tract infection (UTI), but bladder stones or an underlying illness, such as diabetes or kidney damage, are often the cause. Like cats, dogs also can produce bladder stones large enough to create a urinary tract obstruction, with potentially life-threatening consequences. Signs of urinary issues in dogs include:

  • Restlessness
  • Lethargy
  • Straining to urinate
  • Frequent urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Excessive licking at the penis or vulva
  • Leakage
  • Tender abdomen
  • Lack of appetite

Lethargy in pets

Dogs normally sleep approximately 10 hours during the day, while cats sleep approximately 12 hours. Pet owners therefore do not become alarmed when they see a pet sleeping or resting, but an abnormal amount of sleep or sluggish behavior can indicate health concerns, such as external or internal bleeding, the presence of toxins, or unknown trauma. If your pet is not eating, unresponsive, or not wanting to play, a medical issue may need attention.

Dog-bite wounds and trauma

During the summer months, more dogs visit dog parks and attend gatherings where they are likely to encounter other dogs. This increases the occurrence of dog fights. A dog’s mouth is full of bacteria, and when a bite punctures the skin, bacteria is introduced into the wound and enters the bloodstream. The bacteria multiply and can cause an infection that, if left untreated, can result in an abscess or cellulitis and may spread to the rest of the body. The extent of injuries sustained in a dog fight is difficult to assess, so if your pet is involved in a dog fight, be sure she receives immediate veterinary care.

At Westerville Veterinary Clinic, we are dedicated to ensuring your pet receives excellent emergency and critical pet care around the clock. Save our number and never hesitate to call us at 614-882-2332.