Emergency & Urgent Care

Signs of a Pet Emergency

Does my pet need immediate care or am I just worrying too much?

If your cat or dog shows any of the following signs there could be a life-threatening emergency that requires prompt medical treatment. The safest option in these situations is to bring your pet in right away.


This is not an exclusive list. Your pet could be showing other signs alerting you that something is very wrong. You likely know your pet’s normal behavior better than anyone. If something seems out of the ordinary it is usually best to at least talk to a veterinary professional on the phone, or if it seems urgent, immediately bring your cat or dog in for emergency evaluation and treatment.

  • Bleeding – severe or continues for more than 5 minutes
  • Blood coming from eyes, ears mouth, nose, or rectum
  • Blood in urine, feces, or vomit
  • Breathing difficulties, choking, gagging, or something stuck in the throat
  • Broken bones (or suspected broken bones)
  • Diarrhea or vomiting that lasts more than 24 hours or has blood in it
  • Ingestion (or suspected ingestion) of toxic substances
  • Disorientation – suddenly begins bumping into things
  • Eye Injuries
  • Heartbeat that cannot be detected
  • Heatstroke signs
  • Loss of mobility – collapse, sudden inability to walk or stand
  • Pregnancy with more than 4 hours between delivery of puppies or kittens
  • Seizures
  • Signs of severe pain – crying, shaking, sudden withdrawal/aggression
  • Stomach swelling – especially when hard to the touch with unsuccessful attempts to vomit
  • Unconsciousness (cannot be awoken)
  • Urination problems – straining or inability to release bladder contents (especially male cats)