When Should You Bring Your Pet to a Veterinary Hospital?

As humans, we know our bodies well enough to know when we might need to make a visit to the hospital. However, our sensibilities might be less trained when it comes to our pets. As much as we try to understand our pet’s needs, it is difficult to know what warrants going to a veterinary hospital.

Some situations might be bad, but they can wait to be seen the next day, but other situations are dire enough to go to an animal ER. As such, we put together this article to explain what signs tell you your pet needs to go to the vet.

After Major Trauma

The first and most obvious instance in which you should take your pet to the hospital is after major trauma, like getting hit by a car. Even if in some way the incident was minor and your pet is up and walking around, it does not mean everything is alright.

Major trauma from getting hit by a car can leave many injuries that you can and cannot see. Just because your dog might be walking after the accident, it does not mean there are no broken bones or no internal damage.

There might also be the risk of head trauma that can cause the brain to swell. Their lungs can also sustain bruising. Your pet could even suffer from a ruptured spleen or kidney.

Many of these things are not seen immediately. As such, it is so important for you to take your pet to the ER right after a major trauma. It is better to have a professional assess all his injuries before anything else can go wrong.

Unproductive Vomiting

When it comes to pets, especially dogs, there is no telling what they get into when they are running around outside. There are a number of things that they might accidentally ingest. Fortunately, their bodies are built to reject anything that might be dangerous via vomiting or excrement. So that is to say that vomiting is natural.

However, the problem presents itself when your pet is vomiting or retching, and nothing is coming up. This could be an indication of gastric dilatation and volvulus. This is typical among deep-chest dogs where the stomach flips, which effectively shuts of the entry and exit of the stomach and obstructs any major blood vessels.

Any indication of this issue requires immediate medical attention.

Lethargy & Weakness

If your pet looks and acts more sluggish and tired than normal to the point that they seem altogether too weak to get up, this is a cause for concern. Now, normal fatigue can happen if its too hot outside. However, if the symptoms persist, your pet might be battling something more serious.

Some potential issues include electrolyte imbalances due to dehydrations, internal bleeding, and paralysis due to spinal or infectious disease.

So, if you notice your pet starting to slow down more or lacking interest in activities they used to love, take them to the hospital. This way you can find out what is the primary cause and hopefully, start on therapy quickly.

Uncontrollable Bleeding

Much like major trauma, this is a pretty self-explanatory sign that your pet needs to go to the ER. Unlike humans, dogs might not immediately recognize that they are bleeding, which is not good because dogs can easily experience intense blood loss if not treated immediately.

Think about this way: dogs have 80 millimeters of blood per kilogram of body weight. So, a small dog who weighs 10 pounds will only have about a cup and a half of blood in them. So, a serious laceration to an artery or vein can result in rapid blood loss in an animal that is already carrying so little blood to begin with.

As such, if your pet does have a major cut that will not stop bleeding, get medical attention immediately. Do your best to slow the bleeding by applying pressure to the wound with a towel until you can get them to a professional.

Urinating Too Much or Difficulty Urinating

It might seem counterintuitive, but if your pet happens to be drinking more water than normal, it is not a good thing. If you find yourself filling their water bowl several times a day or if they are drinking too much and having to urinate more, you should take them to the veterinary hospital. It could indicate that your dog is developing a kidney disease or diabetes.

On the other hand, if your pet is having issues urinating at all, you should also get them checked out at the hospital. It could very well be a urinary tract infection that can be treated by your normal vet.

However, it could also mean a more serious blockage that needs immediate attention. As such, do not treat this as a wait and watch situation. You will want a professional’s opinion above all else.

Abnormal Stool

Your pet’s stool is a good indicator of your pet’s health. Small, moist and firm stools are considered healthy. Whereas, dry and hard stools are indicators of health issues, like dehydration and dietary problems.

Moreover, if you see worms, blood or mucus in your pet’s stool, it is time to take a trip to the vet hospital. Another indicator of your pet needing a hospital visit is if they have diarrhea for more than 24 hours or show strain. Like with urinary issues, do not wait on these symptoms to clear up.


Pets have natural survival instincts that ensure they work to look unbothered by any health issues. As an owner, you have to see past that and be hyper aware of any changes in your pet’s behavior and health.

So, if you see something that does not look right for your pet, do not hesitate to take them to the vet hospital. It could mean the difference between a life-threatening disease and your pet having a safer, healthier lifestyle.

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