In an emergency situation it is important to try to remain calm. Always phone us prior to setting off so that we will be expecting you and prepared. It is also best to check which surgery premises would be the best equipped to deal with a given emergency. When calling the vet please have a pen and paper ready to write down any instructions or directions. If the emergency occurs outside of normal opening hours there is always a Vet on the end of a telephone to help give basic advice prior to attending one of our surgeries if necessary. Maps with directions to our surgery premises are available on this website.
What to do in an emergency…
We have listed below some of the most common emergencies that occur in dogs along with some general advice on how to deal with them. However, it is always best to seek veterinary advice if you are concerned about your dog.
Vomiting and/or Diarrhoea:
In otherwise healthy adult dogs following a single episode of vomiting and/or mild diarrhoea:
Starve for 24hrs giving small amounts of water frequently. Start a light bland diet (chicken, white fish, pasta) for 4-5 days before gradually reintroducing their normal food.
Please contact us for advice if your dog has:
1. Repeated vomiting or diarrhoea, especially in puppies, small dogs and old dogs.
2. Vomit or diarrhoea containing blood.
3. Your dog is trying to vomit unsuccessfully or his abdomen appears swollen. In this event contact your vet immediately as he may need urgent treatment at the surgery.
Road Traffic Accidents and other Traumatic Injuries:
If you think your dog has been hit or involved in a road traffic accident, please bring him/her into the surgery as soon as is possible for a thorough examination.
Internal injuries and bleeding can occur without showing any obvious outward signs initially, so therefore it is important that a vet sees him as soon as possible.
If you suspect your dog has a broken leg or head injury, you should carefully slide him onto a towel or blanket. Use this as a stretcher for transportation to the surgery and contact your vet immediately for advice.
If the wound is very dirty, run clean water over the area then gently cover with a clean dressing, cling film or a towel, then seek help.
If there is persistent bleeding, pressure can be applied with a bandage. Do not remove the bandage to check it, as this will increase blood loss. Have your dog checked by a vet as soon as practical and remember that tight bandages should never be left on for more than an hour.
Never tie anything around a limb to stop bleeding.
There are numerous reasons for collapsing, many of which will require emergency attention. These include heart, lung, bone and neurological conditions. If your dog collapses please contact your vet immediately.
Seizures (Epileptic Fit): When dogs have a fit, they may fall to one side, possibly lose consciousness, start shaking and their legs may “paddle”.
In the event of a fit:
1. Move any hazards to avoid further injury.
2. Stay clear of your dog’s head.
3. Never attempt to put anything in your dog’s mouth as he may accidentally bite you!
- Make sure the room is quiet and dark until he has started to recover and contact us for further advice.
Prolonged fitting is an emergency. You should contact us immediately if your dog does not stop fitting within 5 minutes.
Poisons: Prescription drugs and some plants and flowers can be poisonous to dogs. If you think your dog may have ingested these please contact your vet immediately.