9 Signs Your Dog Needs Emergency Care

If your dog becomes ill or injured, it can be quite difficult to know whether its condition requires emergency care or not. Most of the time, it’s even hard to tell if a dog is not feeling well. 

As such, you must be aware of any signs that your dog needs urgent veterinary care. 

Vomiting Excessively

Excessive vomiting is a sign that something is troubling your dog internally. Pets occasionally vomit when they eat something that doesn’t agree with their stomach. Dogs throwing up their food because of diarrhea is usually not a cause for alarm since it has the ability to dissipate rapidly on its own. But if it becomes somewhat chronic, it could mean that your pet has eaten something poisonous. 

If your pet dog is vomiting as you’ve never seen before and the vomit also contains blood, this is the time that you seek emergency care to get treatment and a proper diagnosis.

Difficulty Breathing

Dogs pant after an exercise or on a very hot day, and that’s normal. They shouldn’t experience difficulty breathing after taking a rest or being exposed to cool temperatures. But if your pet has trouble breathing even after taking a rest, it could mean that there’s a more severe problem involved. 

This is especially true for dogs with irregular breathing, which are also known to have a medical condition. Take them immediately to the nearest Chelsea animal hospital to be given emergency medical assistance.


Automatic bleeding warrants emergency care. However, dogs are known to act as if there’s nothing wrong. Bleeding caused by serious lacerations can lead to rapid and substantial blood loss, putting  your dog’s life at risk. 

Veins are prone to bruising and can bleed pretty rapidly, especially if your dog is quite big. Even though it’s unlikely that your pet will entirely bleed out from a venous laceration, you can’t downplay the amount of blood loss during this time. If your dog is bleeding, make every effort to put pressure on the wound using a clean towel or tight dressing as you make haste towards the nearest vet. 

Abnormal Gum Color

Gums provide a ton of information about a dog’s overall health. By looking at the gum’s color, you can determine whether your pet is healthy or is suffering from poor blood circulation, shock, or hemorrhage. 

When dogs are healthy, their gums should be pink in color. This means that blood is circulating throughout the body normally. But if the gums are very pale or white, it could mean that the pet is suffering from severe anemia or blood loss. Blue or gray gums are also a bad sign. It’s an indication that your dog is suffering from a  respiratory problem. 

It’s best to check your dog’s gums every day, even if he’s not in distress. This will tell you how your pet is feeling. If your pet doesn’t look well and you discover that his gums have an unusual color, take him to the nearest veterinarian so he can receive treatment immediately.  

Displaying Signs Of Shock

Shock is a state in which pets require urgent veterinary care. This condition is usually caused by heatstroke, extreme trauma, serious injury, etc. Here are some signs of shock that you need to be aware of: 

  • Fast heart rate
  • Pale gums
  • Dehydration
  • Low blood sugar
  • Abnormal breathing rate

Small dogs, particularly puppies, are more vulnerable to shocks. Large dogs can also get into shock in extreme cases like being hit by a car. So, when your pet shows signs of shock, you must take him to an emergency veterinarian. 

Unable To Stand Up Or Rise

Dogs unable to stand up or rise are usually a sign of weakness and are always an immediate cause for concern. These symptoms may reflect an even more serious problem with your pet’s brain, spine, heart, or lungs. 

Common causes of this problem include internal bleeding, severe dehydration, paralysis due to infectious or spinal disease, and many more. A veterinarian must examine your dog to diagnose the underlying cause and start the treatment as soon as possible. 

The same can also be said if you observe some changes to the movement or balance of your dog. If your dog is limping, never take it for granted, as it may be an indication of neurological problems. 


Dogs suffer from seizures, which are one of the most common neurological conditions. Dogs who have a seizure episode are shown to be shaking, paddling their legs, and sometimes lose bowel movement or urinary control. Even though seizures are quite scary and alarming to witness, a single episode doesn’t necessarily mean an emergency. 

But if the seizures have been kind of frequent and last for 4-5 minutes every episode, then you have something to worry about. You should visit a veterinarian so he can be examined thoroughly and identify the cause of the condition and start the recovery at once.

Aggressive Or Unusual Behavior

Anytime your pet starts to act or behave differently, it’s a sign that something is not right. Just like people, dogs also tend to be cranky if they’re not feeling well. They can be aggressive and start to bark, growl, or do other restless actions that are completely different from their usual behavior. 

As soon as you notice these changes, schedule an appointment with your local veterinarian so your dog can be examined for injuries or illnesses. 

Showing Signs Of Pain

If your dog is wincing, whining, crying, it could be a sign that he is in great pain. If you pet your dog and he whines, you know that there’s something wrong with him. Bring him to a local veterinary clinic for a complete examination and X-rays to determine the cause.  

Final Thoughts

When it comes to dog care, prevention is always better than cure. If you see any of these signs from your canine buddy and don’t know what to do, contact your vet immediately!