There’s no doubt that everyday consumers hold their pets in high regards. In the UK alone, there are an estimated 51 million pets, and roughly 44 percent of households have at least one pet. That number jumps to 68 percent in the United States for a total of 90 million dogs and 94 million cats alone.
Apart from routine visits, and occasionally boarding sessions, pet owners like to avoid the vet at all cost. However, circumstances are not always so friendly, and you cannot avoid the vet forever. Different kinds of pets can end up in all kinds of different emergencies. You know why your pet has had to be rushed to the vet, but have you ever wondered why your fellow waiting room patrons are there? Here are the ten most common reasons for pet ER visits.
1. Skin Conditions/Wounds
According to a survey conducted by a veterinary insurance company, skin irritation was the top dog condition for vet visits, and number 10 on the list for cats. In a separate pet insurance survey, 22 percent of dog owners claimed skin condition as the number one reason for a visit.
Additionally, all pets are susceptible to bite wounds and other lacerations. As pets are playing around with friends or even alone, it’s easier than you might expect for them to get injured. It’s hard to know what absolutely needs medical attention and what should be okay, so it’s a good rule of thumb to make a vet trip any time your pet gets hurt.
2. Stomach/GI Issues
Unfortunately at their core, domesticated pets are still wild animals at the end of the day. Wild animals are well-known for eating household items, foods, random items in the yard and upsetting their digestive tracts.
For pets like dogs and cats, vomiting or loose stool can happen every once in a while with no serious underlying causes. But if your pet’s condition lasts longer than a day or the vomit/diarrhea contains blood or other unusual materials, it might be time for a vet visit.
3. Twist Colics
In horses, colic is pretty common. Colic isn’t just once specific diagnosis though, as there are different types and degrees of colic. Twist colics is one of the most serious types of colic and occurs when the horse’s large intestine is effectively twisted around itself. The twist can trap food and gas in the intestine, so it’s best to seek veterinary help as soon as you notice that the horse is in pain or acting differently.
4. Difficulty Urinating
In male cats, the urinary tract gets much narrower toward the end. Because of this, it’s common for cats to develop bladder stones or other conditions that make it difficult for your pet to urinate. These can be extremely painful and even life-threatening, so your cat should be helped as soon as possible.
5. Foreign Body
Pets of all kinds have a habit of eating things that they shouldn’t. If an object is large enough, it can be lodged in the animal’s intestinal tract and require immediate veterinary intervention to be fixed. It’s common for pets like dogs and cats to ingest strings, rubber bands, chicken bones, and many other materials that aren’t safe for them to digest.
6. Difficulty Breathing
If you have ever had a pet struggle to breathe, you know the terror that both you and your pet can feel during a situation like this. Difficulty breathing can be caused by pneumonia, heart failure, and numerous other underlying conditions. Immediate veterinary assistance is always necessary when any pet is showing signs of straining to breathe.
7. Refusing to Eat or Drink
In all pets from birds to bunnies, cats, or dogs, it is never a good sign to notice your pet refusing or being unable to eat or drink. When it comes to exotic animals like birds or reptiles, the most common reason for refusing to eat is a stressful living environment. It’s important to look out for what changes or stressors might trigger your pet not to eat.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for pets to have run-ins with cars. Anytime a pet is hit by a car, they should be brought in for veterinary attention – even if the pet was fortunate and sustained only minor injuries. Many pets aren’t so lucky and get severely injured or killed. It’s best to reduce the possibility of this happening by always keeping dogs on a leash or in a fenced yard and keeping cats inside at all times.
This is particularly true of smaller dogs and cats. The cartilage of their smaller frames whittles easier, leading to sore joints for pets. The most common joints affected in dogs and cats are the knees, hips, shoulder, and elbows. Unfortunately, there is no cure for pet arthritis. However, there are alternative treatments to help alleviate the pain for your pet and elongate their quality of life.
10. Red Eyes
Red eyes with or without discharge could be caused by a scratch, infection, or foreign body in the eye. There is also a condition that dogs and cats can suffer called Cherry Eye, that is infection in nictitans in the membrane of eyelids. Your pet’s eyes are fragile – issues with a pet’s eyes should be immediately seen by a vet. Emergencies like this, if left untreated, could cause your animal to go blind or even worse.
No matter what kind of pets you have, you definitely love them and want them to be healthy. It’s important to avoid emergencies like these, and know when to seek veterinary attention.
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