How to Spot Common Pet Emergencies

I don’t know about you but not knowing for sure whether or not my Shih Tzu needs emergency care is one of my biggest fears. What if I miss an important sign? What if I wait too long? What if the lack of response causes serious consequences? We have all been there. It is not a good feeling.

You notice your pet shaking, he does not appear to be breathing normally, or he appears disoriented. Do you rush him to the emergency room or do you wait and see if he starts to feel better?

I have been there. There was a time when my dog appeared to be choking on something. So my husband and I immediately grabbed him and raced to the nearest hospital.

We did not take the time to put on our shoes, change our clothes or even grab a coat. Mind you we were in our pajamas and it was the middle of winter.

We raced into the emergency room in tears pleading for someone to please take a look at our dog. We thought he was dying. The nurse grabbed him and took him in the back room.

My husband and I sat in the lobby crying our eyes out because we were so scared we were never going to see our precious Shih Tzu again.

About ten minutes later the nurse came out and said our dog was fine. We asked what happened. She said he had a plastic cap stuck in his tooth. You know one of those plastic covers that hide the screws on your furniture?

Boy, I tell ya… our jaws dropped. We’re like what? He had a plastic cap stuck on his tooth? We thought he was dying the way he was acting.

At any rate, we were certainly relieved by the fact that he was ok but there was a small part of us that felt like fools for panicking the way we did.

Bottom line is it is difficult to recognize the signs…. so why take the chance?  Whenever you notice any type of unusual behavior, take action.  Call your Vet or the Animal ER Center if you are unsure

Signs That Your Shih Tzu Needs Emergency Care

Trouble Walking – If your Shih Tzu has a difficult time walking, it’s an emergency. There are a number of underlying reasons contributing to this symptom such as heart disease, bone fracture, muscle injury or even brain and spine– all of which need immediate medical attention.

Difficulty Breathing – If your Shih Tzu is panting or breathing with his mouth open while in a resting state, get to the emergency room. This could be an indication of some sort of infection, heart disease or asthma condition. Mostly, chances are your dog is in pain – reason enough to get to the emergency room.

Vomiting and or Diarrhea – Vomiting and diarrhea are signs of a serious illness such as liver disease, stomach, intestine, pancreas or kidney problems. Additionally, these are signs that your Shih Tzu has potentially ingested a foreign object or fatal toxin. Don’t mess around, quickly seek medical attention.

After Some Type of Trauma – Trauma could include a dog fight or falling down the stairs. Even if your Shih Tzu appears fine, there may still be internal injuries you can’t see. Bite wounds or even small wounds can become infected if not treated promptly.

Changes in Gum ColorYour Shih Tzu’s gums should be pink. If they change to white, yellow, gray or purple he needs emergency attention.

Unusual Urination or stool – If your Shih Tzu is unable to urinate or have a bowel movement, he needs emergency attention.

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