pet emergency

How the Ark Vet Deals with Emergency Situations

Please ring the surgery for immediate advice and treatment should any emergency situation such as the following arise:

  • Breathing difficulty or not breathing
  • Seizure lasting longer than 5 minutes or rapid succession of seizures
  • Straining and unable to urinate, particularly in male dogs and cats
  • Difficulties during birth; straining unsuccessfully longer than 20 mins or bleeding
  • Profuse vomiting and/or diarrhea longer than 24 hours and extreme lethargy
  • Collapsed, unable to use legs eg. after a road traffic accident
  • Wounds eg. after a dog attack
  • Known poison ingestion eg. cat licking lily pollen off its coat or dog eaten chocolate, raisins, stew with onions
  • Eye pain eg. extreme squinting and rubbing
  • Bloated stomach and retching in deep chested dogs

(For out of hours emergencies a number will be provided for the pet emergency clinic in UCD.)

Pet Emergencies at Ark Vet

Here’s an overview of what happens when we get have a pet emergency….

The trained receptionist or veterinary nurse taking the call will assess the urgency of the case, take a brief history and relay the information to the vet and nurse team so as to prepare for the emergency. This is the first step of triage.

Advice will be given on how to safely transport the animal to the vet eg. placing a wounded cat in a box and covering with a towel or to place a clean towel over protruding intestines.

On admission the pet will be brought to the consulting room or if collapsed and in shock, straight to a treatment area with access to oxygen and an emergency box of drugs.

An emergency box will contain:

  • adrenaline
  • respiratory stimulant
  • anti-seizure drugs,
  • dugs to induce vomiting,
  • sterile gloves, IV catheters, scalpels, surgical packs.

A rapid assessment (triage) will be performed and history taken by the vet:

  • is the animal breathing
  • the colour of its gums
  • check for a heartbeat and feel for pulses
  • check for wounds and fractures
  • check its reflexes

Written or verbal consent may be needed for treatment or in some cases, euthanasia.

The owner will be asked to wait in a quiet area and will be given regular updates by the vet or nurse.

Emergency Stabilisation of your Pet

If the pet is not breathing and in cardiac arrest, CPR will be carried out:

  • cycles of chest compressions to aid blood flow through and to the heart
  • inserting a breathing tube down the windpipe to inflate the lungs with air.

If or once the pet is breathing:

  • oxygen therapy
  • inserting an intravenous catheter for fluid therapy in dehydrated or collapsed animals
  • pain relief as needed
  • sedation as needed
  • placing a urinary catheter in blocked cats or dogs
  • draining fluid off the chest

Further assessment with in-house equipment involves:

  • taking blood and running tests to check blood sugar levels, kidney and liver toxin levels
  • urine analysis eg. for urinary tract infection
  • blood pressure reading eg. in hyperthyroid cats
  • ultrasound to check if an internal organ is bleeding
  • digital x-rays to check for fractures
  • ECG check for arrythmia

Once a diagnosis has been reached, a treatment plan and estimates of cost for therapy will be discussed.

Hospitalisation for further treatment and monitoring will be provided eg. if a pet needs intravenous fluids, antibiotics, pain relief, bandage changes, special diet for a number of days.

Referral for specialist diagnostics such as MRI/CT scan or specialist ophthalmologist treatment will be organised as needed.