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When Should You Call The Emergency Vet in Atlanta, GA?

It’s Saturday morning and you wake up to take Toto for a walk. Usually he’s excited and jumping at the door, but not this morning. Something seems off and you start to worry. You tell yourself it’s nothing and proceed to leash up Toto and head out for your walk. After the walk Toto is panting heavier than normal and is exhibiting some strange behavior. He even throws up a little bit. Do you call an emergency vet?

The truth is, it’s up to your discretion. However, according to most Atlanta veterinarians, they would prefer you to call and talk through any concerns that you’re having. That way they can advise you on the best course of action. Each situation and dog is unique, but when you feel like something is wrong it’s better to be proactive. This is your best friend after all!

emergency veterinarian in Atlanta

When you take your dog to his first vet visit, make sure to talk about what to do in the case on an after-hours emergency. Small practices may not have an on-call vet and outsource it to a larger hospital. They can provide you with all of the important contact information and details regarding what to do.

Sometimes it’s more serious than Toto acting funny and vomiting a bit. Here are some instances where you should immediately call an emergency vet:

1. Your Dog Ingested a Foreign Object

Dogs have an uncanny ability to eat things they shouldn’t. Socks, rocks, hair ties. They’re all fair game to a dog. Some have even been known to swallow their toys whole!  If you have reason to believe your dog has eaten anything she shouldn’t have, call the emergency vet.

2. Your Dog Encounters Trauma

Whether or not the trauma causes a noticeable issue, take your dog straight to the vet. Trauma includes being hit by a car, attacked by another dog, or a bad fall. There could be broken bones or internal bleeding that you can’t see.

3. Your Dog is Having Trouble Breathing

Panting is normal for you pooch, but if you notice gray, blue, or red gums that could indicate a health concern. This could be a symptom of oxygenation or issues with their blood flow.

4. Your Dog Ingests a Toxin

There is a long, long list of toxins that if your dog consumes you should call the emergency vet. Just a few examples are rat poison, bleach, medications, and insecticides. Make sure these are out of reach or locked up to avoid your dog getting into them.

5. Your Dog Eats a Dangerous Food Item

It’s no secret that some foods we can eat as humans can’t be eaten by your dog. Some foods are toxic and make them very sick. Grapes, raisins, chocolate, and mushrooms are all bad for dogs. If your dog got into your kids’ Halloween candy, call the emergency vet.

6. Your Dog’s Belly is Bloated

A distended abdomen, or bloated belly, is called gastric dilatation and volvulus. When the tummy bloats, it can cause added pressure on the arteries and veins, making it hard for the dog’s blood to flow. Your dog may also pant and pace if he’s experiencing bloat. This is an extremely dangerous situation and you should reach out to the vet ASAP.

7. Your Dog Vomits or Experiences Diarrhea Repeatedly

A random occurrence of vomiting or diarrhea could be totally normal. Sometimes your dog can ingest something he doesn’t agree with or eat too quickly and cause either of the two. If he vomits once and doesn’t seem to be acting strange, it’s probably not necessary to call the vet. If he starts vomiting or having diarrhea repeatedly, that could indicate a more serious problem. Also, blood in either is a bad sign.

8. Your Dog Has a Seizure

Anytime your dog has a seizure, you should call the vet. It can be a sign of kidney disease, head trauma, liver disease, or even brain cancer.

If you haven’t already spoken to your regular vet about what to do in an after-hours emergency situation, don’t panic. Try searching on Google for “24-hour vet near me” or “emergency vet near me”. This should pull up some good options to call. It is important to call first and talk through the symptoms to get an idea of the best game plan.

What to Expect When Visiting An Emergency Vet in Atlanta

When going in, there are a few things that you need to know. First, much like a human emergency room, the most serious cases go first. This can be tough when you’re stressed and worried but remember to be patient and gracious.

Second, depending on what’s going on, the vet may not want you to be apart of the treatment. For example, watching your dog get stitches or have their stomach pumped is never easy. If you believe that you can handle the situation, explain to the vet that you will not get in the way and you’re aware that Toto could yelp or cry and that you’re ok with that. This is totally up to you, though. Make sure that you’re comfortable and make sure to accept the vet’s final decision if she doesn’t want you in the room.

Costs of Going to an Emergency Vet

The final consideration to be prepared for is the cost of an emergency vet. Calls to a veterinary clinic are usually free, but toxin hotlines can charge a fee. When you go to an emergency vet, payment is usually due up front or at least a deposit will be due. Their services are typically more expensive than the regular vet so be prepared.

Consider Pet Insurance

To help with the cost of emergency visits, you can take out pet insurance. The policy of course needs to be bought before the emergency happens, but it can really alleviate some of the stress that the cost can cause. Each policy is different regarding the deductible and copay. For example, the deductible could be $500 and then after that the company will pay for 70% of the bill. An online search is a great place to start your pet insurance search.

Be Prepared Ahead of Time

Make preparations and decide on which emergency vet you will go to before your dog or cat has an animal emergency. This is crucial because you can have your emergency vet of choice decided instead of wasting precious minutes finding one at a critical time.

Pet emergencies happen and you should be prepared ahead of time. If your pet is having an emergency situation in the Atlanta area, The Village Vets in Decatur, GA are here to help.

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About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of three animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.

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About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of three animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.