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Top 5 Reasons for Emergency Visits

POSTED AUGUST 3, 2014 @ 2:04PM | BY JEFF BUSH, DVM

I am often asked what are the most common reasons for visits to our clinic. While the time of the year has some influence, the top all-around five are:

  1. Vomiting – The list of possible causes for vomiting is extremely long. It includes everything from “I shouldn’t have eaten that but I did anyway,” infections, kidney disease, poisoning, to cancer. A simple rule of thumb for determining if your dog or cat needs to see a veterinarian: if they have vomited more than three times in a 24 hour period or for three days in a row, they need to see a veterinarian.
  2. Diarrhea – Again, there are a long list of possible causes. People often assume that diarrhea, while not fun to deal with, is not life-threatening. This is not always the case. We commonly see what we refer to as Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE). This is a condition in which the blood becomes thicker than normal due to rapid movement of fluid out of the vascular system, and can result in serious complications and even death in as little as 24 to 48 hours. Therefore, if in doubt, your pet should be seen by a vet—especially if your pet is also very lethargic or depressed.
  3. Toxicities – Dogs will be dogs, and this means they will eat almost anything. Most common toxicities include chocolate, grapes/raisins, owner’s medications, sugarfree gum containing xylitol, and incorrectly applied/administered flea and tick products.
  4. Lacerations /bite wounds
  5. ADR (Ain’t Doing Right) dogs and cats – These are pets that aren’t acting normally, but whose owners cannot quite pin down what is going on. Most often, these pets are in pain. Possible causes include tickborne diseases (Lymes, Anaplasmosis, Erlichiosis), cancer, kidney disease, liver disease, or pancreatitis.

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