When is it a Pet Emergency?

By: BVECCS Admin

On: March 25, 2018

Pet Emergencies

Most of us pet owners have been in a situation where our pet is appearing not to be acting normally, and it’s after your regular vet has closed. Should you be calling the after-hours centre or are you just being an overprotective parent?

You’re never wrong to call us.

If you are concerned about your pet, then you should never feel embarrassed about calling us. At BVECCS (Brisbane Vet Emergency) our motto is that it is better to be safe than sorry. We are fully staffed all night, every night and 24 hours on weekends and public holidays and would rather you call us with your questions or concerns, regardless of the hour.

Remember, you know your pets better than anyone else. If you notice your pet behaving in a way that is out of the ordinary or if something just doesn’t seem right then you may have picked up on a subtle sign of a real problem.

If you are in doubt, one of our experienced team will ask you some questions over the phone to help guide whether you need to come in or if it may be able to wait until your regular vet next opens. Many things are more easily and less expensively treated if caught early and for some problems or signs, it is just not wise to wait. Even if your call or visits finds out that nothing is seriously wrong, you will be glad to have peace of mind.

Definite Pet Emergencies

There are some clear-cut pet emergencies that require our immediate consultation and care and cannot wait.

These pet emergencies include:-

  • severe bleeding or bleeding that doesn’t stop within five minutes
  • choking, trouble breathing or nonstop coughing and gagging
  • pet collapses and can’t seem to get up
  • the pet is unconscious and difficult to rouse
  • your pet’s abdomen is swollen/hard or if there is any retching or trying to vomit
  • seizures (fits) or staggering or apparently disorientated
  • you suspect any broken bones
  • any history of road trauma
  • snakebite or insect bite
  • bleeding from mouth, nose, rectum, coughing up blood or blood in urine
  • any irritation or injury to the eye or if suddenly appears blind
  • vomiting or diarrhoea – more than two episodes in a 24 hour period
  • refusal to drink for 24 hours or more
  • pale gums or your pet is cool to the touch
  • signs of heatstroke or heat stress
  • signs of pain (whining, shaking or hiding) or severe anxiety
  • signs following toad exposure
  • suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous (for example anti-freeze, rat bait, chocolate, xylitol, human medication, household cleaners) or any foreign objects
  • history of animal attack/bites
  • inability to pass urine or faeces or if there appears to be pain associated with toileting
  • abnormal vaginal discharge
  • pregnant dog or cat has gone more than 2-3 hours between delivering puppies or kittens

Although this list doesn’t cover every conceivable condition, it gives you a small insight into what types of things constitute life-threatening pet emergencies.

when is it a pet emergency

What to do if it’s an Emergency?

If you think that you need to bring your pet in to be seen, please call and ask us for directions so we can help you and your pet get to us safely. There may be some important tips for safe transport or first aid to do prior to leaving home. Once you arrive at BVECCS, our triage nurse will greet you at the door, and your pet will have an immediate initial assessment.

Urgent cases may be taken straight through to the treatment area to avoid delay so further assessment and stabilisation measures can begin. Our experienced emergency veterinarians will examine and assess your pet in order of priority.

Be Prepared

While we hope your pet never experiences an emergency, we are happy to be here to help should one ever arise. By keeping our phone number (3264 9400) in your contact list on your phone or bookmark our website (, you know you will be prepared if you should need our assistance or advice.

Most importantly, trust your instincts. You know and love your pet, and you have the right to be worried if something just doesn’t seem right. The BVECCS vet emergency team are here for you so please don’t hesitate to contact us.

pet emergencies


Contact Us Today