Knowing When to Seek Emergency Care for Your Limping Pet

When your beloved pet starts limping, it’s usually something that can wait until the next day for a veterinary visit. However, there are certain situations where immediate action is required, and heading to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital is necessary.

Signs of lameness in pets that warrant emergency care:

If your furry companion displays any of the following signs, it’s crucial to seek emergency care:

1. Dragging a limb
2. Not bearing weight on a limb
3. Extreme lethargy
4. Uncontrollable bleeding
5. Excessive swelling
6. Excessive vocalization
7. Sudden worsening of a limp

In cases where your pet has a minor limp along with worrisome signs like vomiting or diarrhea, emergency treatment may be necessary for the underlying cause rather than just the limp itself.

Causes of lameness in pets that require emergency care:

There are various reasons why pets can experience lameness, but not all of them require immediate attention. While a muscle sprain or strain is concerning, rushing to the nearest emergency hospital may not be necessary. However, certain conditions do demand urgent care, including:

1. A fractured limb
2. Paresis or paralysis of one or more limbs
3. A deep or large wound that won’t stop bleeding
4. Bites from venomous insects or snakes
5. Involvement in a car accident
6. Injuries from a dog fight

Some of these situations may not initially seem severe, but internal complications can develop that require treatment. For example, your pet might appear relatively unharmed after being hit by a car, showing only minor scrapes and a slight limp. However, a comprehensive examination may uncover damage to vital organs like the liver, spleen, kidneys, or bladder, necessitating intensive hospitalization.

Another common scenario that demands immediate attention is when a pet is bitten by another animal. Although puncture marks may seem minor, they can quickly become infected. Furthermore, if your pet is grabbed and shaken vigorously by another animal, significant damage to underlying tissues can occur, leading to a potentially serious problem.

Determining whether your four-legged friend, who has suddenly become a three-legged pet, requires emergency care can be challenging. If you’re unsure about your pet’s condition, don’t hesitate to contact our team. We’re here to discuss your concerns and provide guidance on whether your pet needs emergency treatment.