When Is It Time To Call The Vet?

If I took my little dog to the vet every time she had an upset stomach, we could take out stock in that man's office. Sadie has an insatiable appetite, swallows most of her food with barely a chew and doesn't mind eating an entire stick while we're sitting outside. After the tummy grumbles go away in a day or two, she's back to her normal self.

Bailey, on the other hand, is the picture of health. She loves to run, will curl up at your feet all day and can't wait for our morning walks. If she doesn't feel good, you definitely know it.

So when is it time to call the vet's office? It's not always clear if your pet is having a little irritation or a serious problem because they can't communicate verbally how they feel. (Unless you have a breed that howls and cries about everything.)

There are a few sure signs that professional treatment is necessary, so look for them closely.

* Extreme temperature change, from weather or exposure
* Cuts or wounds that are open and bleeding
* Broken bones, possible trauma or other accidents
* Breathing difficulties like chronic coughing, gasping or inhaling water
* Difficulty urinating and defecating
* Eye injury, irritation or discharge
* Excessive vomiting or diarrhea - anything more than two or three times an hour
* Seizure, fainting or collapse - anything where they are unresponsive
* Allergic reactions, swelling or color change
* Ingestion of anything not normally "pet food"
* Any animal, snake or spider bites
If there is any question in your mind about whether it's time to call the vet, call. They're the professionals and can give you the best guidance. When in doubt, side on the side of your pet's health.

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