Many pet owners have found themselves in difficult situations in which they know something is wrong with a pet, but the veterinary clinic is closed. How do you know when it’s a true emergency and how do you know when it can wait until the clinic opens the next day?
To answer this question, Dr. Christine Rutter, a clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, discusses some common situations that often cause pet owners concern.
If an animal is showing lameness, such as abnormal movements or the inability to use a limb, the severity will determine the degree of urgency. If lameness is severe, suddenly worse, associated with bleeding, or persists for more than 24 hours, it should be considered an emergency situation.
“Weight-bearing lameness, or limping, can typically be evaluated within one to two days by a primary care veterinarian, rather than on an emergency basis,” Rutter said.