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Signs of an emergency:

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell which signs of illness warrant an emergency visit to Mission Pet Hospital. If you notice any of these emergency signs, please contact us as soon as possible. Any changes from the norm for your pet (even if not listed here) should be considered significant.


  • Labored breathing (shallow, rapid, or deep)

  • Prolonged or recurrent weakness

  • Loss of appetite without return by next meal

  • Bleeding that will not stop

  • Pale or white gums

  • Collapse

  • Persistent diarrhea or vomiting

  • Persistent cough with difficulty catching breath

  • Straining while trying to urinate or defecate

  • Distended abdomen

  • Seizures or muscle tremors

  • Paralysis

  • Increased or decreased body temperature

  • Persistent pain

  • Lameness, limping, or non-weight bearing on a leg



What to do during Common Pet Emergencies 


Heat Stroke

Over-exercise and hot summer temperatures can easily lead to heat stroke for dogs.

A digital thermometer reading of 105 or 106 is serious enough to warrant immediate attention – HEAT STROKE CAN BE LIFE THREATENING so do not wait. Call your veterinarian immediately for additional directions.


Ingesting a potential poison

Call your veterinarian or Poison Control Hotline for advice. Some toxins can be safely eliminated by inducing vomiting with hydrogen peroxide. Others can be helped by giving the pet activated charcoal to absorb the toxin. The key to effective poison control is matching the correct response to the poison, so seek professional advice before taking action.


Cuts & Scrapes

Many cuts and scrapes are superficial and just need a thorough cleaning and some antibacterial ointment. For deeper cuts, however, you may need to apply bandages and seek immediate veterinary care.


Broken limbs

A broken paw or leg is a serious injury that needs immediate veterinary care. If you can muzzle or safely handle the pet, you may want to stabilize the dangling limb with a splint before rushing it to the hospital. Otherwise, simply wrap the dog in a blanket or towel and seek medical attention immediately.



A lowered body temperature, pale gums, general weakness and cold feet are some common signs of shock. Causes range from serious illness to blood loss, hypoglycemia, severe diarrhea and poisoning. Keep the pet warm (with blankets or hot water bottles) and hydrated (warm water with honey). Seek medical attention immediately.

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