Thursday, November 3, 2016

Dog Medical Emergencies: Survey Results

The question I asked in the survey last week was which of the signs on the list would constitute a medical emergency. Knowing when your dog needs urgent medical attention is extremely important. As I expected, you guys all did really well.

Not all the symptoms listed are emergencies but most of them are.


Yet, only two of them received 100% of votes for them being an emergency. Today, I am posting the survey results and I'd like to know what do you think about the results. In the following posts, I will elaborate on each of the symptoms and whether and why it is or isn't an emergency.

Do you agree with your peers?


Related articles:
Dog Medical Emergencies: Take the Survey
When Is It an Emergency?

37 comments

  1. Except for maybe a handful, the rest would constitute a medical emergency, especially where my older dog Red is concerned.

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    1. Yes, I only threw in a handful which are not emergencies. The rest are emergencies and seeking veterinary attention is crucial.

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  2. I pretty much agree with these results. Typically, I call my vet for everything, just to get a consult. I know my dogs fairly well, and I know when something isn't 'normal' for them. If I feel it's serious, I call and make an appointment, if it's not as urgent, then a phone consultation will do.

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    1. Good strategy. Calling and consulting with a vet to see whether you indeed have an emergency on your hands is a good plan. Even when you know it's an emergency and you're on the way, calling ahead of time is useful for a) they'll be ready for your arrival b) there might be things you can do before you get there to help your dog.

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  3. I think a lot of them depend on the duration too.

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    1. With most true emergencies, time is of the essence. So the aim is to do something right when it starts.

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  4. Emergencies for me as what is written in the survey especially poison, bites, vomiting etc as I do not think I would know what to do with her in the house, but I am also fortunate that my vet clinic is open 24/7 so I could call first and talk to someone before running there and stressing her out more.

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    1. Yes, emergency has the need for expert veterinary attention in the description.

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  5. I like how you put this in a survey of emergencies. When in doubt, call the vet.

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    1. Yes, that can make the difference between a dog who will live to see the tale or not.

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  6. Interesting results - I always call the vet if in any doubt. It's better to be safe than sorry.

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    1. Definitely. Always better safe than sorry.

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  7. Depending on duration - yes, many of these are emergencies. We have to be very cautious of rattle snake bites - yes, there are rattle snakes in the great Pacific Northwest. Time is of the essence! Thanks for sharing - great info here!

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    1. With a number of those time is of of essence. It's really the definition of emergency - time matters. Snake bites are certainly very high on that list. We have rattlers in the region but, fortunately, not really in our area. Too swampy for them here.

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  8. Some of these require more information for me to consider them to be true emergencies. I tend to define something as an emergency when treating it quickly is a matter of life and death. When time is not of the utmost importance (meaning it can wait a couple of hours) I prefer to refer to it as an urgent medical need. Urgent needs go to the regular vet rather than the emergency vet.

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    1. I like not to complicate things by subcategorizing. Couple hours is still an emergency in my books.

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  9. Wow. It really depends. I do know that if a dog eats a grape, my vet says emergency room because each dog is different in their response and by the time a dog is showing signs of having an issue, they are in kidney failure.

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    1. With some toxic foods it might depend. Either way, I'll elaborate on each of these in more detail in future posts.

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  10. I'm surprised loss of appetite didn't get more votes, it's usually a pretty bad sign. Great job on this chart! Looking forward to the next post.
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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    1. Thank you, Cathy. Loss of appetite is tricky. It may or may not be an emergency. Depends on the dog, on their medical history ...

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  11. If a person doesn't panic, something may be a urgent matter but maybe not an emergency. Some things may be able to wait until the morning to call the regular vet. It really depends on the whole situation.

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    1. Some things indeed can; some, however cannot.

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  12. What a great idea for a post! I've worked in veterinary hospitals for over 13 years and love that you're helping educate people about what constitutes a true emergency. This is one of the first things I made sure new receptionists learned in the hospitals where I worked. Keep up the great work!

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    1. Thank you so much. Trying to help as many dogs as I can. It's Jasmine's legacy.

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  13. It's good for owners to know when they need to go to the emergency vet and when it is okay to wait to see the normal vet

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    1. It is. So many people don't seem to recognize an emergency when the're facing it. That's why I decided to blog about it.

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  14. some of these I wouldn't get as we are a cat family, but while some of these look and sound serious. I would refer to my vet (if we was open) or our friends at Whiskerdocs for advice.

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    1. Some of the things are common to both species, though each has their own medical problems.

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  15. i guess some emergencies depend upon the age and circumstances too. Like i wouldnt wait if i ahd a sick puppy or senior dog on my hands whatso eever

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    1. Yes, good point. A sick puppy is ALWAYS an emergency. In a senior dog it might depend on their medical history. Many of those listed, though, are emergencies at any age.

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  16. My husband says I overreact when it comes to the health and welfare of my animal companions. I believe I know my pets enough to determine what is unusual and requires immediate medical attention. I would agree that most items on the list require emergency medical attention. Great post.

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    1. Thank you, Sadie. Yes, my hubby tends to downplay things too. But, unfortunately, I've been right most of the time. So he tends to trust my judgement more now.

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  17. Thanks for sharing the results of the survey.

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  18. This is a comprehensive list and I might not have thought of taking the dog for emergency care for a couple of these. It makes you more watchful in the future.

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    1. I will elaborate on them in more detail in future posts.

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  19. I'm curious about the number of respondents you received along with audience demographic. The list of symptoms is well thought out. The item it doesn't include would be if a dog is exhibiting multiple symptoms simultaneously that would likely constitute an emergency even if they were not as emergent with a single symptom being displayed.

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