Call the Doctor!

by Gigi McWhirter

When in doubt, call your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary care facility — not Dr. Google! In our area, there is not a 24-hour veterinary hospital. Casa Grande Animal Hospital is the only veterinary office open seven days a week. At the bottom of the article, there are numbers for 24- hour emergency centers in the Phoenix and Tucson areas.

Please note these lists apply to animals of ALL ages. These lists have been compiled after discussion with the veterinarians I work with and, mostly, the one I live with.


Canine:

  • Licking a Colorado River toad.
  • Refusing to drink for 24 hours or more.
  • Unconsciousness.
  • Heatstroke or heat stress.
  • Extreme lameness, inability to move a leg or legs, broken bones.
  • Severe diarrhea or vomiting — or a combination of both — more than two episodes in a 24-hour period.
  • Seizures and/or staggering.
  • Bleeding from the nose, mouth, rectum, blood in urine or coughing up blood.
  • Severe bleeding or bleeding that does not stop within five minutes.
  • Not able to pass feces (poop) or urinate (pee) or obvious pain associated with either.
  • Eye injuries.
  • Hit by car or other moving vehicle/item — not all injuries are visible!
  • Obvious signs of extreme pain or anxiety.
  • Choking, trouble breathing, gasping for air, nonstop gagging or coughing.
  • Bloated abdomen, especially in bigger dogs with large chest cavities (example: Labrador or any retriever, Bernese Mountain Dog, pointers, setters, etc.).
  • You suspect or know that your pet has consumed something poisonous such as: antifreeze, dark chocolate, xylitol, marijuana or marijuana byproducts, your medication (including Tylenol and Ibuprofen), rat/rodent poison, foods deemed toxic to the species (that is another list available at the ASPCA website).

Phone numbers for 24-hour emergency care:

AVECCC (Arizona Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Center) Gilbert: 480-487-0222
1st Pet Veterinary Center — Chandler: 480-732-0018
Southern Arizona Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center — Tucson: 520-888-3177

Feline:

  • Straining to urinate or changes in urinary habits — especially in male cats.
  • Suddenly unable to use the hind legs especially but not limited to, crying out in extreme pain and breathing changes.
  • Open-mouth breathing and other breathing changes.
  • Consuming a foreign object such as string, dental floss, tinsel or any other suspect item.
  • Poison ingestion such as antifreeze, rat/rodent poison or human medications (including Tylenol or Ibuprofen).
  • Hit by car — or other moving vehicle or object.
  • Severe bleeding that does not stop within five minutes. Bite wounds should also be treated as soon as possible to avoid the risk of infection or abscess.
  • Eye Injuries, sudden blindness or a change in your cat’s eyes.
  • Heatstroke or heat stress.

Phone numbers for 24-hour emergency care:

AVECCC (Arizona Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Center) Gilbert: 480-487-0222
1st Pet Veterinary Center — Chandler: 480-732-0018
Southern Arizona Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center — Tucson: 520-888-3177

Equine:

  • Colic.
  • Acute lameness.
  • Choke (esophageal obstruction).
  • Punctures, lacerations or extreme bleeding.
  • Joint or tendon injury.
  • Eye trauma.
  • Exertional myopathy/exhaustion.
  • Reproductive emergencies.
  • Foal emergencies.
  • A.D.R. “Ain’t Doin’ Right” is actually used by veterinary professionals and astute pet owners used to describe when “something just isn’t right” with their animals.

Phone numbers for 24-hour emergency care:

EQUINE:
Arizona Equine Medical & Surgical Centre — Gilbert: 480-962-6660
Avra Equine — Marana/Picture Rocks: 520-870-2898

EQUINE & OTHER LIVESTOCK:
Herd Health Management — Gilbert: 480-899-5088 or emergency number: 602-513-0390

It is extremely important to be reminded that these lists are not, in any way, intended to replace the diagnosis, consultation or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you suspect your animal is experiencing a medical emergency call your veterinarian or a 24-hour facility right away.

To be prepared for an emergency, you should also consult with your veterinary care team for their after-hours emergency recommendations.

Happy Tails to You!