If you have a dog or have ever had a dog you know that there are always little scares that send your heart racing and stomach to the depths of the ocean. You should always do whatever you think is best for your dog but in large breed dogs it can sometimes be difficult to tell when it is time to rush to the vet. There is no substitute for veterinarian’s care. I am in no way suggesting that sometimes you can ignore an issue, however I want to make you an easy to follow guide that will help you know when to rush to the vet!
Large Breed Dogs: When to Rush to the Vet
First things first: you should always have the numbers for the local vet, your chosen vet, and an emergency clinic on hand. This will make emergencies so much easier to handle and you won’t have to worry about fumbling around for information at the last second. This will also aid anyone who might be pet sitting when an accident occurs.
If your large breed dog is bleeding excessively and you are unable to stop the bleeding within a few minutes by applying pressure to the wound with gauze or a towel it is time to go to the vet. If bleeding persists it is likely because a major blood vessel has been opened and normal first aid will not help seal up this type of wound. A wound that bleeds excessively can be life threatening to your pet in a short amount of time so do not waste time trying to decide if you should go to the vet or not. Much like with humans, every second counts in this type of scenario.
If for any reason you find your dog and they are completely unresponsive but are still breathing and have a pulse you need to get them to a vet immediately. The same can also be said for dogs who are stumbling, unable to stand or move, or who seem extremely lethargic. Lethargy in dogs can be caused by many factors and can sometimes be a simple solution but excessively lethargic behavior can be a sign of much larger problems and should be addressed as soon as it is noticed.
This one is especially important to consider if you live on a farm or if your pet spends a lot of time outdoors unsupervised. You need to rush to the vet if you suspect your pet has gotten into any kind of poison. Antifreeze, alcohol, rat poison, and even some human food can be poisonous. Anything that can be considered poison should be addressed immediately to give your pet a chance to survive.
Any time your dog experiences a trauma you need to get them to the vet immediately even if they seem to be walking and moving normally. Because trauma can cause internal injuries that we are unable to see symptoms may not present themselves right away, by the time they do show up it can be too late. If your pet is hit by a vehicle, crushed under something large or heavy, is knocked into any stationary object, etc. take them to the vet immediately to be examined for internal injuries.
Of course there will always be times when it is appropriate to call the vet first and get their recommendation. In the above cases time is off the essence and you should not wait! Seek medical attention for your pet whenever you feel they may need it but in the case of trauma, poison, unresponsiveness, or excessive bleeding, get to the vet as quick as you can.
Have you ever had to rush your dog to the vet?
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