How to Recognize an Emergency
How do I know if my cat's current health issue is an emergency?
Basically, if you think that your cat may not survive without immediate care in the next 24 hours, it is an emergency. That doesn't mean that you need to let your cat suffer if they are in extreme pain or discomfort, but not at risk of dying in the next 24 hours.
Common cat emergencies that we see at All Feline Hospital:
- Hit by a car.
- Stepped on by a person in the chest, abdomen, or a limb resulting in not able to walk on that leg.
- A male cat unable to urinate (this is life threatening).
- Open mouth breathing for more than a few minutes.
- This can be due to severe nasal congestion, heart disease, or lung disease.
- Unable to keep any food or water down at all, vomiting everything.
- Not moving at all and not rousable.
- Ingesting any kind of toxin, whether it be plant, poison, one of your medications, or anything that they should not have ingested that is potentially poisonous.
- Electrocution from chewing on an electrical cord.
- Going through a washing machine or dryer cycle and is still alive (yes, this has happened on more than one occasion).
- Bleeding from anywhere at a steady clip that will not stop. This does not include toe nails that were trimmed too short.
- Seizuring that lasts for more than 5 minutes.
- A diabetic cat that is extremely lethargic, drooling, vomiting out of character, disoriented, seizuring, or comatose.
- Sudden loss of not being able to use one or both back legs.
Anything that is listed above, or falls into the dying in under 24 hours clause is an immediate emergency, and needs to be seen now. If we are open, we appreciate a heads up phone call as you are on your way in so that we can be prepared and ready for your cat. If it is after hours, please take your cat to the emergency clinic. Yes, they are more expensive, but they are there at all hours and holidays, they are fully staffed, and they are ready for any emergency to walk through the door.
If you aren't sure if your cat's health issue is an emergency and needs to be seen immediately, then call us and ask. If we are open, we will tell you. If it is after hours, call the emergency clinic. They will also tell you if they think it is life threatening or not.