The following list is a guide to many emergency conditions and signs/symptoms that indicate whether you should bring your pet in for emergency care. We believe that you, as the owner, know your pet the best and are a reliable judge of whether something is wrong.

If you are concerned and not sure whether to come in, the friendly nursing team at AEC are happy to advise you over the phone (08) 9204 0400.

Abdominal distension (swelling/bloating)
Especially when hard to the touch with unsuccessful attempts to vomit

Abnormal gum colour
white/blue/yellow/red

Acute deterioration
Of an existing medical condition. Any abnormal behaviour that you’re worried about (e.g., acting aloof or particularly clingy)

Bleeding
severe or continues for more than 5 minutes, blood from eyes, ears, mouth, nose, or rectum, blood in urine, faeces, or vomit.

Breathing difficulties
choking, gagging, something stuck in the throat, increased breathing effort, no breathing

Broken bones (or suspected broken bones)

Coughing
Constant and unable to settle, especially if associated with increased breathing rate, effort or history of heart disease

Diarrhoea or vomiting
That lasts more than 24 hours

Disorientation
Suddenly begins bumping into things

Extremes of temperature
Heatstroke or hypothermia signs

Eye Injuries
Heartbeat that cannot be detected

Ingestion (or suspected ingestion)
Of toxic substances or foreign materials that may cause obstruction

Loss of mobility
Collapse, sudden inability to walk or stand, unable to balance, extreme lethargy

Seizures
Especially prolonged, multiple, or non-terminating

Severe allergic reaction/Anaphylaxis
Facial/throat swelling, collapse, white gums, hives

Signs of severe pain
Crying, shaking, sudden withdrawal/aggression

Snakebite
Collapse followed by seeming recovery, witnessed bite, blood in urine, progressive paralysis (DO NOT attempt to catch snake or bring it in)

Trauma
hit by car, dog attack, fall from height, penetrating injury etc

Tremoring (involuntary)
Unconsciousness (cannot be woken)

Urination problems – straining or inability to release bladder contents
(especially male cats)

Whelping
with more than 4 hours between delivery of puppies or kittens