SPCA Furry Facts – When to call your veterinarian

Call your veterinarian the same day in the event of:

  • Abortion:(miscarriage) expulsion of the foetus after first three weeks of pregnancy.
  • Afterbirth: If it is retained for eight hours.
  • Appetite loss: If your pet is not eating; depressed in conjunction with other signs such as laboured breathing, diarrhoea, lying down, pain.
  • Breathing difficulty: Laboured breathing; rapid and shallow breathing with or without cough.
  • Eye problems: Tears streaming down cheeks; eyelids partially or completely closed; cornea (surface of eye) cloudy, opaque or bluish-white in colour.
  • Frequent vomiting: If this is evident on numerous occasions; and is associated with another symptom such as lethargy.
  • Frostbite and/or hypothermia: If they present with a low body temperature usually associated with sub-zero temperatures.
  • Injury: Non-urgent but liable to become infected; a cut through full thickness of skin which needs stitching; puncture wound in leg or head; acute sudden lameness.
  • Mismating: Termination of an unwanted pregnancy can be done safely and harmlessly within 72 hours after intercourse.
  • Severe diarrhoea: Motion (stool) fluid and putrid or there is abdominal pain or straining.
  • Severe itching: If the animal is biting, scratching, has hair loss, its skin is red and inflamed.
  • Swallowed object: It is better for a veterinarian to assess such a situation early, rather than wait until a possible life-threatening situation develops.

Wait 24 hours before calling in the case of:

  • Appetite loss: Not eating; no other sign or symptom.
  • Diarrhoea: Motion (stool) is semi-solid; no indication of abdominal pain; no sign of blood; no straining.
  • Itching: Moderate, no damage to the skin by self-mutilation.
  • Lameness: Ability to bear weight on leg; not affecting eating or other functions.
  • Occasional vomiting: On two or three occasions with no other symptoms.
  • Odour: Unpleasant odour other than a soiled coat.
  • Thirst: Excessive drinking, often paired with excessive urination.


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