Other Emergencies

Common Toxins
  • Human food
  • Plants
  • Rodenticides
  • Xylitol
  • Illicit drugs
  • Hit by cars
  • Fractures
  • Cactus spines
  • Bite Wounds
  • Lacerations/Wounds
  • Neurologic injury
  • Snakebite wounds
  • Limping
  • Pain
Other Emergencies
  • Trouble breathing
  • Seizure
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Difficult Labor
  • Bleeding
  • Difficult urination
  • Collapse
  • Eye problems
  • Heatstroke
  • Vomiting/Diarrhea
Critical Patients
Transfer Patients

Trouble Breathing / Excessive Coughing

If you are concerned your pet is not breathing normally, he/she should be evaluated by a veterinarian immediately. Signs of trouble breathing include a more rapid respiratory rate, larger appearing breaths, standing with the front legs apart and nose in the air, pale or blue tinge to the gums. This can be caused by many things including: heart disease, pneumonia, asthma/bronchitis, trauma, Valley Fever, kennel cough, and others.


Seizures can appear very scary. Animals are unaware of what is happening during a seizure, so it is important to stay away from their mouth as they may unintentionally bite. If seizure activity does not stop within a few seconds to a minute, it is more likely to become life threatening. Be very careful moving a pet who is having or recovering from a seizure.

Swollen / Bloated Abdomen

If your pet’s abdomen appears swollen, is hard to the touch, and especially if he/she is gagging and trying to vomit, this can be a life threatening surgical emergency.

Difficult Labor

Signs of trouble include: 4 hours between delivering puppies or kittens, active consistent contractions/pushing for 20-30 minutes without a fetus being passed. We can perform radiographs and ultrasound to determine if it is safe to continue with labor, or if a c-section should be performed.


Any bleeding that cannot be controlled, should be evaluated as soon as possible. Pale gums, bruising on the skin of the belly, ears, gums, weakness, and collapse may also be signs of bleeding.

Straining / Unable to Urinate

The inability to pass urine can readily become a life-threatening emergency, as toxins that are normally excreted in the urine build up in the bloodstream. This is most common in male cats, followed by male dogs, but can sometimes occur in female animals as well.

Collapse / Disorientation

There are many, many reasons these conditions could occur. There could be a heart problem, internal bleeding, or less seriously an ear infection or issue with the body’s balance system. Our veterinarians are able to quickly assess whether your pet’s condition may be life threatening.

Eye Problems

Eye issues can worsen very quickly. Signs of problems include: squinting, rubbing at the face, excessive discharge, redness, bumping into things. It is always recommended that eye abnormalities be evaluated by a veterinarian as soon as they are noticed.


This is a very serious issue in the Valley. Pets should never be left in cars, as the temperature inside very quickly intensifies. Caution is needed when hiking to ensure your dog is staying hydrated and cool. Signs of heat stroke include excessive panting, slowing down on a walk, injected/red gums. If you are concerned about your pet overheating, move to a shaded location or into air conditioning, offer some water to drink, wet down their underbelly, legs, and feet with lukewarm water, and get them to a veterinarian. Do not soak them down in water or use ice cold water, as too rapidly cooling can also have serious side effects. Brachycephalic breeds (short-faced breeds like bulldogs and boxers) are especially susceptible to heat stroke and should be kept indoors as much as possible when the weather is hot.

Vomiting / Diarrhea

Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration if it persists more than 12-24 hours. There can be many reasons for these signs including: eating something different from normal, a more serious pancreatitis, or even a foreign body obstruction.