In any emergency call us immediately. If it is outside our usual hours, telephone our affiliated Emergency Veterinary Clinic at 55 Elizabeth Street, SW1 on 020 7730 9102
Before There Is An Emergency
It is obvious but still worth repeating. Prevention is safer, easier and cheaper than treatment. Of course it is impossible to prevent all accidents but you can dramatically reduce risks my one relatively simple means. Train your pet and keep it under your control. To give you the simplest example, when Bruce began practicing in London he mended broken bones at least twice a week. Today it is rare if we see more than one traumatic fracture in six months. The difference? Today we understand our responsibilities and keep our dogs on their leads. We keep our windows closed so that cats don’t fall out of them. Keeping your pet under your control is the easiest and most effective way for you to care for it.
Watch For Changes In Routines
Listen to sounds
Listen for any unusual vocal, breathing or other sound your pet makes. Abnormal sounds are almost always signs of serious problems needing same day veterinary attention.
Watch activities and responses
Any change from your pet’s normal behaviour is cause for concern, even “attractive” changes such as seeking you out more frequently for contact comfort. If your pet is normally aloof but now wants to be with you, assume that he has been frightened or feels unwell.
Monitor toilet habits
Changes in your dog’s sanitary habits often are indicators that medical attention is needed. Some changes require immediate attention while others can wait 24 hours or longer.
Monitor drinking and urinating
Develop a routine for changing your pet’s water bowl, monitoring how much you put in and how much is left when you replace it. Increased thirst often means there are significant medical problems. Some of these need urgent attention.
Weigh your pet frequently
The simplest method of weighing all but the largest dogs is to hold your pet in your arms while you stand on your bathroom scales then subtract your own weight. An unexpected change in weight is a subtle sign there are medical problems. Weight loss not related to any change in diet is worrying although unexpected weight gain also can be a sign of disease.
Carry Out A Physical Examination
If observations alone are not enough to help you decide whether our help is needed, the next stage is the physical inspection. There is a simple logic in how to carry out a quick but detailed examination of your pet. Training it from youth to accept this type of handling helps all of us, your pet, you and us. We make faster and more accurate initial diagnoses when our patients willingly allow themselves to be examined. While your pet is young, fit and healthy, check its breathing rate and rhythm, heart rate or pulse and the colour of its gums then continue with these procedures.
- Take its temperature.
- Check the eyes, ears, nose and mouth.
- Examine the head and neck, then chest and belly and finally the limbs
- Write down anything that owrries you then contact us.
In a genuine emergency you won’t have time to carry out a full, detailed examination but by knowing what to do you can choose which parts are most important to carry out.