Is your dog ill or injured?

Potential medical emergencies that may require immediate veterinary intervention

The following are some of the symptoms of potentially serious problems, so if you observe any of these signs you should call your veterinary practice for advice in case of a potential emergency:

  • Bloated abdomen (sudden onset)
  • blood in the urine (not associated with seasons)
  • breathing difficulties
  • broken bones
  • burns
  • choking
  • collapse
  • convulsions/seizures
  • dislocated eyeball
  • drowning
  • electrocution
  • excessive blood loss
  • excessive blood in the faeces or from the rectum
  • excessive foaming at the mouth
  • fainting
  • fever
  • fixed and dilated pupils
  • heatstroke
  • inability to stand
  • injuries resulting from a road traffic accident
  • extreme lethargy and weakness
  • jaundice
  • pale pink or blue gums
  • paralysis
  • persistent retching
  • staggering gait
  • vomiting persistently or vomiting blood
  • vulval discharge (not associated with seasons)
  • wasp or bee stings causing swelling in the mouth or throat

Signs of illness that may require less urgent veterinary diagnosis and treatment

If you observe the following symptoms or any change in your dog's normal behaviour, call your veterinary practice to discuss the symptoms and they will tell you whether to make a non-emergency appointment or whether you need to bring the dog in immediately as an urgent case.  Keep a note of all the symptoms and take these with you to your consultation. Please note that some of these symptoms in isolation may not indicate a problem.

  • Appetite loss (persistent)
  • arching of the dog's back
  • bad breath
  • blood or slime in the faeces
  • biting at itself or around its legs or bottom
  • depression
  • diarrhoea
  • coughing
  • crying
  • difficulty eating
  • excessive thirst or urination
  • incontinence
  • lethargy
  • limping
  • lumps
  • muscle tremors
  • pawing at its mouth
  • persistent pain
  • rashes
  • redness or discharge from the eyes, ears or nose
  • restlessness
  • rubbing its bottom along the floor
  • rubbing, shaking or tilting its head
  • salivating
  • scratching itself excessively
  • smelling badly
  • shivering
  • sneezing excessively
  • sudden grumpiness or aggression
  • swellings
  • unwarranted panting
  • vomiting
  • whimpering or any abnormal behaviour
  • worms in the faeces

PLEASE NOTE: These lists are not complete, so if you are in any doubt about your dog's welfare, do not hesitate to call your veterinary practice to report the symptoms and seek advice.


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