Midwest Animal Emergency Hospital

Providing Emergency and critical care medical and surgical
services for dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, rabbits, rodents, reptiles
and other exotic pets.

(708) 453-4755
7510 W. North Avenue
Elmwood Park, IL 60707

Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday 7pm - 8am
Saturday 2pm - Monday 8am
Open All Major Holidays

How to tell if your pet is having a medical emergency?

Difficulty breathing - Breathing that is faster or more labored, noisy or louder than normal or pale/white to blue colored gums can indicate serious cardiac or respiratory disease, internal bleeding, serious metabolic disease or sometimes pain.

Vomiting or Diarrhea - Your pet should be evaluated if it is having multiple episodes of vomiting or diarrhea, there is blood  in either or the diarrhea has a tarry consistency. Unproductive vomiting or retching and a hard distended abdomen can be signs of bloat in dogs which can be fatal if not treated.

Excessive lethargy, weakness, collapse or loss of consciousness - Lethargy and weakness may be seen with serious illness. Certain neurologic conditions can lead to incoordination, abnormalmovement or behavior, or paralysis.

Uncontolled bleeding - Minor bleeding may be stopped with direct pressure but any animal with heavy bleeding or bleeding that does not stop with pressure should be seen immediately.

Trauma - Any pet that has sustained trauma such as being hit by a car, falling, injuries form other animals or that has lacerations or bite wounds should be assessed even if they are acting OK. Shock or serious internal injuries can sometimes take several hours to days to manifest and cuts or wounds may become infected if not treated or extend deepe than they appear.

Seizures - Epileptic animal can sometimes have isolated seisures without incident but any animal that has never experienced seizures before or is experiencing prolonged or multiple seizures within a 24 hour period should be evaluated.

Difficulty Urinating - Straining or frequent attempts to urinate where little or no urine is produced, or bloody urine can indicate infection or urinary blockage especially in male cats and ferrets. If not treated this condition can be fatal.

Exposure to Toxins or Poisons - Ingestion of medications, household chemicals or plants or inhalation of certain gases or fumes can lead to toxicities that may require immediate treatment.

Eye Problems - Eye problems can quickly worsen if not treated and may result in eye rupture or loss of sight. Seek vet attention if you are noticing redness, discharge or excessive tearing, swelling, pain, pawing or rubbing at the eye, squinting or keeping the eye closed, or if there is any trauma involving the eye area.

Exotic Pets

Use the above as guidelnes. Exotic pets can often hide signs of serious illness and obvious symptoms are not always apparent until the problem is advanced. The following are more specific signs of illness in exotic pets:

Birds - Sitting at the bottom of the cage, fluffed up, loss of appetite or decreased droppings, diarrhea, vomiting or regurgitation, breathing with mouth open or tail bobbing while sitting on perch, bleeding from broken feather.

Ferrets - Excessive lethargy, weakness, salivating or pawing at the mouth can be signs of dangerously low blood sugar. Vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appettite, bloody or tarry stools can be seen with many illnesses and can lead to serious dehydration and/or blood loss if not treated. Straining or frequent attempts to urinate without urine production can indicate urinary blockage.

Rabbits, Rodents, Small Animals - Loss of appetite or decreased/lack of stool production even for a short time can indicate serious life threatening gastrointestinal disease. Other signs include lethargy, diarrhea, labored breathing, head tilting to the side, loss of coordination or rolling.

Reptiles, Amphibians - Excessive lethargy, breathing with mouth open, bubbles or discharge from the nose, prolonged loss of appetite or lack of stools, diarrhea, twitching or uncoordinated movements.

Most importantly, if you are unsure whether or not your pet is having an emergency, don't hesitate to call Midwest Animal Emergency Hospital -- 708.453.4755