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A Guide to Pet Emergency and Emergency Vet Clinic in Singapore

You wouldn’t want to feel helpless when your pet needs emergency attention. The first thing that comes to mind is to take the ailing pets to an emergency vet clinic in Singapore. However, you’d want to have the knowledge to respond appropriately to a pet emergency, and understandably so.

This article will give tips on how to identify a pet emergency. It will also describe common emergencies in cats and dogs, and what to do/avoid for each scenario.

Identifying a Pet Emergency Before Going to an Emergency Vet Clinic in Singapore

If you notice any of these signs in your pet, contact an emergency vet clinic in Singapore immediately. We’ll elaborate in the “Common Emergencies in Cats and Dogs” section.
  • Foreign object ingestion
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Choking
  • Seizures
  • Sudden mobility loss
  • Collapse (+/- Unconsciousness)
  • No urination for over a day
  • Uncontrollable Bleeding
  • Accident Victim (e.g. fall from height/road traffic accident)
  • Physical Trauma (e.g. broken bones)
  • Eye injuries
  • Signs of Heatstroke
This list is not exhaustive, so if you’re unsure whether you’re facing a pet emergency, always contact an emergency vet clinic in Singapore for advice.
Vet Clinic in Singapore

A Guide to Common Emergencies in Cats and Dogs and When to Contact an Emergency Vet Clinic in Singapore

One of the first things that you can do is ensure an appropriate response to any pet emergency. Following are some of the tips:

Stay Calm

Panic is a natural response to emergencies. However, if you stay calm, you can assess the situation and help your pet more effectively.

Assess the Area for Hazards

Before you act, ensure that your surroundings are hazard-free. Do move your pet to a safer area if necessary.

Alert the Vet

Contact an emergency vet clinic in Singapore immediately. Vets for Life is fully equipped to offer emergency and critical care services. Our vet clinic in Katong also has an overnight team to provide 24/7 care for critical patients. It’s best to save the contact details of emergency clinics all over Singapore beforehand.

Always Call the Emergency Vet Clinic Before Heading Down

Although a vet clinic in Singapore, offering emergency support is supposed to stay ready, a call prior to your visit gives them time to prepare equipment and staff for your arrival. Also, they can refer you elsewhere if they are at maximum capacity.

Now, let’s discuss common pet emergencies in Singapore and how to respond. To save time, one person should call the vet while another person gives first aid to the pet. Even if your pet appears better after first aid, always get a vet to check them afterwards.

Foreign Object Ingestion (e.g. toxic substances, indigestible objects)

A “foreign object” can refer to toxic substances. Toxic substances can include common household poisons (e.g. pesticides), poisonous plants (e.g. lilies, tulips) and human foods that are poisonous to pets (e.g. chocolate, raisins, macadamia nuts). Foreign objects also include indigestible objects that can get stuck in your pet’s intestines (e.g. socks, toys, needles). Toxic substances can cause multiple organ failure, whereas indigestible objects can obstruct, or worse still, rupture your pet’s gut and cause a life-threatening infection (sepsis). Signs of foreign object ingestion include repeated vomiting, inability to keep food/water down, abdominal pain, seizures, not eating, lethargy, drooling, and incoordination.

If you suspect/ know that your pet has swallowed a foreign object, seek veterinary help even if your pet appears normal. This is because, if caught early enough, in some (not all) cases, your vet can induce your pet to vomit up the offending substance if there are no clinical signs.

However, some substances/objects cause more damage when vomited up -so never induce vomiting in your pets at home without checking with your vet first.

Seizures

A seizure is never normal. Seizures refer to uncontrolled movement, due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain. They occur for many reasons (e.g. poisoning, organ issues). Seizures can be localised to a part of the body, generalised (affecting the entire body), or start localised but become generalised. Signs of generalised seizures include full-body jerking/paddling and frothing. Generalised seizures are dangerous as they reduce oxygen supply to the organs and raise the pet’s temperature to dangerously high levels. This causes multiple organ damage. The danger level increases with increased seizure duration/frequency.

Contact an emergency vet clinic in Singapore immediately, especially if this is the first seizure. If your vet has given rectal suppositories to administer during seizures, administer them according to the vet’s instructions, dim room lights, and switch on the fans, as seizures can overheat the body. Place pillows underneath your pet’s head to minimise head trauma from head-banging against the floor during the seizure.

Record the seizure – it’s the last thing you’d want to do, but it’ll help your vet to determine if it’s a seizure or something else (e.g. collapse)

Don’t place anything in your pet’s mouth – your pet may choke. Don’t restrain your pet – you only risk hurting yourself and/or your pet. Don’t move your pet unless they are about to fall from a height.

Heatstroke

Heatstroke occurs when the body overheats to dangerously high temperatures. This can cause seizures and multiple organ failure. Older/flat-faced/overweight animals are at greater risk, as well as animals with underlying health conditions (especially heart/lung conditions). You can minimise the risk of heatstroke by providing good ventilation (e.g. fans) and free water access. Also, avoid walking your pets in hot weather (walk them after sunset).

Signs of heatstroke include laboured/ heavy breathing, drooling, incoordination, bluish/ purple gums, vomiting, bruising, diarrhoea and collapse. If heatstroke occurs, move your pet to a shaded environment. Pour cool (not cold) water on them and switch on the fans/air-conditioning. Offer water if they’re willing to drink. Seek veterinary advice immediately – do not wait.

Never place your pet in an ice bath! This constricts the pet’s blood vessels and hinders heat loss from the pet’s skin, worsening matters. If you don’t notice any improvement in the above sign(s) quickly, you should call an emergency vet clinic in Singapore because your pet might need intensive care.

Collapse

Collapse may/may not be accompanied by unconsciousness. Get them to an emergency vet immediately. If your pet is unconscious, rouse them by calling them or stroking the back leg. If there’s no response, check the airway (careful not to get bitten). Also, check for breathing and a pulse. Vet staff can guide you over the phone with this and what to do if there’s no breathing/pulse.

Uncontrollable Bleeding

Apply firm pressure to the area with gauze until you reach the clinic. If you don’t have gauze, use a clean cloth.

Eye Trauma

Place a cone on your pet, as your pet will try to bother their eyes. Contact a vet immediately. If an eyeball has popped out (prolapsed), moisten it with sterile saline.

Do not try to replace prolapsed eyeballs or remove embedded objects in the eye.

Choking

A choking pet will have breathing difficulties. It’s important to differentiate between choking and coughing. Choking animals have trouble inhaling (unlike coughing pets).

Contact a vet immediately. Over the phone, ask the staff for guidance on performing finger sweeps/ abdominal thrusts.

Sudden Mobility Loss

Sudden mobility loss can occur for reasons like broken bones or spinal injury. Keep the pet calm and limit movement. Avoid touching broken limbs, as the pet may lash out in pain and worsen the fracture.

No Urination for Over a Day

The lack of urination causes certain toxins usually excreted by the kidneys to build up in the body and can cause vomiting or collapse. Bladders can rupture if urine builds up – causing sepsis. Even if there’s still urine production, pets with urinating difficulties should be examined by a vet promptly.

Final Thoughts

Pet emergencies are distressing, but emergency vet clinics in Singapore are there for you. Our team has the expertise and facilities to help your pet in times of need. Check out our suite of services on our website.