Pet Talk: Emergency situations: How can you tell?

There are some situations where your pet may require urgent care from a veterinarian, and other situations that they may be able to wait. Sometimes it is evident to determine the urgency of the situation, and other times it can be hard for the non-medically trained pet parents. When in doubt, always call your veterinary team so they can help you determine how urgent your pet’s ailment is and if he/she needs to be seen immediately, the same day or can wait another day.

One key word to remember is "distress." The definition of distress is extreme anxiety, trouble, sorrow or pain. A person or animal in distress has their well-being and life in jeopardy if not addressed immediately. If your pet appears to be in distress then he/she needs to be evaluated immediately and cannot wait until later in the day. Some examples of distress or urgent situations are: an unconscious, unresponsive or convulsing pet, difficulty breathing, severe trauma, injury or pain, inability to urinate, bleeding, continuous vomiting, or severe allergic reaction. Many other ailments may not need immediate attention, but attention within the same day in order to avoid rapid deterioration.

When your pet needs to be seen immediately but your primary veterinary care provider is not available after hours, luckily here in the major cities we have many other options. There are 24-hr and after-hour emergency veterinary hospitals in a few locations: there is Centre DMV in Lachine, Montreal ( and its sister centers on the south shore and north shore, CVL in Laval ( and CVRS in Brossard (

By: Dr Josee Ferraro

Staffed by caring professionals, Animal 911 Hôpital Vétérinaire is endorsed by their many pets – starting with Dr. W and his four cats: Bubbles, Misia, Bisous and Duszek. Dr. Wybranowski – (Dr. W. for short) has been actively building their practice and range of expertise for 30 years – from his early start in a one-room practice from his home.

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