15 Signs That It’s Time To Take Your Dog To The Vet

should i take my dog to the vet, ad for entirelypets pharmacy saleYou May Be Asking Yourself, Should I Take My Dog To The Vet?

Some people are cool as a cucumber in an emergency. Some just panic and become paralyzed with indecision and fear. I am of the latter variety. Oh, how I wish I was the cool and calm one! In another post, I wrote about rushing one of my oldest dogs to the vet’s office panicking all the way. READ IT HERE. That was many years ago and I think I handled the emergency with Remedy, years later better. But, I still was far from calm! SEE REMEDY’S STORY.

Let’s face it, it’s expensive to take your dog to the veterinarian. Naturally, you want to avoid unnecessary trips and expense, so there are going to be times that you ask yourself, should I take my dog to the vet? The problem is, dogs can’t tell you what’s wrong or where they hurt. So, how do you know if it is an emergency, it can wait until tomorrow, or to just keep an eye on him for a week, because it will probably resolve on its own?

should I take your dog to the vet, blue merle Chihuahua being held up by a veterinarian
Remedy with Dr. Harod, her veterinarian

That’s why I firmly believe in the boy scout rule of being prepared! Even if you are like me and panic in emergencies, being prepared for what could happen is the best policy. I don’t mean worry about what may or may not happen, but be prepared just in case.

Should I Take My Dog To The Vet Now, Or Make An Appointment?

If your dog shows any of the following symptoms, call your vet and explain exactly what the problem is. Then let him or she tell you if the dog needs to come in right away. You’ll probably want to make an appointment for the same day.

  • Refusing to eat anything at all for more than 24 hours, especially if he seems in pain.
  • Eye problems. Excessive tearing, eye swollen or an eye that looks cloudy or off-color.
  • Labored breathing or fast and shallow breathing.
  • Vomiting often, especially with depression or exhaustion.
  • Continual diarrhea that is liquid and has a terrible odor.
  • Swallowing something big without choking. If your Chi can’t pass the object it is serious and could be life-threatening.
  • Swelling anywhere on the body. Especially if it is hard, hot or oozing.
  • Intense itching or biting the skin until it is inflamed and/or with hair loss.
  • Injuring himself. A puncture wound, a cut that needs stitches or lameness with no apparent fracture.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), a temperature of 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 to 39.2 degrees Celsius) is typical for pooches

When it is an Emergency!

If any of these things occur, don’t even stop to ask “should I take my dog to the Vet?”, it is an emergency and your Chihuahua needs to be seen by a vet or taken to an emergency veterinarian clinic immediately. Even if it is Sunday, a holiday or 3:00 in the morning.

Accident Emergencies:

  • Broken bones
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Severe trauma
  • Burns (fire, scalding, or chemical)
  • Poisoning

Illness Emergencies:

  • Seizures
  • Staggering and/or falling down
  • Uncontrollable diarrhea (may be bloody)
  • Continual Vomiting
  • Trouble Breathing
  • Allergic Reactions
  • Obstruction in the Throat or Choking
  • Obstruction in the intestine or urinary tract (straining to eliminate)
  • Paralysis
  • Heatstroke
  • Bloat (extremely rare for Chihuahuas)
How to take a dog’s temperature: Use a rectal thermometer with a rounded end. Shake it down below 100° F. Smear the end with petroleum jelly and insert it carefully between ½ and 1 inch. Talk soothingly to him and hold him firmly in the standing position for two minutes. Remove and read. Don’t forget to disinfect the thermometer before putting it away!




Prevention is always the best policy, so be sure to have your dog examined by a veterinarian once a year to be sure to catch a potential problem before it becomes serious.



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