Some illnesses are more urgent than others, and often the severity of these cases are obvious – uncontrolled vomiting or visibly broken bones. Still, other conditions may be seen as borderline, and pet owners can find themselves wondering whether they should hightail it to the emergency room or wait it out.

This, of course, is one reason dog insurance and cat insurance can be so important – when faced with a decision that could drastically impact your pet’s health, protecting your pet with Petplan pet insurance can help you feel secure that your wallet and your pet will come out alright.

It's simple.We have the most comprehensive pet insurance for cats & dogs.

Five medical conditions that should never be ignored:

1) Broken bones: Pets who can’t bear weight on a limb or suddenly begin limping may have broken a bone, and should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Even minor fractures can become big problems if they’re allowed to worsen. Your pet’s limb will need to be stabilized, but more importantly, your veterinarian can provide much-needed pain medication for your pet immediately.

2) Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus, or bloat: This veterinary emergency, which most often affects large or deep-chested dogs, can quickly escalate and turn fatal. If you notice painful abdominal distention along with retching and/or vomiting, bloat could be the cause. If you have the slightest suspicion, get to the vet immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment could mean the difference between life and death for your dog.

3) Intervertebral disc disease: Common in long-bodied dogs like Dachshunds, hind limb paralysis can be caused by intervertebral disc disease. When bulging discs put pressure on the spinal column, hind limb weakness and paralysis ensue. Time is of the essence in these cases – dogs who have been “down in the rear” for over 24 hours have much lower chance of returning to normal function. In the best cases, corrective surgery is performed within the magic 24-hour window.

4) Anorexia: In veterinary medicine, the term “anorexic” is used to describe any pet who won’t eat or has a significantly reduced appetite. Skipping a meal here or there isn’t generally a cause for concern, but if your pet has quit eating entirely for 48 hours or so, usually there is an underlying cause. This is especially concerning in overweight cats, who are prone to a condition called hepatic lipidosis.

5) Eye injuries: Eye abnormalities need to be seen right away. Not only are some of them extremely painful, but early intervention can prevent blindness. Watch for any of the following and have your pet seen immediately if you notice them:

  • squinting
  • obvious trauma/bleeding
  • redness of the whites of the eyes
  • any abnormal appearance of the eye (cloudiness, swelling, etc)
  • sudden blindness

When it comes down to it, if you’re ever in doubt about whether your pet’s health is in danger, err on the side of caution and give your vet a call.


Nov 21, 2012
Pet Health

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