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Common Injuries to Dogs That Require Emergency Treatment

Common Injuries to Dogs That Require Emergency Treatment

No matter the situation, an animal emergency is one of the biggest fears for pet parents. But how do you know if urgent care is needed? Our Sacramento vets talk about some common dog injuries and when you should bring them in for emergency vet care.

Common Dog Injuries: When Is It An Emergency?

Every pet owner wants nothing more than to keep their dog or cat safe, happy and healthy. So when serious injuries or emergency situations arise it can be very stressful. While some injuries can be easily cared for at home, there are other more serious situations that will require immediate emergency veterinary care.

Here are a few of the most common injuries or conditions that will require you to bring your dog to your nearest Sacramento emergency vet as soon as possible:


Cuts and scrapes can be a common occurrence among dogs as they typically spend a decent amount of time running around outside and exploring whatever environment they are in. While you may be able to manage some of these at home, your dog may experience deeper wounds called lacerations which are not only more serious but also could cause significant pain for your dog. Wound care to stop bleeding, pain medication, antibiotics, stitches, and/or surgery may be required depending on the wound itself. You should have your dog seen at an emergency pet hospital as soon as possible after applying basic first aid and calling ahead.


While heatstroke can happen at any time of year it is especially common throughout the summer months. Dogs don't have the same ability as humans to sweat and cool themselves off quickly so they are more likely to experience heatstroke. Extra care should be taken to help prevent this condition from occurring but if it does you should bring your dog into the shade, offer water to drink and apply a cool damp towel until they begin to cool off. You should contact your Sacramento veterinarian or seek emergency pet care as soon as possible, especially if you notice concerning signs such as excessive panting, bright red gums and tongue, lethargy, and/or vomiting and diarrhea.

Foreign Object:

Dogs have a reputation for navigating the world using their mouths, therefore they are notorious for biting, chewing and yes, even swallowing, objects that they shouldn't. These foreign objects have the potential to cause gastrointestinal upset or injury to your dog’s internal organs, which means that a swift diagnosis using x-rays and/or surgical removal can make a huge difference in their prognosis. Some of the common symptoms of foreign object ingestion include vomiting, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and lethargy. Contact your Sacramento emergency vet right away if you notice any of these signs.

Eye Injuries:

Some of the most commonly seen eye injuries in dogs include abrasions or scrapes on the eye's surface (corneal abrasion), corneal ulcers (ulcerative keratitis), and foreign objects lodged in the eye. These eye injuries can cause your dog to experience a moderate to severe amount of pain and discomfort, which may cause your dog to scratch or rub their eyes and squint or blink frequently. Your dog may also tear up or experience discharge from the affected eye. You should bring them to your nearest emergency veterinarian in Sacramento who will examine the eye to assess the severity of the injury and prescribe the appropriate treatment.


We refer to a dog's abnormal gait as lameness, which can be a sign of a wide range of issues. Your dog might have pulled a muscle, as athletes frequently do, or experienced an orthopedic injury such as a cruciate ligament rupture (akin to an ACL injury in people). Due to painful osteoarthritis or even bone cancer, older pets may hobble or prefer one limb. Calling your Sacramento emergency animal hospital can help you assess whether your dog needs urgent care even though lameness is typically not seen as a medical emergency unless there are accompanying signs.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, it will be up to you whether to take your dog to the emergency veterinary clinic or to your vet for an emergency appointment. However, when it comes to protecting your dog's health we always feel that it's better to ensure their health and safety by contacting your Sacramento emergency vet in any situation that involves an accident, injury or illness.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Has your dog experienced a sudden serious injury or other concerning condition or symptoms? Contact our Sacramento emergency vets at Elkhorn-Walerga Animal Hospital right away.

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Elkhorn-Walerga Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Sacramento companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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