When to Call an Emergency Vet in Boca Raton, FL

As a pet owner, you know when to take your pet to the veterinarian and how to keep up with regular annual check-ups. But sometimes, it’s necessary to take your pet to the emergency vet, and it can be much trickier to figure out the right time to make this tough decision.

In the article below, you’ll find a list of several situations in which you should consider taking your pet to the emergency vet. Although every pet and every situation may vary, these guidelines can give you a good frame of reference to make it easier for you to make the right call during an emergency. If you have any questions, call 441 Animal Hospital in Boca Raton at (561) 482-5600.

emergency vet in boca raton, fl

Acute Trauma

Pets who suffer from acute trauma or sudden injuries need to go to the emergency vet if their regular vet is unavailable. These injuries may include vehicle trauma, attacks from other animals, broken bokes, bites or stings from insects or snakes, and much more.

Even if your pet is not showing any outward signs of pain, if you know they’ve been hurt in some way, don’t wait to take them to the vet. They could be dealing with internal bleeding that might worsen the longer you wait, which could cause the problem to become much worse with time.

Worsening of a Known Condition

If your pet has a known health condition such as cancer, heart disease, liver failure, or other serious illnesses, you should take them to the emergency vet when these conditions worsen. If the worsening is sudden, this could mean that your pet is nearing the end of their life and may need a vet to help them pass peacefully.

In some instances, your pet may not be to this point yet, but may still need immediate vet care. Regardless, the emergency vet will be able to tell you more about your pet’s condition and help you make the right choice for them, too.

Inability to Breathe

If your pet is unable to breathe at all, this is a serious emergency and should be treated as such. Take your pet the emergency vet right away in this situation. However, if your pet is struggling to breathe but still able to breathe somewhat, you might have more difficulty figuring out whether or not to go to the emergency vet.

In cases where your pet is having any difficulty breathing, it’s usually a good idea to go to the emergency vet without waiting. The condition could worsen very quickly and could become quite serious without warning.

Inability to Rouse

Pets who are unable to rouse—meaning they are either unconscious or are so lethargic they can’t wake up—may be dealing with a serious health problem. You should take your pet to the emergency vet immediately if you notice they are not able to wake up at all.

When going to the emergency vet for this problem, try to think back to your pet’s behavior throughout the day and let the vet know if your pet has been getting sick or if this is a sudden change. Be sure to tell the vet about anything strange your pet might have eaten, too.

First Seizure

If your pet has a seizure for the first time, this is a good time to go to the emergency vet. Sudden seizures without a history of epilepsy or other seizure issues can be caused by a variety of problems, including ingestion of toxic substances and some illnesses too.

If your pet has a history of epilepsy that has been diagnosed already, you don’t have to go to the emergency vet for every seizure. You should, however, time your pet’s seizures and take them to the emergency vet if they have any that last longer than 2 minutes or if they have several within an hour.

Known Ingestion of a Toxic Substance

If you’ve seen your pet eat or swallow something toxic, poisonous, or otherwise dangerous, you should take them to the emergency vet right away. If you know they’ve eaten something dangerous, be sure to bring the item or substance along with you to the vet for best results.

The sooner you react in this situation, the easier it will be for your vet to help your pet recover to their fullest.


There may be many other situations that require emergency vet care for your pet, and this list only scratches the surface. However, you can use it to help you get a better grasp on which situations can be considered emergencies for your pet.

If you have any further questions or if you’re still on the fence, it’s probably a good idea to contact the emergency vet. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to health care for your pet, and if your regular vet is unavailable, the emergency vet is your best resource. Call us today at (561) 482-5600.