Emergency Dog Clinic

Emergency Dog Hospital

For emergency situations call us immediately at 770-642-1282
We have extended hours to better serve your urgent care needs

What To Do In Case Of A Dog Emergency

If you believe your dog is suffering from an emergency, then time is of the essence.

It is always recommended that you call us immediately and describe the symptoms. Or even just come right away to the hospital at 1570 Holcomb Bridge Road, Suite 110, Roswell GA. We are open until 8 PM on weekdays and 6 PM on Saturdays.

If possible, call ahead to let us know the type of emergency, if you will need assistance getting into the building, and your approximate time of arrival.

Emergencies are very stressful and it is important that you do your best to remain calm. Your dog will be soothed by your ability to remain calm and speak in a calming tone while driving them to the hospital.

Some types of situations may concern you, but may not have you convinced your dog needs immediate care. In these cases, it is still best to err on the side of caution. Our staff will help you decide the best course of action.

Below we will cover the following

  • Dog Emergencies

  • Transporting your dog safely

  • First Aid for Dogs

  • Dog CPR

  • Emergency Dog Hospitals

Dog Emergencies Requiring Immediate Veterinary Attention

  • Labored Breathing: This may be the most serious of emergencies because hypoxia (low oxygen levels) may result in respiratory arrest and even death. This needs to be treated as soon as possible.

    Symptoms: Breathing difficulties may not be entirely obvious. Look at your dog’s chest and see if it is moving faster and more pronounced while breathing. Your dog may make alarming sounds or have puffy lips.

  • Restlessness: While not appearing immediately distressing, this may be indicative of internal stress. Your dog may be having abdominal issues (distension, bloat, etc.) or may be unable to vomit. This is more serious than it appears.

    Symptoms: Inability to get comfortable, getting up frequently and pacing, or excessive panting. If your dog is a large breed (GSD, great danes, etc.), this may be particularly life threatening (see GDV below)

  • GDV (Twisted Stomach) and Bloat: These conditions are two of the most life-threatening situations for your dog. GDV is when a dog’s stomach twists, and even with treatment, may be terminal. Large breed dogs (Great Pyrenees, Standard Poodles, etc.) are susceptible to this condition.

    Symptoms: Restlessness (see above), breathing troubles, pale tongue and lips, pulse increases but softer heart beats, or retching after meals. Dogs may exhibit some or all of these symptoms.

  • Seizures: Solitary seizure may not be life threatening. Seizures may come in clusters and then can become progressive. Seizures may be induced by a toxic substance or medication reaction. If your dog has never been diagnosed for a seizure disorder, seek immediate medical attention.

  • Collapse or Profound Weakness: These symptoms may be brought on by a major illness. It can be induced by internal bleeding, anaphylactic shock, poisons, an endocrinological condition, or organ failure. Seek emergency care immediately.

  • Major Trauma/Dog Fight: An accident, even if it was blunt shock (like a fall) and there is no obvious blood, needs immediate attention if you suspect hemorrhaging.

    Dog fights can be a source of puncture damage, particularly on smaller dogs. Punctures may also hit internal organs, like a liver or lung, and cause severe damage, even death. Bones may get fractured as well.

    Dogs often hide their injuries so it may not be immediately obvious what is going on with your pet.

    If something has happened that would cause you to suspect major trauma, seek emergency medical attention

  • Vomiting or Diarrhea: If your dog vomits once or has a single bout of diarrhea, your pet may just need a few hours to recover and some bland food. Repeated vomiting and diarrhea, particularly if there is blood, may be a symptom of major issues such as a gastrointestinal obstruction.

    If you know that your dog ate something they shouldn’t, addressing it immediately may save you a surgical procedure. Our staff may be able to get it out before it hits the intestinal track.

  • Problems Urinating: This could indicate a bladder infection. While painful, it is not life threatening. If your dog really struggles to pass urine, this could represent an obstruction by bladder stones. Bladder stones are considered a very urgent condition and you should seek immediate veterinary care

  • Not Eating or Drinking: You know your dog’s habits best. If their eating/drinking habits change suddenly or if they go for an extended period of time without eating or drinking, then seek immediate medical attention

  • Coughing: Excessive coughing may indicate kennel cough or even the flu. When in doubt, it is best to schedule a veterinary visit.

  • Loss of Use of Rear Legs: This may be a sign of an injury to the spinal cord. You may see this in your breed with long backs and shorter legs (Corgis, Dachshunds, etc.). This is very painful to your pet and immediate treatment may make a significant difference.

  • Toxins/Poisons: Immediately call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline or an emergency dog clinic. Follow their instructions. Try to determine how much was ingested by your dog and how long ago. When going to the veterinarian, bring along the bottle of what was ingested.

Transporting Your Dog Safely

Transport your pet responsibly to ensure that there are no further injuries to you or your pet:

  • Stay calm

  • If the dog is aggressive (sometimes painful dogs bite), seek help. Put towels around the head or neck to prevent bites while transporting

  • If your dog needs it, fashion a stretcher and gently lift them onto it

  • Support the neck and back in case they have any spinal injuries

  • Make sure your dog is comfortable and secure in the car

  • Call ahead so that the veterinarian can be prepared for your emergency, time is of the essence.

First Aid For Dogs

It may be necessary to perform first aid in order to stabilize your dog. Canine first aid tips:

  • For bleeding, elevate the cut area. Apply direct pressure to the wound. If you are familiar with tourniquets, this may help slow bleeding from cuts in the limbs. It is important to minimize blood loss.

  • Choking: use your fingers to see if you can remove the blockage from your dog’s mouth. Be careful to not push the blockage further into the throat.

  • For objects further down the throat, applying a modified Heimlich maneuver by giving a sharp rap to your dog's chest; this may dislodge the object. Learn how to perform the modified Heimlich maneuver prior to using it because you run the risk of injuring your dog if done incorrectly.


  • If your dog is not breathing, put them on their side.

  • Extend the head and neck. Hold the jaws closed.

  • Place your mouth firmly on the nose. Blow into the nostrils once every three seconds

  • Ensure no air escapes between your mouth and their nostrils

  • If no heartbeat, apply cardiac massage with three quick, firm chest compressions for every respiration

  • Repeat until your dog resumes breathing on his or her own

Emergency Dog Hospitals

East Roswell Vet Hospital is fully equipped to handle all types of emergencies during extended business hours. We are open until 8 PM on weekdays and 6 PM on Saturdays.

Call us at 770-642-1282 or come directly to 1570 Holcomb Bridge, suite 110, Roswell.

Please call ahead as every second counts during an emergency.

If calling outside our business hours, please call an overnight emergency dog hospital in your area. In the Roswell area, we suggest:
Animal Emergency Center of North Fulton
Blue Pearl

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