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When to Visit the ER | Dr. West Featured on AM Buffalo

When to Visit the ER | Dr. West Featured on AM Buffalo

Our own Dr. Stephanie West was once again featured on Pet Talk Tuesday on WKBW AM Buffalo on March 28th. You may remember us covering her last appearance on July 5th, where she talked about preventing dog bites. This most recent visit was dedicated purely to when exactly is it necessary for pet owners to bring their animal into Veterinary Emergency Clinic. Often times these crises occur when your regular veterinarian isn’t available, which can lead to a “watch and wait” until the morning mentality. This could provide extreme distress and risk your pet’s future health.

For the following edition of the VEC blog, we wanted to introduce several reasons why you should bring your animal into the ER. We would also like to announce an ongoing series of informative posts that will dive into further detail of all of the following cases. In the future we will break down further do’s and don’ts of the first steps of treating different scenarios, and what your next best action should be during emergency situations.

You can view Dr. West’s appearance on WKBW AM Buffalo here, for a full overview of everything she talked about with host Linda Pelligrino, who herself had to bring her dog into Veterinary Emergency Clinic. Dr. West had this to say in response to Linda’s compliments on the staff.

“They really, really care. We understand that when somebody comes there, they did not want to be there. They did not plan to be there. It’s a really distressing time.” 

Here is an overview of what Dr. West talked about when asked what would constitute a visit to the emergency room.

When to take your pet to the ER?



Limping or not using a leg

Collapsed or Unconscious

Behaving abnormally

Painful, Sensitive to touch

Crying, howling

Breathing difficulties


Rapid, shallow breaths

Gums bluish or purple

Stretching neck out when breathing

Coughing continually

Abdominal issues

Abdomen distending


Puppy/kitten – should be evaluated right away

Adult – if vomiting doesn’t stop, is frequent, or other signs of discomfort

Danger of dehydration

Ingestion of substance

Call vet or animal poison control to learn if substance is toxic

Do NOT induce vomiting unless advised by professional

Gums yellow or pale

Straining at urination or defecation

Squatting without producing waste

Neurologic issues


Rolling uncontrollably, or head severely tilted

Behavior changes


Avoiding OR seeking interactions – unusually

Bumping into items

Crying, howling, whining


Eyes bulging, squinting, painful

Discharge from vulva or penis

In labor and not passing puppy/kitten

Anything that makes you nervous or concerned

Stay tuned to the Veterinary Emergency Clinic page to learn more about what to do during the first stages of these emergencies. Remember, when your vet isn’t available, Veterinary Emergency Clinic is.

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