Home Emergency InformationWhat to do in common situations

What to do in common situations

Toe nail cut too short and bleeding

Apply a cautery powder obtained from a pet store or veterinary clinic and apply pressure for 30-60 seconds. If a cautery powder is not available, flour can be used as a substitute. Bleeding that persists for more than 6-10 minutes following this treatment should be seen by a veterinarian.

Bleeding from lacerations or injury

Apply a clean cloth or sterile gauze with direct pressure for 5-7 minutes to stop bleeding. If the blood is bright red and bleeds in "spurts", this is likely arterial blood and is a life threatening emergency. A tourniquet should NOT be applied unless absolutely necessary and never for longer than 20 minutes. Cuts that bleed excessively, are longer than one inch, or are more than skin deep should all be seen by a veterinarian. If the injury does not meet any of the above criteria, you may simply shower off the area, apply direct pressure, flush the wound with clean cool water and leave it open to heal. Some wounds may also be wrapped for short periods (1-5 days). Triple antibiotic ointment or Neosporin may be applied three times daily as healing progresses. Monitor your pet for signs of loss of appetite, fever, redness, swelling or pain. If any of these signs are noted, call your veterinarian.


All food and water should be withheld for 12 hours if vomiting occurs more than once. Look for evidence of blood, foreign bodies, or packaging in the vomit. If you suspect your pet may have eaten something poisonous, bring a sample of the poison in its original packaging if possible. The name of the active ingredient in the poison would be helpful if the packaging cannot be brought in. Consult your veterinarian immediately if vomiting continues after the food and water are taken away or if vomiting returns once it is replaced.


If your pet has eaten something poisonous, give 1 teaspoon (per 10lbs of the pet's body weight) of hydrogen peroxide orally every 10 minutes until your pet vomits. If no vomiting has occurred following 30 minutes, a treatment by your veterinarian is likely required. Call your veterinarian immediately. It is wise to contact your veterinarian prior to administering the hydrogen peroxide as some poisons and toxins are made worse if vomiting is induced, e.g. corrosive material such as strong acid, alkali, or petroleum-based products. Help is also available by calling Poison Control at 800-222-1222.


If the animal is unconscious, lift the rear legs and squeeze on the chest firmly until fluid ceases to drain from the mouth. Transport to a veterinary clinic immediately.

Heat Stroke

This condition is a reaction by the body to excessive internal temperatures (often in excess of 105° F). Clinical signs include: elevated heart and respiratory rate, sudden collapse, and general distress. Take the animal to a cool shaded area and douse with cool water. It is best not to soak the entire animal in cold water, rather to cool large portions separately (this allows the heat to escape). Transport to a veterinary clinic immediately.

Bee or wasp sting

Apply a cool pack and/or anti-histamine cream to swelling to the affected area. If the animal is having difficulty breathing or is developing significant swelling, it should be transported to a veterinary clinic immediately. Oral Benadryl may help to control the swelling (you should contact your veterinarian before giving oral Benadryl to your pet to determine the correct dosage). If the swelling is not markedly improved within 12-14 hours, consult with your veterinarian.

Burns or scalds

Douse the area with cool running water, place wet towels over the affected areas and transport to a veterinary clinic.


Try to keep your pet from injuring itself as best as possible. Do not put your hand near or in its mouth as your pet may accidentally bite you. Try to calm your pet following the seizure. Staying in the dark may help them to recover as smoothly as possible. If you pet has more than one seizure in 12-24 hours, they should be seen immediately as this can be indicative of cluster seizures which can be fatal.

Hit by car

Look to see if your pet is conscious and if the airway is obstructed. Do not put your hands in its mouth. Cover any lacerations with the cleanest material available and transport to a veterinary clinic immediately, ideally in a box, basket or cage. Towels or blankets can also be used to support your pet while lifting.


This condition is a reaction of the body to some sort of trauma or stressful event. Clinical signs include; lethargy, pale or white mucous membranes, weak pulse, elevated heart rate, low body temperature, elevated respiratory rate, and cool limbs. This is a medical emergency and you should transport your pet to a veterinary clinic immediately.


Carefully open your pet's mouth and evaluate their mucous membrane color (blue is a sign that there is significant airway obstruction). Look to see if anything is lodged on the roof of the mouth or directly in the back of the mouth. You may try to dislodge a foreign body if you can see it, but be careful not to get bitten or to further push the foreign body down the airway. See the description of the Heimlich maneuver.

The Heimlich Maneuver

Large Breed Dogs:

  1. Stand over your dog with your legs approximately at their shoulders facing toward their back end. Your knees should be slightly flexed and holding the dog in position.
  2. Make one hand into a fist and cover it with your other hand.
  3. Place your hands onto the dog's abdomen and slide them forward until you feel the beginning of the rib cage. At this point immediately prior to the rib cage, begin short and sharp thrusts every few seconds to try to dislodge the foreign body. The direction of the thrust should be oriented in a diagonal direction toward the dog's head.
  4. Repeat as needed.
Smaller breeds or unconscious animals:
  1. Lay the animal on its side and brace your knee against its back.
  2. Again feel for the transition from the abdomen to the ribs. When its found, hold your hands as described above and make short and sharp thrusts downward every few seconds.
  3. Repeat as needed.
You may also try the above techniques while holding the dog upside down (hold the animal's back against your chest) in order to use gravity to help dislodge the object.
Immediately following this procedure whether it's effective or not, you should transport your dog to a veterinarian.

Small Animal CPR

  1. Access the airway by opening the animal's mouth to look for an obstruction and to note the color of the mucous membranes.
  2. Straighten the neck of the animal with the head in line with the neck (be very careful if neck trauma is suspected.)
  3. Close the mouth and give 2 mouth to nose breaths. If the breaths go in with no problem, continue as follows, if not, read the Heimlich Maneuver.
If the animal is not breathing on its own, breathing should be continued at 20 breaths per minute or 1 breath every 3 seconds.
  1. Once the airway is established, lay the animal on its right side.
  2. Feel for the presence of a pulse.
    If no pulse is felt, begin chest compressions by placing both hands on the point of the chest where the left elbow meets the chest.
  3. Give 3 compressions every 2 seconds.
  4. After 15 compressions, give 2 mouth-to-nose breaths and then continue the compressions as necessary.
Immediately following this procedure whether it's effective or not, you should transport your pet to a veterinarian.

Equine foaling

Equine foaling typically occurs within 20 minutes. If it is a difficult birth, keep the mare up and walking until a doctor can get there. Check for the foal's nose and 2 front feet. If there is only one foot, wash your hands and try to find the other foot to help it along. New foal and mare exams must be done within 24 hours to check the mare for vaginal tears and to check the placenta. For foals, they need to be checked for a leaking umbilical cord, mouth deformities, etc. An IgG test is needed for the foal's immunity should be done as close to 24 hours after birth as possible.

Normal Canine Vital Signs

Heart rate: 60-160 beats per minute
Respiratory rate: 10-30 breaths per minute (unless panting)
Temperature: 100.5 - 102.5 °F
Mucous Membrane color and refill time: Pink, <2 seconds

Normal Feline Vital Signs

Heart rate: 150-250 beats per minute
Respiratory rate: 15-30 breaths per minute (open mouthed breathing in cats is considered an emergency)
Temperature: 100.5 - 102.5 °F. Mucous Membrane color and refill time: Pink, <2 seconds

Normal Equine Vital Signs

Heart rate: 28-40 beats per minute
Respiratory rate: 10-14 breaths per minute
Temperature: 98.7-101 °F
Mucous Membrane color and refill time: Pink, <2 seconds

Normal Alpaca Vital Signs

Heart rate: 70-120 beats per minute
Respiratory rate: 6-18 breaths per minute
Temperature: 100.5-102.5 °F
Mucous Membrane color and refill time: Pink, <2 seconds

How to obtain Vital Signs?

Heart Rate: Place a hand over the chest or on the inside of the back leg and measure pulse.
Respiratory Rate: watch the chest expand and deflate or place a wet finger in front of the nostrils.
Temperature: temperature should be taken rectally. Newer human digital thermometers work well.

What is our policy regarding Emergency service?

Wellington Veterinary Clinic provides 24 hour emergency service to both clients and non-clients in our work area. During regular hours of operation, please call our main number 440-647-4100 and one of our trained staff members will assist you.
After our normal hours of operation, including weekends and holidays, you can reach an on-call veterinarian by calling 440-647-4100. Your call will be transferred to the on-call veterinarian. You may need to leave a message if the doctor is busy on another emergency. He or she will get back to you, and will determine the best course of action for your emergency.
Please be aware that an emergency fee will be assessed depending on the time of the day. Payment is due at the time of service.

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