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What Are The Most Common Small Animal Emergencies?

What Are The Most Common Small Animal Emergencies?

It is a big world full of dangers when you are a small animal. Today we will go over some of the more common problems your small friend can encounter that should have you bringing them in to see the emergency veterinarian.

Common Small Animal Emergencies

Your small animal companion can mean the world to you. You love and cherish your small pet be it canine, feline, rodent, or other. But the truth is the world is a dangerous place when you are small. Today we will go over some common issues that small animals face that you should seek emergency veterinary care.


Now we are not saying that all cases of vomiting/diarrhea are an emergency. It can happen to most pets but the issue is the severity.

If your precious pet is continuously vomiting/having diarrhea or there is blood in the bodily discharge it is time to see the vet now.

If there is blood in the stool/vomit it is often a symptom of a larger problem such as tumors, ulcers, or poisoning.

If the vomiting/diarrhea does not stop within 24 hours or it is excessively severe it can put your pet at a risk of dehydration which can be lethal.


We are not suggesting that anyone is intentionally poisoning their pet but what is fine for a human is not the same for a pet. Humans are considered a generalist species. We can exist in many different climates and we are omnivores with a wide variety of options for our diets. Our small animal companions are not necessarily considered a generalist species and some may be closer to specialist species that can live in only certain environments and have a narrower diet that they can consume safely. The problem with this is our pets don’t necessarily have any idea that they can’t or shouldn’t eat certain things. Some examples are:

Gum (which you as a human shouldn’t swallow but isn’t normally considered an emergency if you do) can contain xylitol which is poisonous to dogs.

Chives are poisonous to cats but delicious to humans.

Chocolate is poisonous to a large number of creatures that aren’t human.

Sometimes it isn’t even the food that is the problem. Most animals groom by licking themselves; this means if their fur comes in contact with a poisonous substance they will end up consuming it. A commonly dangerous plant are lilies which shed yellow pollen that can stick to furry animals and become dangerous when consumed while self-grooming. If you suspect your pet has consumed something they shouldn’t call your vet for instructions. They will be better able to tell you the effect each ‘poison’ can have on your pet and what to do for first aid/how urgently you need to take your pet in for veterinary care.


Little pets have bodies that need to be handled carefully. Stepping on your pet's paw when they are underfoot feels awful for the human but can be damaging for the pet. It doesn’t take much force to hurt a small animal. Also, animals don’t know what can and will hurt them.

Pets will occasionally get loose and then can be at risk from cars, unfamiliar terrain, and other animals.

If your pet is the adventurous sort they may get injured exploring your home by trying to jump on and off furniture.

Regardless of how your pet got hurt, if you have reason to believe that your pet is injured or has broken something please go see your emergency vet. Your pet can’t tell you what is wrong, only your vet can.

In Summary

Use good judgment with your small animal companion and when in doubt call your vet.

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

If you think your pet needs emergency care contact us immediately. We are here to help.

New Patients Welcome

VRCC Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Hospital in Englewood is always accepting new patients! Our board-certified specialists and emergency veterinarians are passionate about restoring good health to Denver Metro area pets.

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