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What is a pet emergency?

If your pet exhibits any abnormal activity or behaviour, a veterinary consultation is a good idea. The following symptoms are definitely emergencies and require immediate medical attention.

Emergency Symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing, blue tongue or raspy breath sounds
  • Swollen or distended abdomen, with or without productive vomiting
  • Inability to urinate or defecate, especially if straining
  • Ingestion of toxin, including but not limited to: chocolate, rodenticides (mouse and rat bait), garden pest control products (snail baits), prescription, over the counter or illegal drugs, and household cleaners
  • Trauma such as being hit by a car, a fall from a height or blunt force
  • Collapse/inability to stand or walk Loss of balance or consciousness, convulsions or seizure activity
  • Penetrating wound, such as bite wounds (from a dog or cat)
  • Bleeding that does not stop Vomiting or diarrhoea with blood
  • Heatstroke: heavy panting, weakness on a warm day
  • Exposure to snakes or ticks

Emergency consultations are for an “emergency situation” that is described as urgent or critical health problems that your pet may have between the hours of 6pm and 8am; these hours are when your local Greencross Vet may be closed and you require urgent vet care for that is vital to your pet’s life.

Emergency consultations do not include the following: vaccinations, microchipping, nutritional counselling, nail clips, physical exams for your pet’s wellness, behavioural consultations and other such non-life threatening care that is not urgent or critical in nature.

Please contact your local veterinary practice for advice or treatment immediately if you are worried about your pet’s health, or for after-hours emergencies please contact the Animal Emergency Centre on 1300 AEC VET (1300 232 838).

For more information please visit the Animal Emergency Centre website.


Healthy Pets Plus Members are entitled to receive unlimited emergency consultations at selected animal emergency centres listed above.