Pet owners are often faced with a dilemma when what may be a pet gets sick while the vet’s office is closed: Should the animal be brought to an after-hours emergency clinic, or can it wait for the vet’s normal business hours?
Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a situation is an emergency. If there is a question about the severity of the situation, call the emergency clinic and ask to speak to a veterinarian. Usually, explaining the circumstances or symptoms to a professional can help to determine if an emergency visit is necessary or recommended.
Any abnormalities should be reported to the family vet and a visit should be scheduled as soon as possible.
However, there are some symptoms and situations that require immediate care. If a pet is experiencing any of the following, get immediate vet attention:
Difficulty breathing or if breathing becomes either shallow or extremely rapid.
The animal is nonresponsive, wavering or collapsing when walking.
Seizures, if the pet is not already on medication for the condition.
Extreme pain, usually accompanied by rapid breathing and moans of pain. If pain is suspected, do not waste time, and do not give the animal over-the counter-medication or human prescription medicines.
Ingesting a possible poison or a medication that was not meant for the pet or even a small quantity of chocolate. Call the vet immediately or the poison control line for animals at (888) 426-4435. The line is available 24 hours a day.
Vomiting that continues, particularly if it contains blood.
Bleeding from mouth or rectum. If there’s a small amount in the stool, it can wait for the vet’s office to open, but if it is blood only, get to the vet immediately.
If the pet is hit by vehicle, seek help immediately. While injuries may not be apparent, there could be internal injuries and/or bleeding that could be fatal if not treated immediately.
Always be prepared. Have the veterinarian’s phone number and address handy, as well as a nearby after-hours emergency clinic’s phone number and address. Save this information in your cellphone.
SATURDAY: Join local yoga instructor Christie Solano at Yoga on the Lakefront at 10 a.m. in front of the Mardi Gras Fountain near Canal Boulevard. Solano will lead an all-levels vinyasa flow class benefiting the Louisiana SPCA. Bottled water will be provided, but bring your own mat. Free with a suggested $10 donation. Visit.la-spca.org/events for information.
SUNDAY: A Dogs and Babies Workshop will be held at the Louisiana SPCA, 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd., from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The training class is great for those who are expecting. The humans-only workshop will give you the tools to help ensure a smooth transition for your entire family. Some topics covered include crate training, teaching your dog to settle, helping your dog disengage from the baby, getting your dog used to the new routine, acclimating your dog to all the new sights, sounds, smells and props that come along with the baby and expectations for dog-baby interactions. The Dogs and Babies workshop includes resources, training plans, video tutorials and live demos. The cost for the two-hour workshop is $25 per person or $40 per couple. Registration is required. Visit www.la-spca.org/trainingworkshops for information and to register.
SUNDAY: A free Intro to Dog Training workshop will be held at 3 p.m. at the Louisiana SPCA, 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd. It is open to new adopters, seasoned pet owners and anyone looking to learn a little more about how to effectively communicate with their dog. This workshop covers the basics of how dogs learn and how to make the most of their training. As an added benefit, anyone who attends this free workshop will receive a discount code for 10 percent off a manners training class. Note that this is a humans-only workshop. No registration is required. For information, visit www.la-spca.org/trainingworkshops.
SUNDAY: Enjoy a Sunday Jazzi Brunch Buffet, benefitting the Louisiana SPCA, with bottomless mimosas, unlimited food and live music at Algiers Auditorium, 2485 Guadalcanal St., in New Orleans every Sunday in June from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are $30 for early registration. Use Promo code LASPCA for 20 percent off. For information, visit http://bit.ly/jazzibrunch.
LOST OR FOUND PETS: In Orleans Parish, send a photo, description of your pet, date lost/found and your contact info to email@example.com. In Jefferson Parish, send to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. In St. Bernard Parish, send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a nonprofit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. Contact ARNO at email@example.com, or visit www.animalrescue neworleans.org.