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


  • Difficulty breathing, blue tongue or raspy breath sounds
  • Swollen or distended abdomen, with or without productive vomiting
  • Inability to urinate or defaecate, especially if straining. (Cats may repeatedly go to the litter box, lick at the genital area, and/or vocalise)
  • 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. PLEASE BRING THE CONTAINER WITH YOU!
  • Trauma such as being hit by a car, a fall from a height or blunt force, even if the animal is NOT showing any ill effects!
  • Collapse/inability to stand or walk
  • Loss of balance or consciousness, convulsions or seizure activity
  • Penetrating wound, such as bite wounds (dog or cat), gunshot or stab wounds.
  • Bleeding that does not stop. (Apply pressure with a clean cloth while on your way)
  • Vomiting or diarrhea with blood
  • Heatstroke: heavy panting, weakness on a warm day
  • Exposure to snakes or ticks


When faced with a veterinary emergency, it is a good idea to telephone ahead to Treasure Coast Animal Emergency, with the animal’s breed and approximate size, present symptoms and any other health problems.

Whilst on the telephone, we suggest you confirm the exact location of our hospital.

Please note: patients are seen in order of urgency, not order of arrival. At times, there may be a wait before a veterinarian is available. We appreciate your patience whilst we attend to patients with immediately life-threatening problems.


Once your pet’s condition has been stabilized, they may be hospitalized until your regular veterinary clinic is open or is stable enough to go home. If needed, you will need to make arrangements to transfer your pet back to your normal vet. Other times, your pet will return home with you and you will be asked to visit your regular veterinarian for follow-up when appropriate.