Understanding Emergencies

August 17, 2014

Island Veterinary Clinic provides after-hours emergency services. We do, however, hope that clients

understand not to abuse the emergency line for non critical enquiries as it can displace genuine cases from getting our attention.


Before picking the phone to call any veterinary clinic's emergency hotline, it is important to identify your pet's symptom(s) and understand whether it constitutes as a life-threatening condition.



Symptoms of life-threatening conditions:


  • Difficulty breathing

    • noisy respiration,

    • blue tongue,

    • gasping for breath.


  • Bleeding that does not stop from any part of the body; apply pressure with a clean cloth and go!


  • Bloated or distended abdomen or swollen or painful abdomen with or without vomiting.


  • Inability to urinate or move bowels but continues to try or has bloody stool or urine or painful defecation or urination.


  • Heatstroke

    • Heavy panting

    • extreme weakness

    • body temperature of 40 degrees celcius and above.


  • Inability to deliver puppies or kittens, labour contractions for longer than one hour or more than 15 minutes of labor with the fetus or membrane showing.


  • Loss of balance or consciousness or seizure, including

    • tremors,

    • coma,

    • staggering,

    • convulsions,

    • sudden blindness,

    • tilting of the head,

    • biting at imaginary objects,

    • sudden changes in disposition such as unusual withdrawal or out-of-character aggressiveness.


  • Pain, severe or continuous.


  • Major trauma,injury, or shock from

    • falls,

    • vehicle accidents,

    • wounds,

    • cuts,

    • broken bones


  • Shows signs of:

    • weakness,

    • collapse,

    • shallow breathing,

    • rapid heartbeat,

    • bewildered appearance,

    • dilated pupils.


  • Ingested poison; bring the container or the commercial or chemical name of the product or a list of ingredients if you have it.


  • Penetrating wounds, but especially in the chest or abdomen.


  • Vomiting or diarrhea with blood or violent episodes.


  • Lameness and cannot bear any weight on the leg.


  • Any other signs that look serious, such as:

    • eye problems,

    • severe itching with self-mutilation,

    • severe hives


What to do in an emergency:


  • Call your regular vet (if they have an emergency helpline and facilities) or the nearest clinic to inform that your pet needs to go in. The veterinary personnel will be able to advise you accordingly.


  • If you would like to use our emergency service, call either Island Vet Jurong or Island Vet Bedok - the clinic that is located closest to you - and our veterinary personnel will be able to advise you accordingly.


  • Stay Calm and be sure to articulate your pet's condition well to the veterinary personnel


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