14 Concerning Signs Your Pet Needs a Vet Immediately

When our pets seem a little uncomfortable, there are times when their symptoms can wait until the next vet appointment. Other times, their state might be more serious. In these cases, pet owners must act fast to seek medical attention.

If you notice your cat or dog displaying any of these 14 concerning signs, take them to a vet immediately!

Unusual Fatigue

A change in behavior is one of the most obvious signs that something is wrong. This is especially true if your usually energetic, happy-go-lucky pup is suddenly acting sluggish and lethargic. 

A sudden loss of energy could be a sign the pet’s body is fighting off disease, illness, or infection. 

Changes in Appetite

Similarly, if your pet has a change in appetite, this is a red flag that something is wrong.

Keep in mind that small, temporary fluctuations in appetite can be totally normal. But if your pet is refusing to eat or drink enough for more than a day, bring him to a vet immediately. 

Unusual Stool

Waste can be a major indicator of overall digestive health. Keep an eye out for any unusual appearance in your pet’s stool. This could include mucus, blood, lasting diarrhea, or other unidentifiable substances. 

Vomiting More Than Twice in 24 Hours

Much like fluctuations in diet, occasional vomiting should not raise too much concern. But if your pet vomits several times within 24 hours, this could be a sign of illness.

You should also be concerned if the vomiting is accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, or diarrhea. 

Limping or Dragging Feet

Damage to the legs and paws of our furry friends can be extremely uncomfortable for them. They will often displace this pain by limping or moving their extremities as little as possible, causing their feet to drag behind them. 

Bring your pet to the vet to discover the reason behind this behavior. It could even be a symptom of a broken bone. 

Discharge from Orifices 

Another worrisome symptom you should be aware of is discharge coming from your pet’s orifices. This includes the eyes, nose, ears, genitals, and anus. 

This is most often the sign of an infection. But it could also indicate a parasitic infestation, such as ear mites. 


Much like in humans, a seizure is a majorly concerning symptom for pets to display. They are often triggered when pets ingest toxins or suffer trauma to the head. Younger pets may be developing epilepsy. Older pets may be developing a disease of the central nervous system.

When left untreated, multiple seizures could cause lasting damage to the brain.

Difficulty Breathing

If your pet is coughing, wheezing, or choking on something, this could cause difficulty breathing. In this case, you need to bring him to an emergency vet clinic as soon as possible.

The pet may be able to resolve the obstruction on his own, but if the difficulty continues, his life could be at serious risk. 

Bite Marks

Cats and dogs can sometimes be too curious for their own good. This can lead them to run-ins with other critters. 

As soon as you notice bite marks on your pet, you should seek medical attention. 

At worst, a bite from a wild animal could carry rabies, parasites, or infection. Or if it was from a snake, the bite could be poisonous. 


If your pet is bleeding, you will need to assess the wound and determine if it is treatable at home. For example, a broken nail might just need a bandage until it heals. But an open wound with excessive bleeding will require immediate vet care. 

If you are ever unsure, you can always call your local clinic and describe the severity of the injury. They will let you know the best course of action. 

Displays of Pain

Unfortunately, our pets can’t speak to us and let us know when they feel unwell. That’s why we should be very aware of how they display signs of pain.

This could include whining, crying, howling, pacing, restlessness, and an inability to get comfortable. Additionally, if your pet is acting unusually aggressive and snapping at anyone who comes near him, this could be a sign he is experiencing pain. 

Learn more about how pets display pain over at this post.

Bloated Abdomen

When your pet is having tummy issues, this may cause a bloated abdomen that is firm to the touch. Touching his belly may even cause pain, so be careful while inspecting him.

If a dog has a bloated abdomen and looks like he is trying to vomit, he may have a twisted stomach and needs to be seen immediately. 

If the boating lasts more than a couple of hours, this could be a sign they have ingested a toxin or foreign object. It could also be a parasite causing the tenderness. 

Sudden Weight Loss

Unless your pet is placed on a diet or introduced to a new workout routine, he should not experience much weight fluctuation. Changing brands of food is not enough to cause sudden weight loss. 

So if your pet is experiencing this symptom, the explanation could be medical. Take him to a vet as soon as possible. 

Collapse or Fainting 

Finally, if your pet has collapsed or lost consciousness, this is a serious symptom that requires immediate medical attention. 

Many things could cause this to happen, and none of them are good. Even something as simple and treatable as heatstroke will require treatment, so don’t underestimate the seriousness of this condition. 

Veterinary Hospital in Frederick, MD

Is your pet displaying one of these concerning symptoms? Call Old Farm Veterinary Hospital to discuss his condition. 

Our team of caring and experienced veterinarians will let you know the severity of the issue and the best course of action. We can treat a wide variety of illnesses, diseases, injuries, and parasites

Conveniently located in Frederick, Maryland, we are the best choice for emergency veterinary care. Call now!