Thursday, May 18, 2017

Dog Medical Emergencies Survey: Is an Unresponsive Dog an Emergency?

87.88% survey participants checked an unresponsive dog as an emergency.



I suppose I should leave some room for people interpreting unresponsive as disobedient? Otherwise, I cannot understand how this one didn't get 100% people agreeing on it being an emergency.

If a dog so unwell that they are not responding isn't an emergency, what is?


If a dog is ill enough to be unresponsive, it is absolutely a huge emergency. I still remember our neighbor's dog like it was yesterday. I went to do something in the kitchen when I noticed neighbor's dog laying on the front lawn, being hosed down. He was unaware of his surroundings. his erratic breathing resembling some kind of spasms.

I came out to see what happened to be told that he collapsed on a walk. They believed he was suffering from the heat; that's why they were hosing him down. I wouldn't dare to make an assessment what was wrong with him, but I knew he needed a vet immediately whatever it was.

At my insistence, they wrapped him in wet towels and drove off to an emergency hospital where he died shortly after arrival from a heart failure.

You can read Rufus' story here.

If your dog is unresponsive, their body is in big trouble.


Some of the potential causes include:

  • severe advanced infection
  • heart failure
  • liver or kidney failure
  • severe neurological problem
  • trauma
  • poisoning
  • diabetes
  • hypoglycemia
  • shock
  • coma


Even on the day of her worst horror, Jasmine was still responsive. Even though she couldn't stand up or walk, was feeling terribly miserable, her spirit and mind were fully there. The only time Roxy was unresponsive was during her seizures.

Do you think that an unresponsive dog is not an emergency?


Further reading:
Overview of Coma, Stupor & Decreased Consciousness in Dogs


Related articles:
Dog Medical Emergencies Survey
Dog Medical Emergencies Survey Results
Is Unproductive Retching an Emergency?
Is Difficulty Breathing an Emergency?
Is Panting an Emergency?
Is Severe Pain an Emergency?
Is Limping an Emergency?
Is Vomiting Bile in the Morning an Emergency?
Is Profuse Vomiting an Emergency?
Are Convulsions or Seizures an Emergency?
Is Loss of Appetite an Emergency?
Is Reduced Activity an Emergency?
Is Severe Lethargy an Emergency?
Is Inability to Stand an Emergency?
Is Inability to Urinate an Emergency?
Are Cuts and Abrasions an Emergency?
Is Bleeding an Emergency?
Is Blood in Vomit an Emergency?
Is Fresh Blood in Stool an Emergency?
Is Black, Tarry Stool an Emergency?
Are Pale Gums an Emergency?



Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog now available in paperback and Kindle. Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency.

28 comments

  1. This is my biggest fear. To see tiny Montecristo like that ON the road. Ugh. It's tough enough when home and near our vet... but we would never let fear stop us!

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    1. When I have a health concern with Cookie traveling, I actually look up a whole bunch of emergency hospitals along the way so I always have a place to turn to should something go wrong on the way.

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  2. I would always treat an unresponsive dog as an emergency. A very serious one!

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    1. Definitely is. The survey results seem quite shocking to me.

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  3. I remember when Baby RIP collapsed on my carpet, I put her in a carrier and ran the 5 blocks to the vet as I thought I would get there quicker than calling a taxi as I do not drive. So yes if I think something is not right off I go

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    1. So sorry about your baby :-( Yes, sometimes things are quicker on foot than trying to get a ride. Except our guys are big so that would not be a possibility.

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  4. Completely agree.... unresponsive means distress! ~ Dear Mishu

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    1. Isn't it scary that not a single condition listed got 100%, not even this one?

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  5. An unresponsive dog is always an emergency. I can't believe that not everyone would be of the same notion. That makes me nervous for their pets.

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    1. I totally agree; makes me very very scared for their pets.

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  6. Of course an unresponsive dog is an emergency! If I had a dog, he'd be in the back seat of my car pronto on the way to the vet. No question.

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    1. Definitely. I can't imagine the reasoning the people who didn't check it used.

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  7. Unresponsive is definitely an emergency to me. Lola was unresponsive for about 10 seconds when she fainted after vomiting. I rushed her to the emergency vet. Even though she came around and was singing the song of her people in the car, we still went.

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    1. Yes, it always means a major problem. Glad she was okay.

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  8. Pet parents should recognize something is wrong with their pets before they become unresponsive. By then it's probably too late, like your friends, and it's something you have to live with.

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    1. I agree though sometimes it can just happen without a warning. But when it does, it definitely should be treated as an emergency.

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  9. It is surprising that 100% of the respondents didn't think this was an emergency. They must have misunderstood what unresponsive meant. I'd have the girls in the car on the way to the vet - no questions asked!

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    1. I agree, while some of the other things can be a judgement call, there are a couple on the list which should always be treated as an emergency. And this one it certainly one of them.

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  10. I 100% think that an unresponsive dog, or any animal, is an emergency! That would be terrifying to find one of my pets unresponsive.

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  11. Unresponsive animals are always an emergency. I hope I would notice an issue before it got to that but there could be sudden effects of poisoning or infection etc. In our travel tips we say check risks in areas you will visit and know emergency resources and contacts.

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    1. I'd hope one would see it coming too. But there are cases when that is the first thing to be seen. Such as with the dog in the story I linked to. He was fine and then, suddenly, he wasn't.

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  12. That kind of blew my mind when I read only 87.88% thought an unresponsive dog is an emergency. But like you said, perhaps someone thought you meant disobedient or accidentally clicked the wrong thing.

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    1. Yeah, it blew my mind too. It shows that there is still need to educate.

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    2. It would have to be quite a few people who clicked the wrong thing or thought it meant disobedient. Still hoping that's what did it, though.

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  13. Of course. It's an emergency if my dog breaths funny. I once took my cat to the Vet because her ear was bleeding - turned out she scratched a mosquito bite. I called it the $50 bug bite because the Vet said she had to change me something.

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    Replies
    1. LOL $50 dollar bug bite. Always better safe than sorry, though.

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