When to Call an Emergency Veterinarian in St. Paul, MN

It is not always obvious what represents an emergency and when to call the veterinarian. If your pet has an illness or injury, it is important to stay calm, evaluate the situation, and act quickly.

A pet emergency could be anything from your cat or dog bleeding to your pet being unconscious and not getting up. Read this article to discover common pet emergencies and what to do if it occurs. If you have any questions or think your pet may be experiencing a medical emergency, call St. Paul Pet Hospital in Cathedral Hill at (651) 789-6275 or Highland Park at (651) 789-0099.

emergency vet in st. paul, mn

What is Considered a Vet Emergency?

A pet emergency is when something is wrong and needs immediate medical attention. It is not always easy to speculate what is and what is not an emergency. The following are considered veterinary emergencies.


If your pet is bleeding and the blood loss lasts for more than 5 to 10 minutes, or if there is a considerable amount of blood loss, your pet should be evaluated by a veterinarian. With a small cut or scrape, you can most likely wait for it to be looked at the following day unless the wound needs to be repaired.

Breathing difficulties

If your pet is choking, open mouth breathing (cats), or struggling to breathe, you must get them to a veterinarian immediately.

Eye injury

Any problems with the eye could be serious and need to be evaluated by a veterinarian.

Inability to urinate or produce stool

Male cats can get urinary obstructions. This condition is significant, and can be life-threatening!  This situation is an emergency and your pet should be evaluated by a veterinarian immediately.

A very painful acute injury

Any painful acute injury should be evaluated by a veterinarian.

Severe vomiting or diarrhea

This can cause dehydration and loss of electrolytes, which is dangerous. It is especially alarming if they are vomiting or having diarrhea multiple times a day, accompanied by fever or lethargy.  Your pet should be evaluated by a veterinarian.

Refusal to eat or drink

If your pet has not eaten or drank any water for over 24 hours, you should contact your veterinarian for further instructions.  There are some situations where it is not unusual to not consume or eat/drink for 24 hours (i.e. immediately after surgery, etc).


Your pet should be evaluated by a veterinarian if they have a temperature higher than 103 degrees.

Labor problems

If your pet is in labor and they have gone several hours between delivering kittens or puppies, your pet should be evaluated by a veterinarian immediately.

Abnormal gum color

This could mean pale pink, white, or blue gums. This condition could be a sign of anemia or blood loss.   Emergency treatment should be sought immediately.

A distended or bloated abdomen

These can be signs of a life-threatening situation!  Emergency treatment should be sought immediately.

Coughing up pink, frothy, or foamy liquid or blood

Coughing up any abnormal fluid is not normal, and your pet should seek emergency treatment.

Seizures or collapse

Please contact your veterinarian immediately to triage the situation to see if this is a medical emergency.


If your pet was hit by a car, involved in a fight, or experienced any type of trauma, you should seek veterinary treatment.


If your pet got into rat poisonings, cleaning products, human medications, or other possible toxins, you must get them to a veterinarian immediately.  Keep in mind that human foods can also be toxic to your pet.

Reach Out to Our St. Paul, MN, Animal Hospitals If Your Pet is Experiencing an Emergency

This information should give you a general idea of what a true pet emergency looks like. If your pet is experiencing any of the above listed or emergencies or if you are concerned your pet may have a different medical emergency, please call or bring them to one of our animal hospitals in St. Paul, MN.