First Aid for Cats: Ten reasons to seek Immediate Veterinary Care
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When cats are injured or sick, sometimes people think cats can get better on their own. And cats are very stoic, they rarely show that they are in pain or suffering, which makes it even more difficult to know when to take your cat to the vet. Here are some circumstances that are warning signs of major health issues that only a vet can diagnose properly. So always take your cat to see a vet, even if it has to be an emergency clinic in the middle of the night, if he has any of these symptoms:
1. If your cat has been hit by a car, even if there are no outward signs of injury. My cousin had a kitten who was hit by a car at night, his leg and spine were broken but he walked home! My cousin saw that he was very close to the car that hit him but didn't know the cat was hurt until the next morning, when he was showing signs of shock. When he took him to the vet, he had to put him down.
2. If your cat has been in a cat fight, again, even if there is no sign of injury. There could be subtle injuries that if left untreated could cost you your cat's life. I had a cat, her name was Chloe, she got into a fight, and her tail was bitten. I didn't know to take her in to the vet right away and the bite got infected. She almost lost her tail because of my negligence.
3. If your cat has suffered from trauma of any sort like a fall from someplace high, as a passenger in a car, hit by something, kicked, or abused in anyway. (see my post Driving Miss Kitty for tips on how to keep your cat safe in the car) Internal injuries and shock can have a devastating effect on your cat.
4. If your cat is in shock, even if you don't think anything happened to him, take him to the vet if he shows signs of shock. Watch for weak or rapid pulse, gums start out red or pink then turn grey, dazed or lethargic, shallow breathing, nervousness, difficulty standing, pupils dilating at different rates, or your cat being cold or shivering.
5. If your cat is dehydrated. How can you tell if your cat is dehydrated? pull on the skin on his back, if it kind of stays up in the shape when you pulled it, your cat is dehydrated and needs an immediate IV of fluids. Your cats skin should be elastic and return to its normal shape after it's pulled.
6. If your cat might have ingested something toxic like antifreeze, human medications, or anything that cats aren't supposed to eat, things that may be find for you could be deadly to your cat.
7. If your cat loses consciousness, even for a second or two, is a sign of some sort of brain trauma.
8. If your cat is bleeding and you can't stop it, even when you apply pressure and bandage it.
9. If your cat has bloody urine or diarrhea with blood. Not good, internal injuries, get him to the vet now.
10. Obviously, if your cat is having trouble breathing take him in, or if he isn't breathing, start breathing for him by administering CPR and get him to the vet immediately.
If your cat has any of these signs, stay calm and talk to him in a calm voice, wrap him gently in a large towel or blanket and place him in his carrier and get him to the vet immediately.
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