Photo by Ernani Marques
Keeping a cat or a dog means you may sometimes come across situations that require an emergency vet help, while other situations can allow a waiting time or even be treated at home. This article is meant to help you make the right decision. So, when does your pet needs to see a vet?
Throwing up is not usually a reason to rush to a vet unless it happens frequently, more than 3 times within 2 hours or 6 times within 12 hours. Blood is the vomit is also a reason to show your companion to a vet.

Take your pet to a vet if there's blood in its poop or urine, as well as when your pet has problems pooping or urinating. This includes constipation for more than 3 days and diarrhea for more than 2 days.

Cuts and scraps require the same treatment you'd do for yourself. If you can clean and bandage it, do it. If a would needs stitches or if you cannot stop bleeding, go to a vet.

If your pet has experienced a serious trauma like getting hit by a car or falling down from a height, take it to a vet as soon as possible even if nothing seems wrong. Internal injuries can be difficult to spot especially if the animal is shocked.

If your pet has serious coordination disorders or walking problems (except those situations when it's expected, like recovering from an anesthesia), take it to a vet. Mild limping can be caused by thorns, cuts, and other minor wounds on the foot pads. If you can find the cause and deal with it, do it. If you cannot find the cause and mild limping persists for more than a day or two, you should see a vet.

If your pet cannot open its eyes because of pus or excessive running, if there's a foreign object in the eye that you cannot remove, go to a vet.

If your pet's behavior has changed all of a sudden without an obvious reason, if it appears sick or lethargic, go to a vet.

If your pet has a fever, go to a vet as soon as possible. The normal body temperature for cats and dogs is about 100 to 103°F (37.8 to 39.4°C). The temperature should be taken by inserting the thermometer into the rectum slowly and carefully for about 1 inch. Hold it in place for 2 mins (mercury thermometers) or until it beeps (if you're using a digital one).

Last but not least, a refusal to drink for about a day as well as a refusal to eat for 2 days or more must never be taken lightly. Show your pet to a vet as soon as possible.

Whenever you're unsure about what to do, don't hesitate to call your vet and discuss your concerns with him. Most vets won't refuse.

If you think this list is not complete, feel free to contribute to it by leaving a comment.