When Illness Strikes
We Can Be Your Guide


This chart is meant to serve as a guide only and should not be taken as medical advice. Speak to a veterinarian to confirm your pet’s condition.

Level 1 - Life Threatening

Go To Emergency (Immediate Triage)

Please scroll left/right to display all table columns.
Signs Possible Events Possible Disease
Unresponsive/Unconscious Hit By Car, Fall, Blow To Head Cardiac, Trauma, Primary Neurological Disease
Collapse But Conscious Trauma, Insulin Overdose
Seizure, Exercise Induced
Cardiac, Hypo Glycemia (Low Blood Glucose), Hypotension (Low Blood Pressure) Internal Bleeding, Anemia, Splenic Rupture, Seizure
Paralysis/Paresis (Hind End Weakness) +/- Vocalizing In Cats Sudden Usually No Known Trauma Intervertebral Disc Disease
Saddle Thrombus (Cats) (Clots)
Obvious Hemorrhage /Active Bleeding Trauma Or Spontaneous Laceration, Nasal Trauma, Oral Trauma, Bleeding Mass
Respiratory Distress (*Cats/Dogs) Trauma, Spontaneous, Heat
Or Exercise Induced
Cardiac – Cats, Heart Failure, Pneumonia, Aspiration Pneumonia, Pneumothorax (Air Outside Of Lungs In Chest), Laryngeal Paralysis
Seizures Continuous > 5min Spontaneous, Error In Insulin, Poisoning Epilepsy, Hypoglycemia, Ingestion Of Toxin
Abdominal Bloating Abnormal Food Or Volume Of Food
Spontaneous Or Trauma (Spleen)
Gastric Volvulus Dilation (GDV), (Stomach Bloats And Twists Preventing Movement Of Gas), Splenic Rupture
Profound Vomiting And Diarrhea Unvaccinated Puppies Parvovirus, Addisonian Crisis
Severe Lethargy Mutliple Causes
Unable To Urinate (*Cats) Urinary Blockage Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, Urethral Stones
Retching Without Producing Anything Ingestion Impaction Of Treat Or Toy Esophageal Foreign Body
Various Signs From Seizure To Vomiting Toxin Ingestion Xylitol, Grapes Onion Chocolate Renal Injury, Liver Injury
Oral Burns, Difficulty Breathing, Collapse Chewing Electrical Wires Electrocution, Non Cardiogenic Pulmonary Edema
Hyperthermia /Hypothermia Pet Left In Hot Car, Fall Through Ice Potential Organ Failure Without
Rapid Treatment

Level 2 - Emergency

Go To Emergency, Urgent or Primary Care (Could Become Life Threatening. Treatment Shortly After Presentation)

Please scroll left/right to display all table columns.
Signs Event Disease
Difficulty Birthing Dystocia,
Extreme Retching / Swallowing Missing Toy Or Large Treat Esophageal Foreign Body
Cluster Seizures Epilepsy, Toxin Ingestion
Vaginal Discharge Unspayed Female, Increased Thirst Increased Urination, Not Eating Or Vomiting Pyometra
Bloody Vomiting Or Diarrhea Mulitple Episodes Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis, Parvo, Ratbait Ingestion
Swollen Red Eye, Squinting, Head Shy Glaucoma, Uveitis Deep Corneal Ulcer
Inability To Use Hind Legs Intervertebral Disc Disease
Cat Cannot Urinate, In And Out Of Litter Feline Lower Urinary Tract Dis, Urethral Blockage

Level3 - Urgent

Seek Appointment With Urgent Care or Primary Care Vet Asap (Urgent But Not Life Threatening)

  • Non weight bearing lameness without obvious fracture
  • Small lacerations currently little or no bleeding
  • Tearing from eye – some squinting (coreal ulcer)
  • Vomiting and diarrhea short term and pet is still bright and active
  • Allergic reaction- hives or swollen muzzle – if just received vaccine– return to clinic
  • Single seizure less than 5 minutes
  • Coughing but otherwise normal activity bright eating and drinking.
  • Blood tinged urine , small frequent urinations but not straining.

Level 4 - Non-Urgent

Seek Appointment With Primary Care Vet

  • Skin issue: lumps bumps rashes itchy
  • Ear Infections head shaking and scratching at ears
  • Diarrhea less than 24 hours
  • Broken nail
  • Mild lameness, still weight bearing
  • Abscess
  • Scooting (dragging anus on floor)
  • Parasites in feces, fleas, ticks