One afternoon Mary Roberts found her cat, Nestor, acting panicked and breathing very rapidly. Not knowing what to do, she called Veterinary Emergency Group and spoke to Dr. Victoria Falen on the phone within seconds. Dr. Falen agreed that Nestor’s behavior sounded concerning, so Mary brought him straight into VEG, where he was seen by Dr. Falen right away.
Mary was able to stay with Nestor the entire time he was there, through diagnostics and treatment. Ultimately, Nestor was diagnosed with feline asthma and was eventually safe and healthy enough to get home. Afterward, Mary wrote that, in spite of her concern about her feline friend, this was the “best experience I have ever had at any kind of veterinary emergency or urgent care… I feel extremely confident leaving my kitty there to be monitored. Y’all were superb!”
This is the kind of experience VEG aims to provide every pet parent.
While Mary Roberts knew right away that Nestor was not acting normally, sometimes the signs that something is wrong can be a little more insidious. Knowing what to look for when your pet is sick is extremely important, and can mean the difference between life and death in some situations. There are a few telltale signs that can let you know if your pet may be having a problem.
At VEG, we encourage owners to become very familiar with their pet’s normal breathing rate, activity level, appetite, weight, and “body condition” (overall build or shape). Rapid changes in any of these can potentially indicate a serious illness. If your pet is breathing consistently faster or shallower than normal, if they are eating significantly less food than is usual, or if they have a notable behavior change, such as hiding or avoiding the family, something may be seriously wrong.
As pet owners, we must pay special attention to these subtle clues, as they may be the only signs that we get that something is wrong, as animals have no other way of telling us.
There are also a number of situations where a visit to the ER may be necessary. Some of them are obvious, such as wounds/bites, repeated vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, or collapse, but others are less obvious. A sudden swelling on the face could indicate a venomous snake bite or a serious allergic reaction, and a swollen belly could indicate fluid in the abdomen that should not be there. Even non-life-threatening issues like limping or an ear infection could be painful or uncomfortable enough that the kindest thing is for them to be evaluated sooner rather than later. The best thing to do if you are worried is to call!
Veterinary Emergency Group’s mission is “helping people and their pets when they need it most,” and that is at the heart of every decision that we make. We have been in Allen since February 2023 and are focused on providing care to North Texas pets when it is most needed. We handle all types of cases, from vomiting to complex surgeries, treating any animal that will fit through our door — tails to scales.
Unlike a traditional veterinary emergency hospital, we have no “back.” We keep our patients with their owners during their entire visit, as we recognize that no one knows that pet better than its owner. By focusing on the human-animal bond, we are able to keep both pet and owner more comfortable during their visit, and are also able to truly work with pet owners, not just for them. This collaborative approach is helping VEG transform veterinary emergency medicine.
The best thing to do if you are worried is to call!