When to Get Your Small Pet to the Vet

As the owner of a small animal, whether it's a hamster, rat, rabbit, or other pet, you must be cautious when it comes to injury or health concerns. These little animals are fragile and there may come a time when an emergency visit to the vet is warranted.

When should you run to a vet ASAP? Take a look at this list of accidents and injuries to know when a vet’s advice is needed. 

  • Long fall - Although some small animals can be resilient when they fall due to their weight and flexibility, it's possible for them to sustain internal injuries. If they're limping or moving slowly or awkwardly, it’s a sign that something is wrong.
  • Respiratory problems - If your little guy or gal is having trouble breathing, he or she could have something lodged in their throat or may have developed a respiratory issue.
  • Bleeding from an orifice - This is generally very obvious and can indicate a wide range of emergency needs.
  • Excessive bleeding - If you find a cut and the bleeding won't stop, bandage it up and go to the vet right away!
  • Sensitivity to touch - A normally friendly animal acting aggressive when approached or touched could indicate pain or distress.
  • Attacked by an animal - If another animal has attacked your small pet, he or she could have serious internal injuries. Watch to see if your critter starts acting funny.
  • Lethargic - If your pet isn't as active as normal, this could be the sign of a disorder, and professional care should be provided.

To tend to your small animal before taking him or her to the doctor, be sure you own a first aid kit. Basic items like a magnifying glass, bandages, gauze, tweezers, rectal thermometer, and cotton swabs are essential. But also don't forget certain medicines like eye wash solution, topical antibiotic ointment, and wound disinfectant. For a full list of what you should include, check with your veterinarian.