Frequently Asked Questions

There is no question too big or too small for our veterinary team. Below are some answers to our most common questions.

The Answers to Your Questions

At Calusa Crossing Animal Hospital, we get a ton of interesting questions from pet parents. Below are some common FAQs that might help answer any questions or concerns. Please feel free to call us at 305-234-1044 for any other concerns you might have about your pet.

How Do I Know if My Pet Is Having an Emergency?

Signs Your Pet May Need Emergency Care

Your dog may need emergency care because of severe trauma—caused by an accident or fall—choking, heatstroke, an insect sting, household poisoning or other life-threatening situation. Here are some signs that emergency care is needed:

  • Lethargy or collapse
  • Anxiety or restlessness
  • Difficulty breathing (e.g., noisy breathing, stretching the head and neck out while breathing, seeing the abdominal body wall moving a lot while breathing)
  • Constant coughing and inability to rest through the night
  • Coughing up pink, frothy, foamy liquid (or blood)
  • Panting constantly
  • A respiratory rate > 60 breaths per minute at home while resting (TIP: count the number of breaths taken over 15 seconds and multiple by 4)
  • Abnormal gum color (e.g., pale gums, blue gums, etc.)
  • A distended, “bloated” abdomen
  • Non-productive retching (which is classic for gastric-dilitation volvulus or “GDV”)
  • Pale gums (which is often seen with internal bleeding or anemia)
  • An elevated heart rate (> 160 beats per minute at home)
  • Crying out in pain
  • Any wound on the body
  • Jaundiced (yellow gums)
  • Not being able to move or walk or dragging of the back legs
  • Any significant amount of bleeding
  • Any trauma (regardless of how minor it may appear)
  • Bite wounds or attacks by another animal
  • Any poisoning or toxin ingestion
  • Vomiting more than 2-3X in a row
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Abnormal odor from the body
  • Feeling very hot or cold to the touch (NOTE: You can always try to check your pet’s temperature with a pet thermometer; if the temperature is < 99 or > 103.5, please contact a veterinarian immediately!)
  • Squinting, bulging, discolored or painful eyeballs
  • Straining to urinate, making multiple trips to urinate, squatting to urinate without producing any urine
  • Anything that makes you worried
  • Tremors or seizures
  • Seizures lasting for more than 2-3 minutes or having more than 2-3 seizures in a 24-hour period
  • Any abnormal behavior that you’re worried about (e.g., acting aloof or particularly clingy)

When Should I Call the Vet?

  • Change in Eating Habits
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Eye Appearance
  • Vomiting
  • Change in Stool
  • Lethargy
  • Sudden Weight Loss
  • Scooting

Could This Be Poison?

When in doubt, you can also call the non-profit ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), as they can provide life-saving poisoning advice and determine if you even need to go into the veterinarian or not! (Please be aware there is a $65 fee for the call, but this also helps with management at your veterinary clinic for poisoning advice).