Have you ever had a question about your dog or cat you just can’t find an answer to? Or if you do find answers, they’re often either contradictory or too general to apply to your pet. Pawp’s online vets want to make sure you’re never confused when it comes to your pet again. Need a straight answer? Get a vet’s opinion on it.
Every week, Pawp’s online vets answer a few of the questions they’ve received from pet parents. Last week, we asked a vet about dog nutrition, cat training, and more. This week, we're talking emergency vet bills and separation anxiety. Of course, every pet is different, so talking to a vet about your unique situation is always recommended — especially if you’re worried it’s an emergency.
Every emergency, like every pet, is different. How much your emergency vet visit costs will depend on the clinic, your location, and your pet. Emergency vet visits can range from $250-$8,000. You will be charged for a consultation/exam of $100-$150 for seeing the vet regardless of whether it turns out to be a real emergency or not. Talking to a vet online before visiting a clinic can prevent unnecessary spending in the event that your pet’s issues can be solved at home.
Firstly, how long has it been since your dog stopped eating? Has there been any vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy? Is your dog still drinking water? If you are concerned about your dog, I would suggest talking to a veterinarian immediately. They can help narrow down whether it’s because of stress, dental problems, food quality, or underlying health issues. If you think it’s more that your dog is being picky, you can either slowly introduce a new type of dog food or perhaps add a tasty topper to help incentivize your dog.
If your dog’s destructive behaviors only occur when you are outside of the home, it may be separation anxiety. Your dog may behave differently when you are about to leave; they may try to stop you from leaving; they may start barking or making other distress noises. If your dog is experiencing mild separation anxiety, you should teach your dog how to make more positive associations with you leaving. It’s called counterconditioning. Offer your dog a treat-dispensing puzzle toy they only play with when you’re not home. It will preoccupy their time and also allow them to associate you leaving with treats. If your dog’s separation anxiety is more severe, talk to a vet or behaviorist about alternative methods.
Cat vomiting can be classified as chronic (once or twice fairly regularly) or acute (multiple times on one occasion). If your cat is vomiting acutely, you should talk to a veterinarian immediately, especially if your cat isn’t able to keep any food down. A cat with more chronic vomiting issues may still need to see a vet, but it isn’t as urgent. Reasons your cat could be vomiting include eating something toxic, food allergy, medicinal reaction, gastrointestinal inflammation, hyperthyroidism, infectious disease, and cancer. If you are concerned about your cat, talk to a vet sooner rather than later as waiting may increase health risks.
Cats use their paws to understand objects — they need to know it feels like, smells like and whether it’s a threat or dinner. They are natural hunters with the need to explore what’s safe and they’re also naturally playful. Knocking things over can be both purposeful and not. It should also be said, cats can be skillful manipulators, so if knocking over certain objects garners your attention, your cat may be inclined to do it again (say around 4 am when they want to eat). It can be helpful to limit your reactions and remove anything breakable from the equation so as not to reward those behaviors with attention.