• 91 Weatherly Club Dr, Alabaster, AL 35007

    (205) 621-5755

  • Trauma

  • Emergency care begins with your call to the veterinarian. Be prepared to describe the emergency situation. Your veterinarian may instruct you on how to administer first aid and how to safely transport your pet. You may be able to identify life‑threatening airway, breathing, and circulation problems with the help of a veterinary professional on the telephone. Follow instructions regarding immediate treatment and transport. Calling ahead also gives the veterinary staff some time to prepare for your arrival.

    Accidents, falls, and fights with other animals may result in different types of trauma. In blunt trauma, the animal has been struck by an object (such as a car) but the skin was not penetrated. Blunt trauma is commonly associated with internal bleeding, organ rupture, fractures, and head injuries. In penetrating trauma, a sharp object, such as an arrow or bullet, pierces the skin, and injuries are related to the path of the penetrating object. Falling from a height can cause multiple bone fractures, as well as injuries to the chest and organs. A dog bitten by another larger dog can have deep penetrating bite wounds and will frequently have spinal injuries and tracheal rupture from the thrashing motions experienced during the attack.

    For all types of trauma, airway, breathing, and circulation are evaluated and stabilized as described above. Control of bleeding, oxygen if needed, and pain relief are also given immediate attention. After stabilization, the nervous system, chest, abdomen, and bones are carefully evaluated. Blood tests, urine tests, and x-rays may be performed as needed. Trauma to the eye is also a common emergency.

    Animals that have suffered a trauma often have multiple injuries, some of which may not be immediately obvious. Whenever the animal is moved or being examined, the neck and spine should be kept still in case there are spinal fractures or other problems that cannot be readily seen. Broken legs may be wrapped with bandages or splinted. Because many problems are not apparent for 12 to 24 hours after trauma occurs, your pet needs careful monitoring in the veterinary hospital.



    • Severe trauma
    • Heat exhaustion or stroke
    • Frostbite or exposure to cold
    • Profuse bleeding from the nose, mouth, ears, or rectum
    • Painful eyes with squinting, pupils that appear larger or smaller than usual, protruding eyeball
    • Frequent vomiting and/or diarrhea, with or without blood
    • Retching or unproductive vomiting, particularly if the stomach or abdomen looks bloated
    • Difficulty breathing or other respiratory distress
    • Collapse or coma
    • Paralysis or severe neck or back pain (arching, twisted)
    • Painful or bloated abdomen
    • Clusters of seizures within a 24-hour period or a seizure that does not stop after several minutes
    • Prolonged labor or difficulty giving birth
    • Suspected poisonings, insect bite reactions, snake bites, scorpion bites, toad poisoning
    • Extreme lethargy
    • Prolapse of the rectum or uterus