Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Warning Signs You Should Take Your Dog to the Vet

Warning Signs You Should Take Your Dog to the Vet

When your dog is hurt or not feeling well it can be hard to determine if you should take them to the vet or wait and see how their condition develops. In this blog, our Lafayette vets from St. Francis Veterinary Hospital discuss some warning signs that warrant a veterinary visit.

Signs You Should Take Your Dog To The Vet

Every pet owner has a nightmare when their pup becomes suddenly ill or hurt in the middle of the night. The problem is, you don't know whether the injury or illness is serious enough to take them to the vet or if you should just wait and see if their condition becomes worse.

To help you determine whether or not you should take your pup to the vet our knowledgable vets in Lafayette LA have listed some of the symptoms you should never ignore:

Hard Swollen Abdomen

There are various reasons why your dog's abdomen could become hard and swollen (or bloated) including heart failure, liver dysfunction, uterine infection, internal bleeding, or 'bloat'. It's never a smart idea to ignore signs of a bloated abdomen in dogs. If your pup is displaying signs of a bloated abdomen it's time to head to the vet because it's an emergency.

If your dog has a bloated stomach, and you notice other symptoms such as pacing, repeated unsuccessful vomiting attempts, or saliva coming back up, your dog could be suffering from Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV), which is also called "Stomach Torsion," or “Dog Bloat.” Bloat is an extremely serious condition that requires immediate veterinary care!

Exposure to Toxins

There are lots of human foods, medications, household products, and garden plants that are toxic to dogs. If you see your dog eating something they shouldn't, don't wait for your dog to become severely ill. Call your veterinarian immediately! When your pup is poisoned, early treatment is essential for good outcomes.

Some of the most common toxins include: 

  • Chocolate
  • Grapes & Raisins
  • Avocados
  • The artificial sweetener Xylitol
  • Slug bait
  • Tulip and Daffodil Bulbs
  •  Azaleas and rhododendrons
  • Over-the-counter medications such as pain-killers

Extreme Pain

When your dog is in pain it is always an emergency! If your pooch is exhibiting obvious signs of pain such as vocalizing, panting, drooling, or profoundly limping don't let your dog needlessly suffer. If your dog is in pain, take them to the vet.

Vomiting & Diarrhea

All dogs vomit at some point in their lives, and the majority of dogs will have the odd loose stool, however, repeated sessions of vomiting or diarrhea can quickly cause dehydration which could be extremely serious. Vomiting and diarrhea can also be symptoms of more serious issues such as poisoning or gastrointestinal obstruction. If your dog is repeatedly passing loose stools or vomiting, call your veterinarian immediately.

If your pup is young it's extremely important to keep an eye out for signs of Parvo. Parvo in puppies is a common disease that can potentially be deadly. If your puppy is experiencing diarrhea and vomiting call our Lafayette vet clinic or an emergency vet immediately! Parvo is very contagious, inform your vet and let them know of your suspicions so that they can take the appropriate quarantine measures to keep other animals safe.

Inability to Urinate

An inability to urinate (or reluctance to urinate) can be a sign of a bladder infection or something even more serious. While bladder infections can be extremely painful for dogs they aren't life-threatening. However, an inability to urinate can be a sign that your dog's urinary tract has become obstructed by bladder stones. If your furry friend can't urinate there is a very good chance they are in pain and require immediate veterinary care. Contact your veterinarian or an emergency vet as fast as possible.

Ultimately, it's your choice whether you take your dog to the vet or not. However, when it comes to protecting the health of your dog we always feel that it's better to be cautious. When you have doubt contact your vet for help.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms or requires urgent veterinary care contact our Lafayette animal hospital immediately. For more information about the services, we offer at St. Francis Veterinary Hospital visit our website.

New patients are always welcome.

We look forward to meeting your beloved pet at St. Francis Veterinary Hospital.

Learn More


151 S Beadle Rd Lafayette LA 70508 US


  • Click to View

    • Monday:07:30 am - 05:30 pm
    • Tuesday:07:30 am - 05:30 pm
    • Wednesday:07:30 am - 05:30 pm
    • Thursday:07:30 am - 05:30 pm
    • Friday:07:30 am - 05:30 pm
    • Saturday:08:00 am - 12:00 pm
    • Sunday:Closed

Book Online (337) 269-4031