What problems can the FirstVet vets help me with?

Do I need to schedule an appointment with my regular vet? Is this an emergency?!

We’ve compiled an extensive list of common health concerns to help you answer your most pressing pet-related questions. From diarrhea and vomiting to biting and barking, you’ll find answers and peace of mind with our expert advice.

For even more information, check out our extensive library of pet health articles here!

Stomach and Intestines

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they develop diarrhea. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

If your pet is lethargic, has severe stomach pain, shows signs of dehydration, has not eaten or drank for a prolonged period, or has bloody or very dark stools, he or she should be seen by a nearby veterinarian as soon as possible.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they are vomiting. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

If your pet is lethargic, has severe stomach pain, has vomited repeatedly over a short period of time, shows signs of dehydration, can’t keep food or liquid down, or has blood in the vomit, he or she should be seen by a nearby veterinarian as soon as possible.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they develop inappetence. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

If possible, please take your pet's temperature before the video call so that we can gather as much information as possible. Alternatively, if you have a digital thermometer ready, we can walk you through taking your pet’s temperature during the consultation.

If your pet is lethargic, has severe stomach pain, has vomited repeatedly over a short period of time, shows signs of dehydration, can’t keep food or liquid down, or has blood in the vomit or stool, he or she should be seen by a nearby veterinarian as soon as possible.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they develop constipation. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

If your pet is lethargic, has severe stomach pain, has vomited repeatedly over a short period of time, shows signs of dehydration, can’t keep food or liquid down, or has blood in the vomit or stool, he or she should be seen by a nearby veterinarian as soon as possible.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they develop anal gland problems. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they have eaten something inappropriate. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

If you suspect that your pet has swallowed a large object that could get stuck or damage the stomach or intestines, you should seek veterinary advice as soon as possible - if your waiting time for a video call with FirstVet is more than 30 minutes, please contact your regular veterinary clinic or a nearby emergency clinic right away.

If your pet is lethargic, has severe stomach pain, has vomited repeatedly over a short period of time, shows signs of dehydration, can’t keep food or liquid down, or has blood in the vomit or stool, he or she should be seen by a nearby veterinarian as soon as possible.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they develop stomach or abdominal pain. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

If your pet is lethargic, repeatedly retches/gags without vomiting, has severe stomach pain or distention, has vomited repeatedly over a short period of time, shows signs of dehydration, or cannot keep food or liquid down, he or she should be seen by a nearby veterinarian as soon as possible.

FirstVet vets can provide expert information about intestinal worms and other parasites. If you’ve seen worms in your pet’s stool or vomit, we’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home.

If veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment. We can also discuss how to collect and submit a stool sample to your regular vet and answer any questions you have about deworming medications and parasite preventatives.

IMPORTANT: If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, it’s essential to get help right away - if your wait time with FirstVet is more than 15 minutes, please contact your regular vet or a nearby emergency clinic right away. It may be necessary to make your pet vomit in order to remove the toxic substance. This must take place within 2 hours of ingestion in order to be successful. Treatment should not be delayed.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if you suspect they have eaten something poisonous. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

When scheduling your appointment, it's important to provide as much accurate information about your pet and the possible poison as possible. Include details such as the product or chemical name, how much was eaten, and what your pet weighs.

IMPORTANT: If you suspect your pet has eaten grapes or raisins, it’s essential to get help right away - if your wait time with FirstVet is more than 15 minutes, please contact your regular vet or a nearby emergency clinic while awaiting your appointment. It may be necessary to make your pet vomit in order to remove as much of the food as possible. This should take place within 2 hours of ingestion in order to be successful. Treatment should not be delayed.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if you suspect they have eaten grapes or raisins. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

When scheduling your appointment, it’s important to provide as much accurate information as possible. Include details such as the type of food ingested, how much was eaten, and how much your pet weighs.

Skin, Fur and Ears

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they develop ear problems. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

If your pet’s ears remain painful or the problem isn’t improved after the initial treatment, your pet should see their regular veterinarian. The vet will be able to look into the ear canal with a special instrument called an otoscope. They may even take swabs to see if there’s an infection in the ear canal and determine if the eardrum is damaged.

While FirstVet cannot prescribe medications, we can provide instructions for how to treat the ear problem before and after your visit with your regular vet.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they are itchy. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

While FirstVet cannot prescribe medications, we can provide instructions for how to treat the itching before and after your visit with your regular vet. We’ll help you assess the most likely cause of the itching and discuss what tests, treatments, and long-term management may be needed. If your pet suffers from chronic itching, we can refer you to a veterinary dermatologist for further evaluation.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they develop a rash or hot spot. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

While FirstVet cannot prescribe medications, we can provide instructions for how to treat the skin rash or hot spot before and after your visit with your regular vet. We’ll help you assess the most likely cause of the itching and discuss what tests, treatments, and long-term management may be needed. If your pet suffers from chronic skin problems, we can refer you to a veterinary dermatologist for further evaluation.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they have a wound. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

While FirstVet cannot prescribe medications, we can provide instructions on how to treat the wound before and after your visit with your regular vet. Fortunately, antibiotic treatment is rarely needed with prompt and thorough care of small wounds.

Please try to provide a few detailed pictures of your pet’s wound when scheduling your appointment. If the wound is deep or very large, or if the wound cannot be appropriately assessed during your video appointment, your FirstVet vet may recommend making an appointment with your regular vet for further care.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they have an abscess. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

While FirstVet cannot prescribe medications, we can provide instructions on how to treat the abscess before and after your visit with your regular vet. Fortunately, antibiotic treatment is not always needed with prompt and thorough care of small abscesses.

Please try to provide a few detailed pictures of your pet’s abscess when scheduling your appointment. If the abscess is deep or very large, or if the wound cannot be appropriately assessed during your video appointment, your FirstVet vet may recommend making an appointment with your regular vet for further care. Some abscesses must be lanced and cleaned while the pet is under light sedation.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if you find a lump. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

Please try to provide a few detailed pictures of your pet’s lump when scheduling your appointment. This will help your vet determine what the lump could be and whether additional testing is needed. If it's determined that your pet should see their regular vet, we can help you decide how quickly the pet should be seen, review tests that may be recommended, and discuss possible treatment plans based on the diagnosis.

Eyes

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they have eye pain or inflammation. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

Many problems that cause eye pain and inflammation require a visit to your regular vet. We can help you determine how quickly your pet should be seen and provide a referral to a veterinary ophthalmologist if necessary.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they have watery or goopy eyes. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

Many problems that cause squinting or closing of the eyes require a visit to your regular vet. We can help you determine how quickly your pet should be seen and provide a referral to a veterinary ophthalmologist if necessary.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they are squinting or can’t open their eye(s). We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

Many problems that cause squinting or closing of the eyes require a visit to your regular vet. We can help you determine how quickly your pet should be seen and provide a referral to a veterinary ophthalmologist if necessary.

Mouth and Teeth

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they have problems with their teeth or mouth. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

Please try to provide a few detailed pictures of your pet’s mouth and/or teeth when scheduling your appointment. Be sure to mention if you’ve noticed bleeding from the mouth, excessive saliva, or changes to your pet’s eating habits. This will help your vet determine what the problem could be and whether additional testing is needed. If it's determined that your pet should see their regular vet, we can help you decide how quickly the pet should be seen, review tests that may be recommended, and discuss possible treatment plans based on the diagnosis.

Examples of common oral problems include broken teeth, retained baby teeth, bad breath (halitosis), plaque and inflamed gums (gingivitis), and wounds to the mouth, lips, or tongue.

Pain or Injury to the Back, Legs, Paws or Nails

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they have problems with their paws or nails. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

Please try to provide a few detailed pictures of your pet’s paw or nails when scheduling your appointment. This will help your vet determine what the problem could be and whether additional testing is needed. If it's determined that your pet should see their regular vet, we can help you decide how quickly the pet should be seen, review tests that may be recommended, and discuss possible treatment plans based on the diagnosis.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they are limping. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

Please try to provide a video of your pet limping or moving abnormally when scheduling your appointment. This will help your vet determine what the problem could be and whether additional testing is needed. If it's determined that your pet should see their regular vet, we can help you decide how quickly the pet should be seen, review tests that may be recommended, and discuss possible treatment plans based on the diagnosis.

If your pet has chronic or recurrent problems with lameness or other painful conditions, an examination with your regular vet may be necessary so that medication can be prescribed. During your FirstVet appointment, we can refer your pet to a veterinary orthopedic or pain specialist if necessary.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they have back pain or difficulty using their back legs. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

Please try to provide a video of your pet walking or moving abnormally when scheduling your appointment. This will help your vet determine what the problem could be and whether additional testing is needed. If it's determined that your pet should see their regular vet, we can help you decide how quickly the pet should be seen, review tests that may be recommended, and discuss possible treatment plans based on the diagnosis.

IMPORTANT: If your pet is having difficulty using moving their legs or you suspect your pet may be paralyzed, it’s essential to get help right away - if your wait time with FirstVet is more than 12 hours, please contact your regular vet or a nearby emergency clinic while awaiting your appointment. It may be necessary for your pet to be seen for a full physical exam and prescribed medication. Treatment should not be delayed.

If your pet has chronic or recurrent problems with lameness or other painful conditions, an examination with your regular vet may be necessary so that medication can be prescribed. During your FirstVet appointment, we can refer your pet to a veterinary orthopedic or pain specialist if necessary.

Panting and Difficulty Breathing

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they are having breathing problems. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

IMPORTANT: If your pet is breathing rapidly, taking shallow breaths, or using the whole abdomen to breathe, you should visit your regular vet or an emergency clinic immediately. Also note: open-mouth breathing or panting in cats is abnormal and should also be evaluated right away. A prolonged waiting time for a video consultation with FirstVet should not delay a visit to your veterinarian.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they are coughing. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

IMPORTANT: If your pet is choking, breathing rapidly, taking shallow breaths, or using the whole abdomen to breathe, you should visit your regular vet or an emergency clinic immediately. Also note: open-mouth breathing or panting in cats is abnormal and should also be evaluated right away. A prolonged waiting time for a video consultation with FirstVet should not delay a visit to your veterinarian.

Please try to provide a video of your pet coughing when scheduling your appointment. This will help your vet determine what the problem could be and whether additional testing is needed. If it's determined that your pet should see their regular vet, we can help you decide how quickly the pet should be seen, review tests that may be recommended, and discuss possible treatment plans based on the diagnosis.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they have nasal discharge. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

If possible, please take your pet's temperature before the video call so that we can gather as much information as possible. Alternatively, if you have a digital thermometer ready, we can walk you through taking your pet’s temperature during the consultation.

It may also be helpful to provide a few detailed pictures of your pet’s nose and/or nasal discharge when scheduling your appointment. This will help your vet determine what the problem could be and whether additional testing is needed. If it's determined that your pet should see their regular vet, we can help you decide how quickly the pet should be seen, review tests that may be recommended, and possible treatment plans based on the diagnosis.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if their breathing sounds unusual or if they are experiencing reverse sneezing. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

IMPORTANT: If your pet is choking, breathing rapidly, taking shallow breaths, or using the whole abdomen to breathe, you should visit your regular vet or an emergency clinic immediately. Also note: open-mouth breathing or panting in cats is abnormal and should also be evaluated right away. A prolonged waiting time for a video consultation with FirstVet should not delay a visit to your veterinarian.

Please try to provide a video of your pet’s problem when scheduling your appointment. This will help your vet determine what the problem could be and whether additional testing is needed. If it's determined that your pet should see their regular vet, we can help you decide how quickly the pet should be seen, review tests that may be recommended, and discuss possible treatment plans based on the diagnosis.

Weight Concerns and Obesity

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they are losing weight. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

If it's determined that your pet should see their regular vet, we can help you decide how quickly the pet should be seen, review tests that may be recommended, and discuss possible treatment plans based on the diagnosis.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if you’re worried about obesity or weight gain. We’ll provide professional advice and guidance on achieving a healthy weight for your pet so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home. If veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

FirstVet vets can provide professional advice and guidance about the care and feeding of your pet, regardless of age. During your video appointment, we can provide recommendations for proper nutrition, vaccinations, deworming, and other preventative care concerns.

Behavior

FirstVet vets can provide professional advice and guidance if you need help with your pet’s behavioral issues. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

Common behavioral concerns include fear, anxiety, aggression, separation anxiety, biting, and urinating in inappropriate places. Our vets understand that these issues can be complex and very distressing to you and your pet. Behavioral issues often take a strong commitment to training and treatment over long periods of time. FirstVet can also provide referrals to veterinary behaviorists and animal training specialists in your area.

FirstVet vets can provide professional advice and guidance if you need help with your pet’s fear of loud noises, like fireworks or thunderstorms. Unfortunately, we cannot provide prescriptions for medication during our video calls. However, we’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

Our vets understand that these issues can be complex and very distressing to you and your pet. Behavioral issues often take a strong commitment to training and treatment over long periods of time. FirstVet can also provide referrals to veterinary behaviorists and animal training specialists in your area.

If your pet has a known fear of loud noises such as fireworks, we strongly recommend seeking help well in advance of holidays such as Independence Day and New Year’s Eve. This will allow plenty of time or you and your pet to be prepared for the stressful event.

Urinary and Reproductive Issues

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they are having problems with urination. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

IMPORTANT: If your pet is having difficulty urinating, they should be examined by your regular vet or an emergency vet right away. FirstVet is available to help with advice and referral in these urgent cases, but a prolonged waiting time for a video consultation with us must not delay a visit to your veterinary clinic.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if you suspect they have a urinary tract infection (UTI) or other urinary problem. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

UTIs often require a visit with your regular vet for a physical exam and urinalysis. A urine sample needs to be evaluated for the presence of blood, white blood cells, bacteria, and crystals. If bacteria is found, your vet may recommend performing a urine culture to determine the type of medication needed for treatment.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they are leaking urine. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they are straining to urinate or seem painful when trying to urinate. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

IMPORTANT: If your pet is having difficulty urinating, seems unable to urinate at all, or has been trying to urinate for several hours, they should be examined by your regular vet or an emergency vet right away. FirstVet is available to help with advice and referral in these urgent cases, but a prolonged waiting time for a video consultation with us must not delay a visit to your veterinary clinic.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they have problems with their genitals or urinary tract. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

Please try to provide a few detailed pictures of your pet’s problem area when scheduling your appointment. This will help your vet determine what the problem could be and whether additional testing is needed. If it's determined that your pet should see their regular vet, we can help you decide how quickly the pet should be seen, review tests that may be recommended, and possible treatment plans based on the diagnosis.

IMPORTANT: If your animal is having difficulty urinating, they should be examined by your regular vet or an emergency vet right away. FirstVet is available to help with advice and referral in these urgent cases, but a prolonged waiting time for a video consultation with us must not delay a visit to your veterinary clinic.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if she has vaginal discharge. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

If possible, please take your pet's temperature before the video call so that we can gather as much information as possible. Alternatively, if you have a digital thermometer ready, we can walk you through taking your pet’s temperature during the consultation.

If your pet is lethargic, has a fever, or has foul-smelling vaginal discharge, she should be seen by your regular vet right away. During your FirstVet appointment, if it's determined that your pet should see their regular vet, we can help you decide how quickly the pet should be seen, review tests that may be recommended, and discuss possible treatment plans based on the diagnosis.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if she is pregnant or giving birth. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s pregnancy and delivery at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

Our vets can help you determine if your pet is having a normal pregnancy. We can also guide you through the delivery process and provide you with ways to monitor your pet’s progress. If you suspect that your pet is having difficulty giving birth, she should be seen by your regular vet or at an emergency clinic right away. During your FirstVet appointment, if it's determined that your pet should see their regular vet, we can help you decide how quickly the pet should be seen, review tests that may be recommended, and discuss possible treatment plans based on the diagnosis.

Emergencies

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if you suspect they have a high fever. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

If possible, please take your pet's temperature before the video call so that we can gather as much information as possible. Alternatively, if you have a digital thermometer ready, we can walk you through taking your pet’s temperature during the consultation. Normal rectal temperatures for dogs and cats range from about 100-102.5°F.

If your pet is lethargic, has severe stomach pain, has vomited repeatedly over a short period of time, shows signs of dehydration, can’t keep food or liquid down, or has blood in the vomit or stool, he or she should be seen by a nearby veterinarian as soon as possible.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if you suspect they have been bitten by a snake. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

Most pets that have been bitten by a snake should receive immediate medical attention. If you need assistance, we can help you find a nearby clinic or emergency hospital and provide guidance on how to give first aid. Prolonged wait time for a video consultation with FirstVet must not delay treatment at a veterinary clinic.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if you suspect they are in shock. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition while awaiting care with your regular vet or nearby emergency clinic.

Signs of shock include weakness, high heart rate (greater than 150 beats per minute) with a weak pulse, pale or very red gums, low temperature, and dull mentation or lack of response to stimulation. This often occurs as a result of severe trauma and/or blood loss.

If your pet is in shock, try to keep them as quiet and comfortable as possible. Control any external bleeding by applying pressure to the wound with a clean dressing or cloth. Seek immediate medical attention. A prolonged waiting time for a video consultation with FirstVet must not delay treatment at a veterinary clinic.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if they are bleeding. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage minor bleeding at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until they can be seen by your regular vet or nearby emergency clinic.

If your pet has a large wound or is bleeding heavily, you should seek immediate medical care. On the way to the clinic, try to keep your pet as quiet and comfortable as possible. Control any external bleeding by applying pressure to the wound with a clean dressing or cloth.

Monitor your pet for signs of shock. These include weakness, high heart rate (greater than 150 beats per minute) with a weak pulse, pale or very red gums, low temperature, and dull mentation or lack of response to stimulation. This often occurs as a result of severe trauma and/or blood loss.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if you suspect they have heatstroke. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

If your pet is showing signs of mild heat stress, it may be appropriate to try to cool them off with cool water or a wet cloth before visiting your regular vet. Signs of mild heat stress include panting, seeking shade, mild anxiety, drooling, and red gums. Please note that even if your pet experiences mild heatstroke, they should be examined by your regular vet as soon as possible.
If possible, please take your pet's temperature before the video call so that we can gather as much information as possible. Alternatively, if you have a digital thermometer ready, we can walk you through taking your pet’s temperature during the consultation. Normal rectal temperatures for dogs and cats range from about 100-102.5°F.

IMPORTANT: If your pet is weak, collapses and cannot stand up, is having difficulty breathing or panting heavily, they should be examined by your regular vet or an emergency vet right away. FirstVet is available to help with advice and referral in these urgent cases, but a prolonged waiting time for a video consultation with us must not delay a visit to your veterinary clinic.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if you suspect they have a bloated stomach or their abdomen appears to be enlarged. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

IMPORTANT: If your pet is gagging/retching and unable to vomit, appears weak, collapses and cannot stand up, is having difficulty breathing or panting heavily, they should be examined by your regular vet or an emergency vet right away. FirstVet is available to help with advice and referral in these urgent cases, but a prolonged waiting time for a video consultation with us must not delay a visit to your veterinary clinic.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if you suspect they have had a seizure. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

If your pet has a seizure, try to remain calm. Approach the pet carefully during and after the seizure - it's common for them to remain unsteady and confused for long periods, even after the seizure has stopped. Your pet may accidentally bite you out of fear if they’re startled. Try to keep your pet as safe as possible. Remove objects that your pet could hurt itself on and ensure they cannot fall down any stairs.

If possible, keep track of how long the seizure lasts. Recurring seizures or seizures lasting more than 3-5 minutes (status epilepticus) require immediate medical attention. FirstVet is available to help with advice and referral in these urgent cases, but a prolonged waiting time for a video consultation with us must not delay a visit to your veterinary clinic.

FirstVet vets can provide professional advice and guidance when it’s time to say good-bye to your pet. Our vets understand how difficult these decisions can be, and we’re here to talk about the process of humane euthanasia and answer any questions you may have.

During the video consult, we can discuss your pet’s quality of life, the fear and doubt that often surrounds euthanasia, making an appointment for the euthanasia procedure with your regular vet, and what to expect during the visit. We’re always here to help you to make the right choices for your pet.

Prescriptions

FirstVet cannot provide prescriptions or refills for medication. Please contact your pet’s regular veterinarian if you need to order or refill a prescription. If your regular vet only prescribed a small amount of medication, your pet should likely be re-evaluated before the treatment can be safely extended. Unfortunately, a video consult cannot replace this type of assessment.

FirstVet cannot provide prescriptions or refills for medication. Your pet must have a complete physical exam with your regular veterinarian before any sedation medication can be prescribed.
FirstVet vets can provide professional advice and guidance if you need help with your pet’s behavioral issues. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

Our vets understand that these issues can be complex and very distressing to you and your pet. Behavioral issues often take a strong commitment to training and treatment over long periods of time. FirstVet can also provide referrals to veterinary behaviorists and animal training specialists in your area.

If your pet has a known fear of loud noises such as fireworks, we strongly recommend seeking help well in advance of holidays such as Independence Day and New Year’s Eve. This will allow plenty of time or you and your pet to be prepared for the stressful event.

Other Common Concerns

FirstVet vets can provide professional advice and guidance if you need help caring for your pet after surgery. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home, or if veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment.

If you have questions or concerns about your pet’s upcoming surgery or need advice on when to spay or neuter your pet, please schedule a video consult with our vets.

FirstVet vets can help you triage your pet if you find a tick or other parasite. We’ll provide professional advice so that you can safely and confidently manage your pet’s condition at home. If veterinary care is needed, we’ll provide recommendations for how to care for your pet until their scheduled appointment. An appointment with your regular vet will be necessary if your pet needs to be treated with prescription medication.

Unfortunately, FirstVet cannot offer to read radiographs during your video consult. Without a complete physical exam, radiographs alone do not provide enough information to assess a pet’s condition. In addition, it is extremely difficult to properly evaluate a radiograph without specific viewing software or other equipment.

If necessary, FirstVet can assist with referral to a veterinary specialty center where your pet can be fully evaluated.

Unfortunately, FirstVet cannot issue animal health certificates via the video consult. A complete physical exam must be performed before a vet can provide a health certificate for any animal.
However, our vets can help answer questions about traveling with your pet, discuss when a health certificate is required, and help you find a nearby clinic where a health certificate can be issued.