home Dogs How to relieve pulmonary edema in a dog

How to relieve pulmonary edema in a dog


This group of reasons has nothing to do with the work of the cardiovascular system. Excess fluid in the lungs accumulates due to thinning of the capillaries, which occurs against the background of general disorders in the dog’s body.

  • Pneumonia.
  • Chest injury.
  • Oncological diseases.
  • Traumatic brain injury.
  • Snake bite.
  • Sepsis.
  • Severe stress.
  • Electric shock.
  • Asphyxia (choking).
  • Allergy to medicines and anesthesia.
  • Chronic kidney disease.
  • Severe poisoning with pesticides.
  • Burns.
  • Anorexia.
  • Heatstroke.
  • Bacterial blood infections.
  • Postoperative complication after surgery.
  • Blood transfusion reaction.
  • Pancreatitis.
  • Epileptic stroke.
  • Anaphylactic shock.

To avoid the development of complications incompatible with life, immediately show the dog to the doctor. Immediate emergency treatment multiplies the dog’s chances of being completely cured.

Treatment of pulmonary edema in dogs

In a clinic, the dog is urgently placed in an oxygen box, or an oxygen mask is brought. They receive either oxygen concentrated from the air, or oxygen from cylinders, which is in a liquefied state. Sometimes tracheal intubation is required, that is, the introduction of a special tube into it, through which passive ventilation of the lungs is possible.

Also, drugs are urgently administered intravenously to maintain cardiac and respiratory activity.

With a sufficiently large volume of accumulated fluid in the lungs, it is diverted.

relieve, pulmonary, edema
Pulmonary edema in a dog. German Spitz Oscar 6.5 years old, upon admission. Pulmonary edema in a dog. German Spitz Oscar 6.5 years old, after 24 hours on IPA with furosemide.


Signs that may indicate the development of pulmonary edema in a dog:

  • A sharp decrease in appetite.
  • Depressed state.
  • Anxiety.
  • Difficulty or rapid breathing.
  • Dyspnea.
  • The animal adopts an unusual posture or is constantly lying on its side.
  • Obsessive dry cough.
  • Blue or pale conjunctiva of the eyes.
  • Pale lips.
  • Foam from nose and mouth.
  • Arrhythmia.
  • Collapse.

The edema progresses rapidly. At the slightest suspicion of the development of this dangerous condition, you must immediately show your pet to a doctor.

What should the owner do after the pet is discharged from the clinic

  • Place the dog in a well-ventilated area with moderate temperatures. Make sure there are no drafts.
  • Minimize stress.
  • Protect from strong physical exertion.
  • Provide adequate nutrition.
  • Follow veterinarian appointments.

Treatment is prescribed individually, depending on the type of edema: cardiogenic or non-cardiogenic. It should be directed towards the disease that caused this condition. There may be antibiotics, antiviral drugs, diuretics, antihistamines and heart drugs, etc.

Why does pulmonary edema appear in a dog?

Edema is the accumulation of fluid in the airways, air sacs (alveoli), or lung tissue.

  • cardiogenic;
  • caused by pathologies outside the heart.

Lead to edema, circulatory disorders, infections, an allergic reaction of the body. Head trauma, high pressure in blood vessels can also cause illness. All pulmonary edema in a dog appears the same. But they are divided into cardiogenic and non-cardiogenic due to the difference in treatment methods.

Did you know? The dog inhales air through the nostrils and exhales through the slits located on the sides of the nose. Therefore, she does not stray from the “scent settings” when looking for an item.

Pulmonary edema after sterilization / castration surgery

A pathological condition can develop in an animal after a sterilization or castration operation. This is a reaction to anesthesia. However, this condition is possible only in animals that have chronic heart disease. Be sure to check with your veterinarian cardiologist before spaying your pet. Do not expose your animal to mortal risk!

How is the diagnosis

Obtaining a medical history and physical examination are the first steps in diagnosing pulmonary edema.

  • listens to the dog’s chest with a stethoscope to determine how the lungs “sound” on inhalation and exhalation;
  • checks the heart for a murmur between beats or changes in rhythm and heart rate.

Did you know? The most popular breeds in the world are Labradors, German Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers. over, Labradors have been holding the palm for 24 years in a row.

Many veterinarians take a chest x-ray to confirm the diagnosis. After that, you may be advised to undergo additional tests to determine the nature of the fluid and possible causes of the swelling. Based on the results of this, a course of treatment will be prescribed.

  • Ultrasound of the heart;
  • analysis of the gas composition and blood clotting;
  • pleural puncture.

How is the diagnosis

Obtaining a medical history and physical examination are the first steps in diagnosing pulmonary edema.

  • listens to the dog’s chest with a stethoscope to determine how the lungs “sound” on inhalation and exhalation;
  • checks the heart for a murmur between beats or changes in rhythm and heart rate.

Many veterinarians take a chest x-ray to confirm the diagnosis. After that, you may be advised to undergo additional tests to determine the nature of the fluid and possible causes of the swelling. Based on the results of this, a course of treatment will be prescribed.

  • Ultrasound of the heart;
  • analysis of the gas composition and blood clotting;
  • pleural puncture.

Treatment with drugs

Treatment for pulmonary edema in dogs consists of the following steps:

  • stabilization of the state;
  • edema treatment;
  • elimination of the underlying disease.

Oxygen therapy (oxygen therapy) may be required to stabilize. And since edema often becomes the reason for the development of pneumonia, it is imperative that antibiotics are prescribed along with other methods of treatment.

For the treatment of edema, medications are prescribed, with the help of which the outflow of excess fluid. droppers. will be organized. In a liquefied state, the liquid comes out faster. They are placed intravenously and since it is difficult to do this at home, the pet will need to be hospitalized. Periodically, the doctor may take repeated x-rays of the lungs to monitor how well fluid is leaving.

The difference between cardiogenic and non-cardiogenic edema is that in the first type, the edema is removed with diuretics. In the second, they do not matter, since the lung tissue swells due to other diseases. For example, pancreatitis, sepsis, leptospirosis, etc.

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Treatment for cardiogenic edema:

  • Treatment will begin with oxygen therapy and some rest. To do this, use a mask that is connected to an oxygen cylinder or a special oxygen chamber.
  • From diuretics will be prescribed “Furosemide” or “Lasix”. In some cases, stronger drugs are prescribed, such as Spironolactone, Hydrochlorothiazide (diuretics), or a vasodilator. a vasodilator.
  • Subsequently, medications to support the heart and a low sodium diet are prescribed.

Symptoms of fluid in the lungs of a dog

The dog has breathing problems with edema.

  • rapid breathing;
  • shortness of breath;
  • mouth breathing;
  • dry cough;
  • noticeable abdominal breathing;
  • bluish mucous membranes of the mouth;
  • possible bloody foam from the nose.

The dog is standing or sitting, but does not lie down. Cracking noises in the lungs are heard when listening. An oxygen supplement can help your pet quickly. This will bring a little relief, but to treat the edema, you need to get full treatment from your veterinarian.

Other reasons

The list of noncardiogenic causes is much wider.

  • electrical injury;
  • head injury;
  • cancer;
  • inhaling large amounts of smoke;
  • pneumonia;
  • toxins, including snake venom;
  • sepsis;
  • airway obstruction;
  • suffocation;
  • laryngeal paralysis;
  • severe stress;
  • allergy;
  • acute respiratory distress syndrome;
  • heatstroke;
  • kidney disease;
  • pancreatitis;
  • leptospirosis;
  • anemia.

Care during recovery from pulmonary edema

The recovery period is faster in younger dogs and worse in older ones. It is important to always follow your veterinarian’s directions and do not stop on your own.

To help you recover, follow these simple guidelines:

  • In the first days after discharge, the dog should rest more. It is recommended to restrict mobility for a week.
  • Keep your pet on a leash outside. Avoid long walks and active games. Prevent jumping.
  • If your pet has a poor appetite, feed it freshly prepared food. In it, protein and carbohydrates must be present in a 1: 1 ratio. It can be chicken and boiled rice (potatoes, pasta). It is important to use low-fat meat.
  • Provide softer, thicker bedding. This is because some dogs have trouble regulating body temperature.

Recovery will also require a diet low in sodium, i.e. table salt. Salt itself contributes to the accumulation of fluid in the body. If we are talking about dry food, then there should be less than 0.5% sodium in it. For those who must be strictly limited in this component. choose feed with an indicator of less than 0.1%.


Cardiogenic pulmonary edema is associated with slowing blood flow and fluid congestion in the capillaries (congestive heart failure).

The reasons include the following pathologies and dietary habits:

  • a diet high in sodium;
  • cardiomyopathy;
  • mitral valve regeneration;
  • dysfunction of the heart valve or aorta;
  • blockage of the pulmonary artery;
  • hypertension;
  • Congenital heart defect;
  • cardiosclerosis;
  • heart failure.

Urgent Care

As a rule, the edema develops gradually. Therefore, if you find that your dog has breathing problems or shortness of breath, make an appointment with a doctor. When transporting, open the car window slightly to provide fresh air and avoid bumps to create less discomfort for the animal.

Why does pulmonary edema appear in a dog?

Edema is the accumulation of fluid in the airways, air sacs (alveoli), or lung tissue.

  • cardiogenic;
  • caused by pathologies outside the heart.

Lead to edema, circulatory disorders, infections, an allergic reaction of the body. Head trauma, high pressure in blood vessels can also cause illness. All pulmonary edema in a dog appears the same. But they are divided into cardiogenic and non-cardiogenic due to the difference in treatment methods.

Pulmonary Edema MAD DOG Nursing Mnemonics, Nursing School Study Tips

Treatment of pulmonary edema in dogs

First of all, it is necessary to minimize the physical activity of the dog. Since the animal is restless, it is necessary to limit the impact of stress as much as possible. Oxygen therapy begins immediately, i.e. oxygen inhalation.

Medication support consists in the introduction of such drugs:

  • diuretics (Furosemide and others);
  • glucocorticoid drugs (Dexamethasone or Prednisolone);
  • sedatives;
  • vasodilators (nitroglycerin);
  • brochnolytics.

If necessary, bloodletting is carried out in the veterinary clinic. Cordiamine or Caffeine is injected to support the heart muscle.

If pulmonary edema is caused by noncardiogenic causes, then first of all it is necessary to eliminate the underlying disease, and in particular, hypoproteinemia. Acute respiratory failure is relieved, oxygen deficiency is corrected. It is important to prevent the development of a state of shock. Intensive therapy is carried out until the dog’s health is completely stabilized.

Only after the animal’s condition has stabilized, it is discharged home. At home, he needs to provide favorable conditions:

  • minimize the impact of stress;
  • avoid prolonged and intense physical activity;
  • feed and water the dog in a timely manner (food and drink should be chosen only as recommended by the veterinarian);
  • administer the necessary medications.

Symptoms of pulmonary edema in dogs and the course of the disease

During pulmonary edema in canine representatives, slow and fast forms are distinguished. However, their symptoms are similar:

  • Depression of behavior. The animal is very depressed and does not respond to food.
  • Rapid breathing. It is necessary to pay attention to the characteristic posture of the pet. The dog spreads its front legs and stretches its neck. In this position, she tries to straighten her airways and straighten her ribs, thereby making her breathing easier. In severe condition, when symptoms develop very quickly, the dog lies in a lateral position.
  • Breathing changes: the animal tries to make short and abrupt respiratory movements. In this case, the nostrils are widened. Noticeably intense abdominal breathing.
  • Behavior change. the animal becomes restless.
  • A dry and hoarse cough appears. It resembles a cough in people suffering from cardiac and vascular pathologies.
  • The gums, tongue, and sometimes the eyelids become pale. A bluish tint of these mucous membranes appears fairly quickly. If the dog has light pigmentation, then you may notice a blue discoloration of the nostrils.
  • Body temperature goes down.
  • Unnatural discharge from the nostrils and mouth. Their consistency is transparent with a pink tint. Bloody foam is not excluded.
  • Vesicular respiration is weakened. This can be seen with a stethoscope.
  • When tapping the chest, a dull sound is heard. This is especially noticeable in a dangerous state.

These symptoms may appear suddenly. With a fulminant course, there is a serious threat to the life of the dog.

Diagnosis of pulmonary edema

The diagnosis is made based on the results of the analysis of symptoms, auscultation of the lungs, which determines wet wheezing. X-ray data are quite informative.

Laboratory data show a significant increase in the number of leukocyte cells in the blood, hyperazotemia, excessive activity of liver enzymes.

X-rays are usually taken in two planes. There is a noticeable decrease in the transparency of the lung tissue. The roots of the lungs are blurred and enlarged. Focal changes in the lungs are much less common: most often all the lobes of the lung change.

  • collapse of the windpipe;
  • laryngeal paresis;
  • blockage of the airways;
  • tumors;
  • pulmonary artery thromboembolism.
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Pulmonary edema in dogs

Unfortunately, pets are not immune from various ailments. They are mild, moderate and critical. Pulmonary edema in dogs is a critical condition. It is impossible to cope with such diseases at home. What are the causes, symptoms and features of emergency treatment for this ailment in dogs? What the owner needs to know so that emergency care can be provided to your pet on time?

Urgent Care

On the way to the veterinary clinic, you need to help the dog: it needs to maintain the most correct posture, remove saliva and other fluids. If possible, ventilate the vehicle area to provide the dog with fresh air. It is definitely recommended to calm the dog down.

Causes of pulmonary edema in dogs

There are three main causes of this pathology in dogs:

  • High pressure in the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the lungs and back. With a significant jump in pressure, the permeability of the vessel deteriorates, while the plasma gradually enters the alveolus. This happens as a result of heart defects, cardiopathy in dogs, endocarditis. High hydrostatic pressure occurs with intensive infusions.
  • There is a big difference between oncotic blood pressure and interstitial fluid pressure. The fluid from the blood vessel is gradually released into the intracellular space. Such phenomena can develop as a result of hypoproteinemia.
  • High permeability of vascular membranes. It occurs as a result of pneumonia and disseminated intravascular coagulation in dogs.

The following factors also contribute to the development of pulmonary edema:

  • acute form of renal failure;
  • acute overheating;
  • snake bite;
  • electric shock;
  • trauma to the skull or brain;
  • laryngeal paresis;
  • the presence of foreign bodies in the larynx;
  • poisoning with CO2 or smoke;
  • blood poisoning;
  • anaphylactic shock.

In older dogs, edema sometimes develops as a result of arthrosis due to excessive exertion.

What you need to know about dog shock

Pulmonary edema can contribute to shock in a dog. In this case, there is a sharp stop or weakening of the most important functions of the body to almost zero. As a rule, due to pulmonary edema, a torpid type of shock develops. Its signs are as follows:

  • lack of reflexes to any external stimuli;
  • shallow and very weak breathing;
  • immobility;
  • weak pulse, sometimes. threadlike content;
  • constriction of the pupils;
  • blue discoloration of the mucous membranes of the body.

What is the disease

The lungs are the main respiratory organ of both humans and dogs, which is paired. In turn, they are composed of alveoli. The main purpose of the lungs is gas exchange, that is, the intake of oxygen and the removal of carbon dioxide into the external environment. In order for this process to occur correctly, each alveolus is surrounded by the smallest network of capillaries. Finally, they communicate with the vein and artery system.

Due to the fact that the blood vessels overflow with blood, there is a release of blood plasma and interstitial fluid into nearby tissues (in this case, into the alveoli). They are filled with liquid, and normal gas exchange in them stops. This process proceeds gradually, in an upward direction.

High Altitude Sickness in Dogs: Pulmonary Edema (2018)

If you provide the animal with the necessary assistance in a timely manner, when the alveoli are not yet completely filled with fluid, the animal can be saved. However, the response of the hosts must be immediate. If breathing stops, chances of salvation are negligible.

Pulmonary edema can be interstitial and alveolar. Interstitial edema forms as a result of the accumulation of fluid in the space outside the vessels. It develops as a consequence of heart failure in dogs.

With an increase in pressure in the veins, plasma begins to exit into the alveoli, together with erythrocytes and leukocytes. Such edema is characterized by a pronounced symptomatic picture of shock. In severe conditions, acidosis, hypercapnia develops: with the progression of these phenomena, breathing stops.

Causes and treatment of cardiogenic pulmonary edema in a dog

Pulmonary edema in dogs is common. This disease occurs because the blood in the vessels and also the lymph flow out in violation, as a result, an unnatural accumulation of fluid is obtained, which is found in the cells, tissues.

Under such circumstances, the ability of the lungs to function sharply weakens, the animal suffers greatly. It is very difficult to determine the accuracy of the disease at home. Therefore, at the slightest suspicion, it is necessary to immediately consult a doctor.

Signs of pulmonary edema in dogs

One of the main root causes of pulmonary edema in animals is a very large amount of blood in the veins, vessels, capillaries. With an increase in pressure or thinning of the walls of blood vessels, plasma and blood leak out. This fluid fills the interstitial space, as well as all vesicular formations in the lung. This process takes place gradually.

It begins at the bottom of the lungs and then gradually rises, and the area of ​​the lungs becomes smaller. Because of which the blood is not filled with oxygen as it should, which leads to insufficient oxygen and oxygen starvation of the brain, heart and whole body.

The behavior of the animal itself will help determine pulmonary edema in dogs, the symptoms of the disease. Therefore, you need to be extremely vigilant towards your animal in order not to waste time, not to give the opportunity to develop this disease.
The disease can be rapid (acute), or it can proceed in a chronic (slow) form, for example, with renal failure. Signs of the disease:

  • The animal breathes very hard;
  • The dog’s mouth is constantly open, it breathes easier this way;
  • The favorite does not join the game, becomes lethargic;
  • Breathing becomes rapid;
  • Shortness of breath appears;
  • The dog spreads its front paws wide to establish breathing;
  • The holes in the nose widen and enlarge;
  • The dog begins to wheeze;
  • The animal begins to cough;
  • When you exhale, foam is released from the nose of the animal, it may have a reddish tint;
  • A bluish tint appears on the gums, eyelids, tongue.

A doctor, listening to a dog, may not hear wheezing in the early stages of the disease. They appear when the disease progresses. Strong interruptions in the work of the heart can be heard. The symptoms of the disease are different, it is not at all necessary that they appear literally all at once. Each disease has its own characteristics, signs.

If any of the symptoms appear, you should immediately, but without panic, go to see your veterinarian. During the delivery of a sick dog, it is necessary:

  • Place the animal so that it is comfortable to breathe;
  • Petting and soothing the dog;
  • Remove saliva flowing from the mouth of an animal, phlegm.

The reasons can be different:

  • anaphylactic shock;
  • viral diseases;
  • damage to the central nervous system;
  • head injuries;
  • lumps or neoplasms;
  • cerebral hemorrhage, burns of varying degrees;
  • pneumonia or severe bronchitis;
  • gunshot or stab wounds;
  • poisoning with gases of any origin or smoke;
  • suffocation.
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If a pet has undergone an operation of the cervicothoracic region, this may be one of the causes of this disease. Noncardiogenic edema develops in renal failure, as well as after blood transfusion. There are a number of other reasons that can provoke the manifestation of this disease;

  • allergic reactions;
  • certain medications in large quantities;
  • problems with your bladder, gallbladder, esophagus, or stomach;
  • being stung by a snake or poisonous insects;
  • electric shock;
  • long, long run;
  • extreme overheating in the sun;
  • fright or shock.

Diagnosis of pulmonary edema in animals

Timely diagnostics will help to recognize the disease, as well as its symptoms. A thoughtful and knowledgeable doctor will conduct a full examination of a sick dog, make a reliable diagnosis. After all, there are diseases in which the symptoms are very similar.

So in case of gas exchange disorders, suffocation, pneumonia, similar symptoms are observed, therefore, first of all, the doctor carefully analyzes each symptom, checks the blood structure, pays attention to the liver’s work, how its enzymes work, looks at the saturation of creatine, urea, proteins in the blood. the presence of leukocytes.

With echocardiography, the veterinarian will be able to verify that the animal does not have any cardiac changes that may cause pulmonary edema. And a chest X-ray should be taken if the veterinarian suspects pulmonary edema. For this, two pictures are taken, where the projections are perpendicular to one in relation to the other.

Indistinctness, enlarged roots, indistinct transparency of the tissue are signs of edema. Often, the anomaly covers the entire lungs. But cases are not excluded when individual parts of the lungs are affected. X-ray helps not only to establish a diagnosis, but to fix its origin.
It is necessary that the doctor accurately diagnose as bronchopneumonia, thromboembolism, contusion and neoplasms can also give swelling.

How is pulmonary edema in a dog treated?

The body does not receive enough oxygen because edema has occurred in the lungs. And this is very dangerous, because at any moment such edema can give complications and lead to death. Therefore, if a dog is diagnosed with pulmonary edema, treatment is carried out only in a hospital under the strict supervision of a veterinarian.

The pet is placed in a special box where oxygen is supplied. Instead of boxing, it is possible to use a special oxygen mask. Even a well-ventilated area will do just fine. The dog needs oxygen inhalation. This is necessary for the body to restore its strength and be filled with oxygen.

Conditions of complete rest and rest are created for the animal. With the help of droppers or intravenous injections, diuretics are administered, as well as drugs that improve the functioning of the respiratory system and heart. If the edema is not cardiogenic, then saline solutions are prescribed, which are administered intravenously. If necessary, at the discretion of the doctor, treatment can be continued at home. In this case, it is necessary to strictly follow the course of treatment and the dosage prescribed by the veterinarian. Preparations for maintaining the body at home can be as follows:

  • Diuretics such as furosemide;
  • To maintain heart function, caffeine, cordiamine are suitable;
  • For bloodletting, glucose or calcium chloride is used. These shots are given only by doctors and are given intravenously;
  • In severe cases, glucocorticoids are prescribed. Medicines such as prednisone should be taken with caution and in no case should the dose prescribed by the doctor be changed;
  • Herbal preparations are used to remove cough.

Sedatives (diphenhydramine, suprastin) should be used only as directed by a doctor if the animal has increased excitability. If pneumonia is confirmed, then antibiotics are prescribed. After inpatient treatment, the owner must create conditions for the speedy recovery of the animal. This requires:

  • So that the room where the dog will be is well ventilated, clean and cool;
  • The litter should not be hard, but also not very soft;
  • Do not arrange a place for a dog next to a radiator or in a draft;
  • Adequate and timely feeding and drinking;
  • The diet is prescribed by the doctor;
  • A minimum of physical activity, games;
  • No stress.

Etiology of the disease

The disease leads to a complete breakdown of the activity of the whole organism, since by this time all forces and also life potential have been used up. In this case, without a serious examination and examination of the animal, the diagnosis is not easy to establish. This disease is caused by a variety of reasons.

There are the following types of disease: noncardiogenic and cardiogenic pulmonary edema in dogs. It is believed that it is diseases of the cardiovascular system that easily provoke pulmonary edema. Cardiogenic edema is caused by:

  • Congenital heart disease;
  • Infections
  • Intoxication;
  • Hypertension. Due to which the heart muscle increases;
  • Coronary heart disease;
  • Rheumatic diseases;
  • Severe toxicosis, childbirth;
  • Asthma.

The pulmonary artery is clogged. Because of what heart valves or aorta, which work intermittently, suffer. Due to the fact that changes occur in the body, capillary tissues become thinner, non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema occurs. This type of lung tumor has nothing to do with the cardiovascular system. It will also be informative about Quincke’s edema.

Lung disease prognosis

After such a serious illness, the dog can regain its strength, recover completely, if it does not have heart problems. The disease may return if the animal suffers from chronic heart disease.

Please note that pulmonary edema dramatically worsens the work of the heart, while heart failure develops very often. With pulmonary edema, oxygen deficiency occurs in the body, while all internal organs suffer, and this, in turn, leads to:

  • collapse of the lung;
  • the manifestation of sclerosis;
  • stretching of tissues and organs;
  • pneumonia;
  • blood poisoning.

If an animal with obvious characteristic features of pulmonary edema is not provided with assistance on time and in a timely manner, this can lead to:

  • fulminant pulmonary edema;
  • circulatory disorders;
  • violation of heart contraction;
  • shock state;
  • blockage of the airways.

Toxic pulmonary edema responds well enough to treatment, but at the same time, a large number of deaths due to the rapid development of the disease.
In the form of preventive actions, it is necessary to constantly monitor the respiratory activity of your pet, keep track of respiratory movements and examine the mucous membrane.

To provide first aid to your animal, you need to study and also learn the symptoms of pulmonary edema in dogs, be able to quickly and efficiently, without panic and without getting lost, to help the animal. To this end, create a home pharmacy, where you can collect all the necessary drugs to provide emergency care to your pet, if necessary. And also the phone number of the veterinary clinic or doctor.