Pet First Aid & Transportation

A doctor needs to SEE & TOUCH, and potentially do an exam or labs, to actually DIAGNOSE any medical issue.

What is an Emergency?

An emergency is any event, behavior, or situation that you, as your pet’s number one advocate, know to be out of the ordinary or concerning.

You can always call to discuss your pet, but be aware that you are the only one who can actually see your pet’s behavior and know your pet’s normal behavior.

Remember that a frightened or pained animal could bite or scratch. Be prepared with a cloth or belt to muzzle a dog (be sure that they can still easily breathe). Use a large, thick blanket or towel to restrain a small animal. Have a family member or neighbor assist in the transport, when possible. Use a carrier if possible.

Stay calm since pets can sense and react to our stress.

Bleeding: For bleeding wounds, apply direct pressure with a thick cloth. If blood soaks through, apply additional cloths (do not remove the original dressing). If the pet is bleeding from the rectum, mouth or other orifice, no home aid is recommended. In all cases, transport to hospital immediately.

Respiratory Distress: If pet is gasping, breathing heavily or fast remove collars/leads and use minimal restraint during transport. Transport to hospital immediately.

Choking: Be very careful when attempting to clear airway. Pets will often bite when panicked. The Heimlich Maneuver may work if an item is lodged in windpipe. (Note: coughing and gagging are often confused with choking–a pet which is truly choking will move little or no air at all, and the gum color will be gray or bluish. A pet who experiences periodic episodes of “choking” may be gagging.) Transport to hospital immediately.

Diabetic Insulin Crisis: Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can be characterized by weakness, disorientation or seizures. Place Karo Syrup® on the gums and transport to hospital immediately.

Difficulty in Labor (Dystocia): Pregnant pets in labor for more than 2 hours, or actively straining to produce a puppy or kitten for more that 20 minutes with no results, may be experiencing dystocia. Call your veterinarian and prepare to transport. Bring the mother and all puppies/kittens with you to the veterinarian. If possible, keep the family together in a box. If the mother is too large or restless to transport with her young, use a heat source (such as hot water-filled milk jugs) to keep the puppies or kittens warm. Transport to hospital immediately.

Seizure: Make sure that the pet cannot hurt himself. DO NOT attempt to place anything in his mouth. Bundle the pet in a blanket, and get help to transport the pet in case further seizures occur. Transport to hospital immediately.

Nonproductive Vomiting or Retching: This is the most common sign of a life-threatening condition called “gastric dilitation and volvulus,” or “torsion,” especially in large breed dogs. There is no home aid. Transport to hospital immediately.

POISON/Toxin Ingestion: Call us at (865) 637-0114 immediately after you realize your pet has ingested something it shouldn’t have. DO NOT induce vomiting unless instructed to do so. Some toxins are fatal over time, so immediate treatment is crucial even if your pet does not appear sick. Bring the label of the ingested substance with you if possible. Household items like plants, antifreeze, rat bait, chocolate, raisins and more can be potentially fatal if not treated immediately. Pet Poison Control (ASPCA) 888-426-4435

Trauma: Make sure the pet is breathing. Reduce any bleeding with direct pressure. Secure the pet in a blanket or towel, if possible, to reduce movement. Transport to hospital immediately. 

CERTAIN FOODS are toxic (deadly):

Obviously there are factors such as amount eatten, what else was eatten, health of the pet, age, weight, condition (pregnancy, injury, etc.) as well as any medication or treatment happening. 

IF Poisoning IS a concern, PLEASE CALL: Pet Poison Control (ASPCA)

Chocolate - causeS severe heart, liver, and digestion problems


Fruit Pits, stems, & LEAVES are bad for pets


Alcohol - vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and EVEN trouble breathing.


Garlic & Onions - including onion/garlic powder and chives


Artificial Sweeteners -  CAUSE liver failure


Nuts (especially almonds & Macadamia nuts)


Grapes & Raisins


Most medication perscribed for people


Caution with FOOD

While most of these aren't 'poison' - there are certain foods we MUST BE cautious of giving to our pets, because their digestive tract isn't the same... and they don't always chew well.  Most Chicken bones, in limited quanty, for are generally ok... but turkey bones tend to splinter, and can become a problem for many dogs. Raw meat can contain Salmonella or E. coli. which is a problem with animals, as it is with humans. Our pets might struggle with indigestion or diarrhea after having dairy. 

animal bones - Splinters and bone chips can cause countless issues


Raw Meat - Salmonella or E. coli


Diary - Milk & Cheese - indigestion or diarrhea


Corn COBS (choking or intestinal blockage)


Citrus Fruits (no seeds or pits)


Avocado - very toxic to many birds, rabbits, horses/donkeys, sheep, and goats


Bacon (especially raw, or cooked in quantity)


TOO MUCH PASTA left overs fattening, blockage



Our clinic has specialized in Emergency DOG and CAT Emergency Health Care in the Knoxville Tennessee area for nearly 50 years!
AFTER HOURS Pet Emergency Clinic
Weekdays ~ 7pm to 7am PLUS All Day Weekends & Holidays