Motor vehicle accidents - road accidents involving pets

Pets do not show pain as we humans do and often try to hide pain, illness and discomfort as a self defense mechanism. If you know or suspect your pet has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, seek veterinary treatment immediately. Your veterinarian will be able to perform a thorough physical examination and detect potential areas of concern and check for the signs which may indicate internal injury. 

In addition to an immediate physical examination, observe your pet closely, especially in the first 24 hours after the accident. If you have any concerns whatsoever please contact us. We would prefer to hear from a concerned owner rather than have you worried at home or even more so your pet potentially suffering. If you need to contact us after hours, simply phone our normal telephone number for more information.  

What signs should you look out for after a visit to your vet?

After returning home from your visit you should contact your vet without delay if you notice any of the following signs:

  • Any difficulty breathing, or discomfort while breathing, rapid shallow breathing or deep laboured breathing.
  • Blueness or paleness of the gums. 
  • Disorientation, stumbling or falling over.
  • Reluctance or inability to rise and move about.
  • Vomiting. 
  • Bleeding from anywhere on the body (mouth/limbs).
  • Not eating, drinking or a change in demeanour (quiet/depressed)
  • Dark coloured stools or urine (or blood tinged)
  • Any specific signs your veterinarian may have mentioned during your visit. 

In addition, some symptoms may show up after several days or weeks. These may include:

  • Difficulty going to the toilet
  • Lameness
  • Any change in normal breathing pattern

How you can help to prevent Motor Vehicle Accidents involving pets

  • Keep your dog on a lead at all times while walking outside.
  • Ensure that your pet's backyard is securely fenced and conduct regular maintenance checks.
  • Desex your pet to discourage their urge to wander in search of a mate.
  • Keep cats indoors at night when they are most prone to wandering.
  • If you live on a busy street keep cats indoors at all times unless supervised.
  • Make sure your pet is secure when travelling, e.g. secure lead or harness.
  • If your dog is riding in the back of a ute, ensure they are wearing a secure neck collar or fitted dog harness. Fasten their lead to an anchor point centred directly behind the cabin.  Also the lead should be long enough for your dog to move around and lie down comfortably but short enough so they can not put their front or back legs over the side of the ute's tray or climb up on to the cabin. 
  • Play an active role in reporting lost or found pets so they can be returned safely to their owners as soon as possible.
Pet type(s): 
Life stage(s): 
Young
Adult
Senior
Pet library topic(s): 
Illness and injury

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