If at any time the pup experiences any life-threatening issues, please follow the protocol below. The descriptions below are not inclusive, use your best judgement to keep your puppy safe and healthy.

What to do in the event of an emergency

  1. Above all, remain calm. This may be very hard to do, but it is important that you remain calm and in control of the situation as best you can in order to be able to get the pup the immediate proper attention it needs.
  2. Call your vet hospital or the animal emergency center first so they can prepare for your arrival.
  3. Get the pup to the nearest vet hospital.
  4. When the situation has stabilized, call your puppy advisor or area coordinator. If it is after hours, listen carefully to the menu, and our after-hours service will reach the puppy coordinator or another employee.
  5. After making your puppy advisor or area coordinator aware of the situation, the hospital may bill the Guide Dog Foundation directly (Attention: Accounting Department). Some emergency hospitals want payment immediately. Please pay the bill and submit the receipt to the Foundation; we will reimburse you promptly.

Is it Life-Threatening?

If at any point your pup experiences any of these issues, please take them to the nearest vet. Contact your advisor or area coordinator on the way or once the pup is stable, but do not wait on approval for any of these issues.

  • Lethargy
    • With vomiting, not eating, and/or diarrhea
    • Trouble staying awake
  • Wound more than an abrasion
    • Bite from another animal or dog
    • Would require stitches or staples
    • Bleeding profusely
  • Orthopedic injury
    • Painful: dog indicating with vocalization or refusal to move, even with encouragement
    • Non-weight bearing with pain
  • Hit by car
  • Ingestion of possible poison
    • Human medications, fertilizers, animal poison, antifreeze, chocolate, coffee, artificial sweeteners
    • If possible, take the packaging with you to the vet
  • Sudden collapse
  • Vaccine reaction
    • Difficulty breathing, hives, vomiting, or excessive lethargy
  • Bloat
    • Swollen stomach in conjunction with panting, drooling, vocalization, and/or not settling.