There are far too many pet owners who don’t know what to do when an emergency arises with their four-legged friend. They would not know how to react if their dog ate an entire bag of semi-sweet chocolate, or if their pet fell off of the couch or down the stairs and began to limp. As time passes and if the owner does not take any type of action, the potential increases for the results to become more serious. This may lead to long-term consequences that result in serious issues or even death in the pet.
For pet owners who are ready to avoid the feeling of panic that may go along with this type of situation, they should invest in a pet CPR or first aid class to care for pets. These classes allow the owner to learn the basics of pet medical care during an emergency and help reduce the consequences that occur.
Must Have First Aid Supplies for Pets
In order to provide quality emergency care for a pet, having the right supplies on hand is a must. Just like people carry around a first aid kit for themselves and their kids, they need one for their pet as well. Some things to include in the first aid kit are:
• Emergency phone numbers and the pet’s medical history.
• Gauze for wrapping injuries or to muzzle an injured animal.
• Nonstick towels, strips of clean cloth or bandages to protect wounds and control the bleeding.
• Adhesive tape for the bandages to secure the gauze.
• Activated charcoal or milk of magnesia for absorbing poison.
• Hydrogen peroxide to help induce vomiting.
• Digital thermometer to check the animal’s temperature.
• Eye dropper or other syringe without the needle to provide oral medication or flush a wound.
• Muzzle to cover the pet’s head.
• Leash to help easily transport the pet.
The first aid kit should be kept in a convenient location to provide care for a pet if an injury occurs.
Tips for Injured Pet Handling
When a pet is injured, they may be in quite a bit of pain, confused and scared. It is important to take precautions to ensure that the pet does not lash out due to these feelings. Even the gentlest pet can become aggressive when in pain. Be sure to approach a hurt pet slowly and examine the area that has been hurt carefully. Also, call the vet directly after treating the immediate issue to ensure the animal gets professional care.
Basic First Aid for Injured Pets
First aid for pets and emergency treatment is something that should never be used as a substitute for professional, veterinary care. Even when a pet owner is certified to provide medical care for their pet, a vet is still a vital component of complete and quality care. Some of the most common injuries and how to treat them in a pet are found here.
Toxin Exposure or Poisoning
Pets that have been exposed to toxins or other poisonous materials are in danger of serious consequences if not treated quickly. When this issue occurs, be sure to call the poison hotline to check what type of actions need to be taken. In some cases, vomiting will need to be induced, but checking prior to doing this is essential.
When a pet is having a seizure, it is important to keep the animal away from any type of object, such as furniture, that may hurt it. The pet owner should not attempt to restrain the animal. Be sure to time the seizure; they typically last for a period of two to three minutes. Once the seizure has stopped, keep the animal quiet and warm and contact the vet.
When a fracture occurs, it is a good idea to muzzle the animal. Lay the pet on a flat surface to provide support for the fractured bone. When the animal is being taken to the vet, be sure to use a stretcher or some other flat surface to keep the pet comfortable. While the fracture can be set with a homemade splint, it is important to remember that a badly placed one will actually cause more issues.
When bleeding occurs, muzzle the pet and press a thick, gauze pad over it. Maintain pressure on the wound until the blood begins to clot. This can take several minutes so do not remove the compress early. If the bleeding is severe, then apply a tourniquet and contact the vet.
Signs of this are if there is blood coming from the rectum, mouth, nose, in the urine or being coughed up. If this occurs, the animal needs to remain quiet and warm, and be immediately transported to the vet.
There are several types of burns that a dog may suffer from, including:
• Chemical burns. If this occurs, muzzle the animal and then flush the burn with large amounts of water.
• Severe burns. When this occurs, muzzle the animal and then apply a compress of ice water to the area that was affected.
When temperatures go up outside, it can be dangerous for pets. Be sure that a pet has areas of shade and plenty of water. However, if heatstroke occurs, it is important to act quickly. Apply a cold compress to the neck and head and if needed, turn on a hose to keep water running over the pet. Get to the vet quickly to ensure the pet is not going to be affected long term.
Learning how to properly care for medical emergencies in animals is essential for their overall well-being. There are actual classes that teach this information and being prepared for an emergency can mean the difference between saving the animal’s life and long-term consequences, including death. Minimize the potential of entering “panic mode” when a pet is injured by being prepared. Doing this will keep pet owners calm and the pet calm. This is essential to providing quality care, just like in humans.