Pet First Aid Tips
Do you know what to do during a pet emergency? Here are some common emergency tips:
· To determine if your cat or dog is dehydrated, pull up on the skin between the shoulder blades. It should spring right back; if it stays tented this is a sign of dehydration.
· Signs of pet poisoning include bleeding externally or internally, dilated pupils, drooling or foaming at the mouth, seizures or other abnormal mental state or behavior.
· If your pet has a seizure, make sure it is in a safe place, but do not restrain the animal. Keep your hands away from its mouth as your pet may not know who you are during a seizure and could bite you.
· Signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion include collapse; body temperature of 104 degrees F or above; bloody diarrhea or vomiting; wobbliness; excessive panting or difficulty breathing; increase heart rate; mucous membranes very red; and increased salivation.
· Pets bitten by other animals need vet attention to prevent the wound (even if minor) from becoming infected and to check for internal wounds. Never break up a dogfight yourself because you could be bitten.
· If your pet is bleeding, apply direct pressure using gauze over the bleeding site. If blood soaks through, apply more gauze (do not remove soaked gauze) until you can reach a veterinary hospital.
- As pet parents, it’s a good idea to keep a few emergency contact numbers on hand at all times. You can post these on the fridge door, in your wallet, by the phone, or anywhere you can access them quickly in an emergency.
- You’ll need the business number and after-hours emergency numbers for your veterinarian, as well as the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Hotline (888-426-4435). There’s a fee if you call the ASPCA hotline, but they’re a great resource to have in an emergency. You’ll also want the number of a nearby, reliable friend who can serve as an extra pair of hands in a pet emergency.
- It’s also a good idea to keep a few basic items ready to go at a moment’s notice, like a makeshift muzzle (a necktie will work in a pinch), your dog’s travel crate, and a list of any medications your pet takes.
- The very first thing to do in any emergency situation is to secure the scene of the accident. Remove any threats to yourself and your pet immediately. This may include muzzling your dog, as injured dogs can bite even those people they know and love when they are hurting.
Stay safe. If you’re injured, you can’t help your pet. Secure your own safety, and that of your pet as soon as possible.
Just remember, accidents happen, but knowing what to do when your pet is injured can save his life. If reason fails you and you don’t know what to do, try to stay calm, call for help, and stay with your pet.