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Pet First Aid Tips: Be prepared in case your pet gets injured

Recently a little orange kitten in distress was brought to my house. It was obvious she had been in some sort of accident involving a car.  When she arrived she was in a lot of pain, very frightened and had open wounds along with a busted leg. So I did what I could for her by donning some heavy leather gloves, treating her wounds and eventually got her to the vet. After some stitches and TLC, she is limping her way to recovery!  Many of us have a dog or cat at home, some have quite a variety of animals that we care for daily. But how many of us are prepared for an animal emergency?  Below are some tips to keep in mind.

  • An injured animal is more likely to bite so secure the animal and/or muzzle it before administering aid to protect yourself from injury.
  • Restrain the animal to prevent it from running off as it is likely scared or frightened. Use a pet carrier for transport.
  • Have somebody assist you in taking care of the injured animal if possible.
  • Keep an injured animal calm and warm as it may be in shock from the trauma.
  • If an animal ingests something toxic, call the vet or animal poison control.
    • Take note of what the animal ingested and how much.  Have the label handy if possible.
    • Hydrogen Peroxide found in your medicine cabinet can be used to induce vomiting if warranted.
  • If your pet is bleeding, find the wound and apply pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding. You may need to rinse the animal with water to find the wound.
  • If you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke or overheating, cool them down in a bath of cool water or wet cold towels.
  • If your pet is choking, open its mouth and attempt to clear the airway. You can do a modified Heimlich maneuver if you are unsuccessful at clearing the obstruction.
  • Symptoms that require immediate veterinary attention include:
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Excessive bleeding that will not stop
    • Major trauma such as being struck by a vehicle
    • Prolonged vomiting or diarrhea
    • Difficulty when urinating or defecating (or inability to do so)
    • Poisoning
    • Animal collapse, loss of consciousness
    • Seizures or staggering
    • Eye injuries
    • Broken bones or severe lameness
    • Heat stroke
  • Keep an animal first aid kit on hand. Minor cuts and scrapes can be treated at home.  A list of recommended items is found here:  https://www.avma.org/public/EmergencyCare/Pages/Supplies-Checklist.aspx   
  • Have your veterinarian’s phone number on hand; most have an emergency contact number for weekends and after hours calls. When in doubt, phone the vet.

Posted on 6/23/2015 by Stephanie Jaeger-Whipps  |  Category: Equine, Poultry, Cat, Dog, Rabbit, Sheep, Goat, Specialty
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