Pet First Aid
Would you know what to do if your pet was in an emergency situation? Hopefully you will never find yourself in this situation, but should it arise it is best to be prepared for what immediate aid you could give to your pet.
Each year, thousands of pets are injured in traffic accidents, suffer with dehydration/heatstroke, consuming poisonous substances and general cuts and scrapes. Here are some simple yet effective pet first aid tips you that can help in an emergency that will keep you animal as safe as possible and may avoid the emergency visit to the vets.
Bleeding and Wounds
Start by applying pressure to the affected area, this will reduce the blood loss. Use bandages and sterile wraps, however if these are not available then use any fabric/material you can find.
After the initial bleeding is stopped, the wound should be cleaned and antiseptic solution applied.
If the bleeding does not stop apply more pressure.
This can occur suddenly and often causes great distress for both the animal and the owner, it is important to remain calm and comfort and reassure your pet. Urgent veterinary checks are always required but whilst you are waiting for this you can do the following;
- Look at the colour of the pets gums, if they appear pale white/ blue oxygen is urgently needed
- If safe, check the animals mouth for an obstruction – and remove if found
- Let the animal find a comfortable position
- Keep the animal calm and remove noisy distractions. Stroke and talk to your pet.
Seek veterinary advice as burns can have delayed reactions on the skin, you may not think the burn is not as bad as it is.
Do not cover the burned area or apply anything to it.
Be sure to be very gentle with the animal and make sure it is not putting a lot of pressure on the damaged area.
Poisonous Substances / Insect bites and stings
If you fear your animal has consumed a poisonous substance refrain from giving food or water and do not try and induce vomiting.
Keep a close eye on your animal’s behaviour so you can report activity to the vet.
Be sure to give the vet a full description of what the animal has ingested and if possible bring the packaging with you.
Most bites and stings are more of an irritant to your animal than a medical emergency however if you pet does have an allergic reaction then you should contact your vet as soon as possible.
It is important to keep a close eye on your animal’s behaviour in case of sudden and serious changes, keep them calm until you visit the surgery.
Heat Stroke and De-hydration
This can occur on a warm day, often when animals are exposed to the sun and have been doing a lot of exercise. Ensure the animal rests in a shady cool area and has plenty of fresh drinking water.
If necessary use cool water, damp towels and air condoning to help your animals body temperature to go down, focusing on the skin on the belly and inside the legs.
If you fear your animal is dehydrated encourage it to drink as much water as possible, you could also soak the animals food in water if they are not drinking enough.