It can be scary not knowing what to do in case your pet experiences seizure right in front of you or is hurt. That’s why pets first aid tips should be among the top agendas if you’re a pet owner. In most cases, if your dog is hit by a car, you would rush it to a veterinary. However, you need to know how to stabilize the pet until a vet arrives or you get to the veterinarian. The following guideline will give you the basics you need for giving first aid care to your pet.
Have Pets First Aid Kit
Your pet’s emergency supply kit should contain wound sterilizer, milk of magnesia to absorb poison, gauze to wrap wounds, a muzzle to secure your pet’s head, and a small stretcher to stabilize the body for transport. Also, have an emergency contact number in your phone and keep the kit somewhere easy to access.
Ensure Everyone is Safe and Out of Harm’s Way
As a pet owner and first aid giver, you should take precautions so that your pet and your children are safe. If you’re moving your pet, take safety measures so that you aren’t bitten. When in pain, even the sweetest pet might bite you accidentally. Try to comfort the pet to help minimize its anxiety.
Handling a Wound
Bites and cuts have the potential of being infected, thus you need to clean and dress the wound. First, clean and then treat the wound using a disinfectant like hydrogen peroxide. If the wound is bleeding, apply pressure until clotting occurs. When the bleeding stops, dress the wound then go see a vet immediately. Don’t assume that your pet will just recover from a deep cut. You need the vets advise and antibiotics to avoid deep infections.
If you suspect your pet has ingested poison, a dangerous plant or toxic food, call vet or dial (888) 426-4435 to reach the Animal Poison Control Center. You’ll receive instructions on how to treat the poison like inducing vomiting, providing drinking water or flushing eyes or skin. This is a 24-hour hotline service, hence don’t hesitate to call them. Note: Don’t induce vomiting if not told so by the vet since most toxins are corrosive and vomiting can damage the esophagus or cause choking. Prepare your pet to visit the veterinarian.
Bleeding Claws and Broken Bones
If you accidentally cut a pet’s claw and it begins to bleed, use an absorbent dressing and then bandage loosely. In case the bleeding doesn’t stop seek veterinary help. If it’s a broken bone, prevent the animal from running up and down to avoid further injuries. You can use bubble wrap or tape to secure the area.
Performing Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Resuscitation can be performed in two different scenarios. When you don’t feel your pet’s heartbeat you can perform a cardiac massage. Secondly, when your pet is not breathing but has a heartbeat you can initiate artificial respiration. Here, you lay your pet on the right-hand side, remove any obstructing material, cup your hands around its nose, then gently blow into the nostrils and mouth until the chest rises. Ensure you check your pet regularly for breathing and heartbeat. The American Veterinary Medical Association offers more details on how to perform CPR safely.
Transporting Your Pet
In case of an injury either from a severe cut, fractured bones, or head injury, you need to move your pet carefully to avoid causing additional harm. You should first secure the head with a muzzle. If the pet is vomiting allow it time to feel better. For physical injury, secure the body to a flat stretcher or board, then place the pet inside the car for safe transportation to the veterinarian.
There are some cases you should determine whether to seek immediate medical care or wait to be seen by the veterinarian. You can call the vet and ask for guidance on the steps to take. It’s better to be safe than sorry. You should learn to remain calm. This way you’ll be able to think straight and then act instead of undertaking a situation while you are anxious and unprepared or maybe stressed up. Approach the pet calmly with a soothing voice. Remember to check your pet’s temperature. You can wrap it using a thick blanket and jumper to stop loss of body heat. If your pet is wet, dry it as quickly as possible. In case the pet’s temperature is on the rise, soak a towel in cold water and place it on the head, stomach, under the neck or inner thighs. Don’t apply ice packs to the pet.