National Pet First Aid Month is here!April 23rd, 2012
Awareness about what you can do at home if your pet becomes injured or suddenly ill is important for ALL pet owners!
Pet First Aid Awareness Month is a great time to run down your checklist of what to do in case of emergencies. If you don’t already have pet first aid tips, and a list of emergencies that should receive immediate veterinary consultation; we have provided them for you here.
Pet first aid supplies
As a pet owner, you need to make sure you have basic first aid supplies for the pets in your household. Carefully putting together a well-stocked first aid kit will make you more ready to handle an emergency if one happens. Keep your pet’s first aid kit fully stocked and next to your family first aid kit.
Your pet first aid kit should include:
- Gauze: For wrapping wounds or muzzling an injured animal.
- Nonstick bandages or clean strips of cloth: To protect wounds and stop bleeding
- Adhesive tape for bandages: For securing and wrapping bandages. Do not use human adhesive bandages on pets.
- Hydrogen Peroxide (3%): To induce vomiting – always consult your veterinarian or local poison control center before treating an animal for poisoning or inducing vomiting.
- Digital thermometer: Make sure your thermometer is a “fever” thermometer. A regular thermometer does not go high enough for pets. Do not check your pet’s temperature orally; the temperature must be taken rectally.
- Eye dropper: To give oral medicines or flush out wounds.
- Leash: To transport your pet if it is capable of walking.
- Always remember that any first aid administered to your pet should be followed by immediate veterinary care. First aid care is not a substitute for veterinary care, but it may save your pet’s life until it receives veterinary treatment.
How to handle a hurt pet
If your pet is injured, it could be in a lot of pain and also might be scared and confused. You need to be careful that when you are helping to treat your loved one, that you aren’t injured in the process. Below are some basic tips for handling an injured pet.
- Never assume that even the gentlest pet will not scratch or bite if they are injured. Fear and pain can make animals dangerous and unpredictable.
- Do not hug or put your face by your pet. It may be your first instinct when comforting your pet but it may scare them or cause them pain.
- Perform your examinations slowly and gently. If your pet becomes agitated, stop immediately.
- Call your veterinarian or emergency vet clinic so that they are ready for you before you move your pet when you arrive.
- Bring all of your pet’s medical records with you.
No matter how prepared we are for emergencies and injuries, there are some animal emergencies that should receive immediate veterinary consultation or care. We’ve compiled some of the instances that you need to head straight to the vet.
- Bleeding that is severe or lasts more than five minutes
- Difficulty breathing, including choking and gagging
- Pain or the inability to urinate or pass stool
- Eye injuries
- Knowledge or suspicion that your pet has eaten something poisonous
- Seizures or staggering
- Inability to move legs, lameness or fractured bones
- Extreme anxiety
- Heat stroke
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea (2 episodes in a 24-hour period)
The bottom line is that ANY concern about your pet’s health warrants, at minimum, a call to your veterinarian.