Pet First Aid
With everything going on in the United States, health is the main topic for discussion. Many businesses have closed doors and many veterinary offices are limiting who is seen. There are tips and tricks that can be done at home to stay prepared for possible disaster or injury until you can get your pet to a veterinarian.
Whether it is an injury, possible poisoning, or other medical emergency, you should always contact the proper professionals. Having phone numbers for these facilities is very important. Your veterinarian may not be open 24/7, so including the local emergency clinic’s phone number as well as the Pet Poison Helpline is wise. Before providing any sort of care for your pet, be sure to contact these professionals.
A first aid kit can be found in almost every home. Unfortunately, our first aid kits may not have the items we need to help our furry family members. Having a kit in your home, as well as your vehicle is ideal. When building your kit, here are some items to add:
- Phone numbers: Veterinary, local emergency clinic, Pet Poison Helpline
- Gauze: Use to wrap wounds or muzzle
- Nonstick bandages: Towels or strips of clean fabric
- Adhesive tape for bandages: Use to secure the gauze wrap or bandage
- Digital thermometer: To determine if the pet is running low or high grade temperatures
- Eye dropper: Give oral meds or flush wounds
- Muzzle: A rope, necktie, stocking or a small towel may be used. DO NOT MUZZLE IF YOU SEE VOMIT.
- Stretcher: A door, board, blanket or floor mat can be used to stabilize if pet is injured
At the first sign of an emergency, panic will probably set in. This is the most important time to remember to stay calm. Knowing basic first-aid techniques can be crucial. Having a plan can help you know how to provide the best care until you can get to a veterinarian. Here we have listed common pet emergencies and what to do until you can head to the vet:
Hit by car
Your pet will likely be in pain. Muzzling is best practice, even if your pet has never bitten before. Carefully pull pet onto a stretcher or blanket. Do not lift pet and try not to move them very much. Many injuries are not visible and you do not want to cause more damage.
- Call the Poison Control Helpline 1-800-213-6680 until getting to veterinarian
- Gather the item pet was exposed to
- Head to veterinarian as soon as possible
- If pet if unconscious, open pet’s mouth to clear any objects.
- Do a modified Heimlich maneuver.
- Place pet on its side.
* Apply pressure right behind ribs
* Press hands forward
- Continue this as someone drives you to your veterinary office
A seizure should pass within 3 minutes. Make sure to keep the animal safe by moving all furniture away. Do not try to pull tongue out. Keep your hands and face away from their mouth. Try to time the seizure for records when you go to the veterinarian.
Symptoms: Panting heavily, drooling, trouble breathing, bright red tongue, pale gums, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Place in shady area and put a cool wet cloth around neck and head.
- Gently hose belly with cool (not cold) water. DO NOT cool pet off too quickly.
- Transport to vet.
In all of these situations, please remember to stay calm and get to your veterinarian or a local emergency clinic as soon as possible. Emergencies are scary, but with these tools and techniques, we can stay prepared for whatever happens. Having important phone numbers on hand is always best practice.