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March 1, 2020
Kenzo’s Diaries 7 – A Dogs Life
March 1, 2020

PET EMERGENCIES AND FIRST AID

cute German Shepherd puppy vet and cat and stethoscope

By Fiona Mullan BSc Hons RVN VPAC

It can be an extremely frightening and stressful time when a pet is injured, suddenly falls ill, or has been involved in an accident.

 

Below are common pet emergencies and some first aid advice in each situation. If possible, keep a well-stocked ‘pet first aid kit’ at home or car (various size bandaging, sterile dressings, tape and scissors) and always have your veterinary contact number to hand.

Road Traffic Accidents

  • Approach the pet only if safe to do so, talk to them slowly and calmly.
  • Apply a lead to secure dogs straight away.
  • Assess the state of the injuries and try not to move the pet too much to avoid causing further injury.
  • If bleeding, apply clean swabs/clothing to the wound and hold pressure.
  • Use a blanket to lift and transport them. Take them to the nearest vets as soon as possible.

Seizures

Seizures can occur for a number of reasons and present in a variety of signs. These include; dazed/unsteady, collapse, muscle tremors/twitching, rigid limbs/body, loss of consciousness, drooling/foaming at the mouth, loss of bladder/bowel control.

  • Do not attempt to restrain, pick up, or transport your pet during a seizure. They are not in control of their body, and may injure or bite you by accident.
  • Move furniture and objects away from your pet that may cause injury.
  • Reduce noise as much as possible—turn off radios, TV, dim lights and continue to talk to your pet calmly to reassure them.
  • Record the time and duration of the seizure. If possible, video the seizure to show your vet.
  • Keep your pet as cool as they can overheat, but do not soak them.
  • Contact your vet as soon as possible but only transport when it safe to do so.

Poisonings

Common poisonings often involve chocolate, raisins/sultanas, grapes, rat poison, slug bait and lilies.

  • Remove the source of toxin immediately if possible.
  • DO NOT attempt to make your pet vomit at home.
  • Contact your vet as soon as possible and give them as much information as you can about the toxin (time eaten, ingredients, volume eaten etc.) before you arrive.
  • Keep all packaging (where applicable) and take it with you to the vet.

Cuts and grazes

  • If the wound is bleeding, apply clean gauze swabs or piece of clothing and apply pressure.
  • If possible, apply a bandage to the wound ensuring it is firm but not too tight.
  • If the wound is small and not bleeding, keep it as clean with warm salty water, make an appointment with your vet.

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