Basic First Aid Tips For Pet Owners

There can be no substitute for a veterinarian’s advice and treatment when it comes to a sick pet but knowing a little first aid may help pet owners in the case of an emergency and may even help to keep the animal alive until a qualified professional can be found.

If you own a pet, you should have a basic first aid kit, and ideally this will include:

  • Telephone numbers of a local veterinarian along with contact details for the closest emergency pet clinic
  • Telephone number for animal poison control
  • A leash
  • Gauze for dressing wounds
  • Strips of cloth
  • Adhesive tape for pet bandages
  • Milk of magnesia
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • An eye dropper
  • Digital thermometer
  • Muzzle
  • A blanket

First aid tips

Suspected poisoning cases:

You may have been wondering why hydrogen peroxide and milk of magnesia are included in the first aid kit? If your pet is suspected of having been poisoned, then your vet or other animal professional may suggest that you use them to help your pet vomit the poison out of their stomach, or to help remove it before you take your pet to a clinic for emergency treatment. However, never give your pet either product unless you have been instructed to do so by a
professional.

The main thing to keep in mind if your pet has been poisoned, is that you need to act fast.

What to do if your pet is choking:

It’s usually quite easy to tell if your pet has something stuck in their mouth or throat, and they will be in a lot of distress and discomfort. Depending on the size and nature of your pet, you may be able to force open their mouth and search for the obstruction. If you can see the problem item, and you’re able to remove it without causing further harm to you or your pet, then do so as quickly as you can. If this is not possible or your pet collapses, then try to lay them on their side and strike the rib cage with the flat palm of your hand up to 4 times.

Naturally, if you’re not able to remove the object yourself and your pet is still choking, rush them to your nearest clinic and seek professional help.

Keeping your pet safe in hot weather:

Pets are susceptible to heatstroke and will display symptoms that may include excess salivation, difficulty breathing, panting heavily and they may even collapse and lose consciousness. If you suspect that your pet is suffering from heatstroke, then as with any pet emergency, it’s important to act fast. Remove them from the heat and place a cold wet towel around their neck and head, being sure to leave the eyes and airways clear. Continue to keep them cool in this manner while you call your vet or prepare to take your pet to an emergency clinic.

Dealing with an open wound:

Staunching the flow of blood from an open wound is essential, and you can do this with gauze pressed firmly onto the site. If you can flush the wound with water using an eye dropper, so much the better, but a badly bleeding wound will need swift medical intervention.

Suspected seizure:

Refrain from touching your pet’s face and head if they are having what seems to be a seizure, instead remove all dangerous items from the vicinity of their body and time the length of the seizure if possible. Call your vet as soon as you can and give them as much information as you can about how long the seizure lasted and whether anything could have induced it.

To learn more about caring for your pet in the case of a medical emergency, please get in touch with your local veterinary clinic.

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