Tip of the Month

2/12/2009 Pet First-Aid

First-aid should always be followed up by a visit to the vet. Although first aid may prevent an injury from worsening, help to alleviate pain, or even save your petís life, you should always seek the advice of a veterinarian if your pet becomes injured. A certified graduate from one of the many accredited veterinary assistant schools can also be a reliable reference for first-aid tips, though keep in mind that an assistant may not diagnose and is limited in what he or she is allowed to do.

We have outlined some basic dos and doníts of pet first aid, but you should speak with your veterinarian about specific recommendations for first-aid care. All recommendations should be used with good judgment and in conjunction with advice from your veterinarian or veterinary assistant. You should remain calm and always use caution when handling an injured animal. Even the most trusted and loving animal may become fractious when frightened or in pain. All families who share their home with a pet should have a first-aid kit in an easily accessible location. Also, learning some simple animal restraint techniques is recommended.

A basic first-aid kit should contain:

Canine First-Aid Kit
- A good pet first-aid book
- Phone numbers: veterinarian, nearest emergency clinic, poison-control center/hotline
- Paperwork: proof of rabies vaccination, and copies of other important medical records
- Rectal thermometer (normal temperature for a dog: 100 Ė 102.5 F)
- Gauze rolls, pads, and adhesive tape (white porous and self-adhesive tape)
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl)
- Over-the-counter antibiotic ointment
- Tweezers
- Petroleum jelly
- Antiseptic lotion, powder, or spray
- A nylon leash
- A carrier for small dogs
- Cotton balls or swabs
- Splints and tongue depressors
- A muzzle or strips of cotton to prevent biting
- Penlight or flashlight
- Bandage scissors
- Needle-nosed pliers
- Plastic eyedropper or syringe
- Sterile saline solution
- Glucose paste or corn syrup
- Styptic powder or pencil
- Latex gloves
- Ear-cleaning solution
- Nail clippers

Feline First-Aid Kit
- A good pet first-aid book
- Phone Numbers: veterinarian, the nearest emergency veterinary clinic, a poison-control center/hotline
- Paperwork: proof of rabies vaccination status, and copies of other important medical records
- Rectal thermometer (normal temperature for a cat: 100 Ė 102.5 F)
- Sterile gauze rolls, pads and adhesive tape (white porous and self-adhesive type tape)
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Tweezers
- Petroleum jelly
- Antiseptic lotion, powder, or spray
- A pillowcase to confine your cat for treatment
- A carrier
- Cotton balls or swabs
- Splints and tongue depressors
- Towels
- A cat muzzle or strips of cotton to prevent biting
- Penlight or flashlight
- Scissors
- Needle-nosed pliers
- Ice pack
- Plastic eyedropper or syringe
- Sterile saline solution
- Latex gloves
- Ear-cleaning solution
- Nail clippers

If Your Pet Is Bleeding
Locate the area actively bleeding. Apply a pressure bandage using gauze pads and self-adhesive tape. Make the bandage snug but not tight enough to cut off circulation. Do not apply a tourniquet as this may cause more problems than it prevents. Use extreme care if bandaging around the face and/or neck. Do not attempt to clean an open wound. Take your pet to the veterinarian immediately so that he/she (with the help of a technician or a veterinary assistant school graduate) can evaluate your petís condition.

Fractured or Dislocated Limb
Do not attempt to manipulate or place a splint on an injured limb. These injuries are very painful and any manipulation will likely cause greater pain. If possible, transport your pet in a carrier to avoid excessive movement, and take your pet to the veterinarian as quickly as possible. The clinic workers will assist you in safely removing your pet from your car without causing further injury. Use extreme caution when handling an animal with this type of injury.

If You Suspect Heatstroke
A pet that has had a heatstroke will have rapid, shallow breathing; excessive drooling; bright red gums; weakness (often they are recumbent, or refuse to move); and a very high body temperature. Some pets may show signs of agitation with or without vocalization. Do not attempt to bring the body temperature down by pouring rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol on your pet as this may cause the temperature to drop too drastically and may cause your pet to go into shock. Wrap your pet in cool (not cold) damp towels, and get your pet to the vet immediately. Heatstroke is a life-threatening emergency. The hospitalís veterinary assistant or technician will evaluate your petís condition prior to the veterinarianís diagnosis.

Preventing heatstroke is actually very easy. Make sure your pet always has fresh, clean water readily available. Since cats and dogs donít sweat and have a naturally higher body temperature than humans, they can overheat very easily. Never leave your pet in a hot car Ė even if the windows are down and you will only be gone for a few minutes. Do not leave your pet outside on a hot day and always make sure your pet has a cool, comfortable place to escape the heat. For more tips on keeping your pet cool and preventing heatstroke, speak with professionals such as a vet assistant, technician, or veterinarian.

If You Suspect Your Pet Has Been Poisoned
If your pet has been poisoned, you should seek veterinary attention immediately. Do not feed your pet or attempt to make it vomit. Some poisons can do more damage to your pet coming up than going down. Your veterinarian (with assistance from a veterinary assistant and/or technician) will detoxify your pet once it has been admitted to the clinic. If detected early, most poisons can be eliminated from your petís body without extensive treatments. Keep cleaners and pesticides out of your petís reach. If you have houseplants, find out if they are poisonous to animals and keep them out of your petís living area. If you know what poisoned your animal, make sure you take the label Ė or something else that identifies the poison Ė with you to the vet.

In the event of any emergency or injury involving your pet, always be sure to stay calm, act responsibly, and call your vet as soon as possible. Your veterinarian and his or her staff will guide you and your pet to safety. Remember, your pet is counting on you.

Source: healthypet.org

Get Your Own Tip Box!

You can put ABC's tip of the month on your own web site. It's free and easy!

get the code

 

View the 5 most recent tips

Tips Archive

 

 

 

We invite you to click through our site or speak with an ABC Admissions Counselor at:
 
1-800-795-3294
 

 

 

Request Information





Yes




Yes

I understand that submitting my information authorizes Animal Behavior College to contact me via phone, fax, email, text (if I opted in), or other automated technology. I waive all no-call-registry choices and acknowledge that my consent does not require me to purchase.
** Standard text messaging rates apply as provided in your wireless plan.
Recommended Reading


 
Sitemap
Copyright © 2000 - 2014 Animal Behavior College
Animal Behavior College * 25104 Rye Canyon Loop * Santa Clarita, CA 91355-5004