It’s always a good idea to keep your vet’s number where you have easy access to it: post it on the refrigerator for reference and store it in your smart phone. Of course, not every condition your pet faces will need emergency care. Here are some helpful tips to learn in the case you need to jump to the rescue to help your pet.
Poisoning and toxin exposure
Shield pets from any potential hazards around your home, like cleaning products, antifreeze and even certain houseplants. If your pet ingests something that may be harmful, or if he is exhibiting symptoms like seizures, loss of consciousness or breathing distress, call your vet immediately as well as the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680. Information is also available at their website at http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com.
If your dog suffers a broken leg or fracture, you want to keep him as calm as possible while you prepare to transport him to the vet. You might need a flat board to serve as a stretcher, but you might also find that you can wrap him in a blanket or throw rug. While some people are tempted to use a homemade splint, it can create more problems if it isn’t placed properly. The best bet is to let your veterinarian handle the splint and bandaging.
There may be times when your pet comes into contact with another animal and suffers a bite or other wound that may result in bleeding. Or they may suffer a wound in other ways. Take a clean gauze pad and apply pressure to stop the bleeding. More serious bleeding may require a tourniquet along with a bandage and pressure on the wound. Take your pet to a vet as soon as possible for any serious bleeding.
If your pet exhibits symptoms of choking — breathing problems and pawing at the mouth or choking sounds — look into his mouth to see if an object is visible. Be careful, though, and be aware that there is potential for your pet to bite. If you can’t remove the object, you can apply quick pressure to the sides of a small pet’s rib cage to try and push the object out. If you have a large dog, try a modified version of a Heimlich manoeuvre by putting your arms around his belly, joining hands, making a fist and pushing up and forward behind the rib cage.
If the weather is warm, don’t put your pet at risk by leaving it in your car. The temperature inside a car can escalate to dangerous levels very quickly. If you do suspect your pet is overheated, place a cool or cold wet towel around his head and neck, move him to the shade and even take a hose to keep water running over his body.
It’s always important to stay up-to-date on the types of injuries your pet can experience and how to immediately offer first aid in the event of an emergency.
This article is presented by Erin Mills Acura in Mississauga, ON