Pet First Aid - News from Suvika
NATIONAL PET FIRST AID MONTH (APRIL)
April was National Pet First Aid Awareness month, a month that is dedicated to teaching fellow pet parents about providing emergency care to their animals. But keeping in mind that it's imperative to see your Veterinarian if your pet gets hurt or sick.
However, you may need to give your furry family member first aid until you can make it to the Vet. You may also find yourself in a situation where you are far from the nearest Vet, especially if you are out camping, hiking in a remote area or even live on a farm where the nearest town is many kilometres away.
WHAT SHOULD PET OWNERS KNOW ABOUT FIRST AID
The most important thing pet owners should know is that prevention is the best medicine. Just like children you can’t stop all accidents from happening, but you can take steps to reduce the dangers and risks your pet faces every day.
The most common causes of emergency vet visit every year are chocking, injuries or accidental poisoning in animals. A Pet First Aid Kit should be stocked and ready just in case. But importantly you must check that the supplies haven’t expired. Therefore, April is a good month to set a reminder to restock and replace the items.
FIRST AID KIT
Other items to keep on hand:
As a pet parent you should also know how to use the items as well as emergency procedures like the Heimlich Manoeuvre and CPR. There are videos available online but the best resource for this information is your Veterinarian.
MOUTH TO SNOUT: PET CPR STEPS:
For cats and other tiny animals use the thumb and fore fingers of one hand. Perform 80-120 compressions per minute for large animals and 100-150 per minute for smaller animals.
Alternate chest compressions with rescue breaths until the animal’s heart begins to beat again and breathing resumes.
3 COMMON CALL FOR PET FIRST AID
Intestinal obstruction is a potentially life-threatening condition that requires attention from a Veterinarian. You won’t be able to reach for your first aid kits. Instead owners should recognise the symptoms: vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and tenderness, lack of appetite, straining to defecate, constipation, lethargy, behavioural changes such as biting or growling when picked up.
What’s gotten into your cat?
Cats are particularly guilty of ingesting foreign bodies such as thread, string, ribbon, cord and rubber bands.
What’s gotten into your dog?
Dogs are guilty of ingesting inedible objects more than other pets because they love to chew. Common items are bones, rawhide, toys, rubber balls, sticks, stones, socks and underwear.
Soft tissues include the skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Trauma to these tissues can occur from car accidents, animal fights, strains and other injuries.
Common dog and cat injuries include: Dog and cat abscesses, eye trauma, cruciate ligament ruptures, lameness – back trouble, torn or broken nail.
TOP 5 MOST COMMON TOXINS REPORTED
Human food is a major culprit behind poisoning cases. Here are a few examples: avocado, chocolate (all forms), onions and garlic, raisins and grapes and food sweetened with Xylitol.
WHEN AN EMERGENCY OCCURS
- Secure the scene, remove any physical threats to your pet
- Stay calm
- Check Airway, Breathing and Circulation
- Control any profuse bleeding
- Call for help
- Start CPR if necessary
- Administer any first aid recommended by the Veterinarian
- Splint any broken bones before moving your pet
- Get your pet to an emergency clinic as soon as possible
In closing, preparing yourself for an emergency is a lot less daunting that it may seem. Remember, that accidents happen. But if you know what to do when your pet is injured it can save their lives. If you find yourself in a situation where all reason fails and you don’t know what to do, remain calm and call for help and most importantly, stay with your pet.