Pet First Aid
dog sicknessWhen your pet has an emergency, being prepared is very important. You can also stay prepared for emergencies by putting together a pet first aid kit. But always remember that in an emergency, first aid is not a substitute for veterinary treatment. However, before you are able to get your pet to a veterinarian, knowing some basic first aid can help.

Bite Wounds

Approach the pet carefully to avoid getting bitten. Muzzle the animal. Check the wound for contamination or debris. Clean the wound with large amounts of saline or balanced electrolyte solution. If these are not available, then regular water may be used. Wrap large open wounds to keep them clean. Apply pressure to profusely bleeding wounds. Do not use a tourniquet.

Bite wounds often become infected and need professional care. Call your veterinarian.



Bleeding

Apply firm, direct pressure over the bleeding area until the bleeding stops. Hold the pressure for at least 10 straight minutes (continually releasing the pressure to check the wound will hamper the clotting). Avoid bandages that cut off circulation.

Call your veterinarian immediately.
Breathing Stops
Check to see if your pet is choking on a foreign object. If your pet is not breathing, place it on a firm surface with its left side up. Check for a heartbeat by listening at the area where the elbow touches the chest. If you hear a heartbeat but not breathing, close the his/her mouth and breathe directly into its nose--not the mouth--until the chest expands. Repeat 12 to 15 times per minute. If there is no pulse, apply heart massage at the same time.

The heart is located in the lower half of the chest, behind the elbow of the front left leg. Place one hand below the heart to support the chest. Place other hand over the heart and compress gently. To massage the hearts of cats and other tiny pets, compress the chest with the thumb and forefingers of one hand. Apply heart massage 80-120 times per minute for larger animals and 100-150 per minute for smaller ones. Alternate heart massage with breathing.

Please note: Even in the hands of well-trained veterinary health professionals, the success of resuscitation is very low overall. Success may be slightly higher in the cases of drowning or electrical shock.

Call your veterinarian immediately.
Burns

The burns could be caused by chemical, electrical, or heat including from a heating pad. The symptoms might include singed hair, blistering, swelling, redness of skin 
 
Flush the burn immediately with large amounts of cool, running water. Apply an ice pack for 15-20 minutes. Do not place an ice pack directly on the skin. Wrap the pack in a light towel or other cloth. If your pet has large quantities of dry chemicals on its skin, brush them off. Water may activate some dry chemicals.

Call your veterinarian immediately.
Choking

The symptoms includedifficulty breathing, excessive pawing at the mouth, blue lips and tongue.  
 
If your pet can still partially breathe, it's best to keep him/her calm and get to a veterinarian as quickly as possible. Look into the mouth to see if foreign object in throat is visible. If you can, clear the airway by removing the object with pliers or tweezers, being careful not to push it farther down the throat.

If it is lodged too deep or if the pet collapses, then place your hands on both sides of the animal's rib cage and apply firm, quick pressure.

Call your veterinarian immediately.
Diarrhea

Withhold food for 12-24 hours, but not water. Sometimes pets that appear to be straining are sore from diarrhea rather than from constipation. Your veterinarian can help you decide which it is and what will help. Trying at-home treatments without knowing the real cause can just make things worse.

Call your veterinarian.
Fractures
The symptoms for the same are pain, inability to use a limb, or limb at odd angle. 
 
Muzzle your pet and look for signs of bleeding. If you can control bleeding without causing more injury, then do so. Watch for signs of shock. Do not try to set the fracture by pulling or tugging on the limb. Transport the pet to the veterinarian immediately, supporting the injured part as best you can.
Heatstroke

Some of the symptoms of heatstroke are rapid or labored breathing, vomiting, high body temperature, collapse.

Place your pet in a tub of cool water. Or, gently soak the animal with a garden hose or wrap it in a cool, wet towel. Do not overcool the animal. Stop cooling when rectal temperature reaches 103 degrees Fahrenheit.

Call veterinarian immediately.
Poisoning

Some of the symptoms are vomiting, convulsions, diarrhea, salivation, weakness, depression and pain.

Record what the pet ingested and how much. Immediately call your veterinarian. Do not induce vomiting.



Seizures

Salivation, loss of control of urine or stool, violent muscle twitching, loss of consciousness are some of the common symptoms.

Move your pet away from any objects that could be harmful during the seizure. Use a blanket for padding and protection. Do not put yourself at risk by restraining the pet during the seizure. Time the seizure. They usually last only 2 to 3 minutes. Afterwards, keep the animal calm and quiet.

Call your veterinarian immediately.


Vomiting

Withhold food for 12-24 hours. Give your pet ice cubes two hours after the vomiting stops, then slowly increase the amount of water and foods given over a 24-hour period.

Call your veterinarian.

 
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