If you discover that your pet is suffering from any of the following – follow these simple steps until you can contact us. The first and main thing to remember is, DON’T PANIC. It will only make things worse!! Don't give the pet patient anything to eat or drink unless the vet tells you to do so! Life-threatening emergencies need speedy action, but, don't let 'heroism' interfere with common sense.
There are ways that you can prepare for emergencies, and first aid can often save lives.
- Keep a working pen and paper by the phone to take down instructions if necessary.
- Don't dash along to the practice without telephoning first. It may be that the emergencies are seen at a different site, or it may be vital for the vet to give advice, or get the operating theatre prepared.
- Keep a Pet First Aid Kit at home and with you when you are travelling.
- Keep the animal quiet and calm
- Apply pressure to any bleeding are using a dressing or clean bandage. Use enough pressure to stop blood loss. If stopping the blood loss is not possible, at least reduce the rate of bleeding as much as possible, until help arrives.
- If blood is seeping through, apply another tight layer.
- For places you cannot bandage, press firmly onto the wound and hold it in place.
- Get to the vet straight away.
- Deal with serious bleeding but do not apply a splint - it is painful and can cause the bone to break through the skin.
- Confine the animal for transport to the vet. Smaller animals can be put in a box.
Burns and Scalds
- Run cold water over these for at least five minutes, then contact the vet.
- Do not apply ointments or creams but if there is to be adelay getting to the vets, you can apply sterile dressing to the area.
- Keep the animal warm.
- Get quickly to the vet or you may be able to push the obstruction out by pushing on the throat/neck from the outside.
- If the animal is turning blue or has collapsed, try the following:
- You will need someone to help you. One person holds the mouth open, while the other reaches inside. Be careful not to get bitten.
- If you cannot pull out the obstruction lay the pet on its side. Push down suddenly and sharply on the tummy just behind the last rib.
- The person holding the mouth should be ready to grab the obstruction as it reappears.
- If a substance such as paint or tar has got onto the coat or paws, prevent the animal from licking, as it may be toxic.
- Try to clip off the small areas of affected hair if you are able to. Never use turpentine or paint removers on your pet.
- You can sometimes remove paint and other substances by bathing the area in washing up liquid or Swarfega, but if a large area is affected, see the vet.
- Never put yourself at risk attempting to rescue an animal.
- Wipe away material from the mouth and nose.
- Hold the animal upside down by the hind legs until water has drained out.
- Give artificial respiration if breathing has stopped.
- Even if your pet seems to recover, always see the vet as complications afterwards are common.
- If a high voltage (non-domestic, for example, power lines) supply is involved, do not approach the animal. Call the police.
- In the home, turn off power first. If this is impossible, you may be able to use a dry non-metallic item, like a broom handle, to push the animal away from the power source.
- If breathing has stopped, give artificial respiration. Call the vet immediately.
- If the eye is bulging out of the socket, apply a wet dressing, prevent rubbing or scratching and call the vet.
- If chemicals have got into the eye, flush with water (preferably from an eye bottle) repeatedly and call the vet.
- To stop a fight throw/hose water on the fighting animals.
- If your dog seems shocked, dull or distressed after a fight, call the vet. Otherwise, look at the wound. Puncture wounds on the head or body mean you should consult a vet right away.
- Injuries on the limbs may not need immediate treatment, unless severe or very painful but take the animal to the vet within 24 hours, as antibiotics may be required.
- If your pet is having a fit, do not try to hold or comfort the animal, as this provides stimulation, which may prolong the fit.
- Darken the room and reduce the noise.
- Move any objects or furniture which may cause harm.
- Ring the vet.
- If on a warm or hot day, your pet is panting heavily and distressed, and especially if the animal is short nosed (e.g. Boxer), overweight or has been playing or exercising, think heatstroke!
- Put the animal somewhere cool, preferably in a draught.
- Wet the coat with tepid water (cold water contracts the blood vessels in the skin and slows heat loss) and phone the vet.
- You can offer a small amount of water to drink.
- Try to find packaging from the substance swallowed and have it with you when you phone the vet.
- If chewing plants is suspected, try to find out the identity of the plant. Call the vet immediately.
- Do not make your dog sick unless the vet says to do so.
- Pull out the sting below the poison sac, then bathe the area in water or use a solution of bicarbonate of soda if available.
- Applying ice will help soothe. If the sting is in the mouth or throat, contact the vet as it may swell and interfere with breathing.
- If this happens suddenly, treat it seriously, especially if the animal is a deep chested breed such as a boxer or mastiff.
- There may also be gulping dribbling saliva and attempts to vomit. It could mean that there is a life-threatening twist in the stomach.
- Phone the vet immediately – DO NOT DELAY
Traffic accidents involving animals
- Firstly get someone to telephone the nearest vet.
- Approach the animal from the front so the animal can see you.
- Avoid any sudden movements and speak gently, using the animal's name if possible.
Assess the situation
- What's the danger to you and others? Don't be a hero!
- Direct traffic if you can.
Transport to the vet or move the animal away from traffic
- If the animal can walk gently coax into a car and help the animal get in.
- If the animal needs to be moved out of traffic and cannot walk, Large animals can be lifted on a makeshift stretcher, using a blanket, coat or rug. Small and medium animals can be lifted with hands underneath the hindquarters and the chest. Make sure breathing isn't obstructed.
- If the animal is very badly injured or you suspect spinal injuries, do not move unless advised by a vet.
RESUSCITATION (ABC) FOR DOGS
A - Airway
- Pull the tongue forward
- Check there is nothing in the throat
B - Breathing
- Look and listen. If the dog is not breathing, extend the dog's neck, close the mouth and blow down the dog's nose, using your hand as a 'funnel' so that you do not directly contact the dog's nose.
C - Circulation
- Apply regular, intermittent gentle pressure to the chest, only if you are sure there is no heartbeat.
PET FIRST AID KIT
A good pet first aid kid will contain:
- Bandages – Adhesive and open weave
- Cotton wool
- Surgical sticky tape
- Clean pieces of sheeting
- Water wash bottle
- Blunt ended Scissors with round ends
- A thick towel
- A rug or blanket that can be used as a stretcher