First Aid tips for your pet – how to handle an emergency.
As pet owners we try our very best to keep our animals safe at all times but sadly accidents do happen. Knowing how to deal with your pet in an emergency, calmly and with confidence can make all the difference. Over the next few months we will look at how to handle difficult situations for the best possible outcome.
FIRST AID KIT
There is no need to have a specific medical kit available but here are a few things that are good to have at hand.
GETTING YOUR PET TO THE VET HOW TO HANDLE YOUR INJURED PET
- Gauze/ crepe bandage
- Cotton wool or gauze
- Elastoplast roll
- Towel /blanket
- Your usual Vets clinics phone
- 24 hours clinic number
- Cat carrier/basket/laundry basket
An injured pet will be stressed and often in pain. It may also be confused and disorientated. Please take care when approaching an injured animal, the last thing you want is to be bitten or scratched. Even the most beloved pet can be unpredictable when hurt. Never assume your dog wont bite! Apply a soft muzzle if necessary. A soft crepe bandage is ideal for this but a pair of stockings or a tie or even a belt can be used.
How to muzzle your dog:
If your dog is aggressive approach with the muzzle from behind.
Alternatively follow the steps below.
A muzzle will not harm your dog but it will allow you to examine your dog with confidence and move him.
NOTE! DO NOT MUZZLE YOUR DOG IF IT IS BREATHING WITH DIFFICULTY OR VOMITING!
Restraining a cat is always difficult but wrapping them up gently but firmly in a thick towel or blanket will keep kitty claws at bay. If your cat is very distressed and fighting with all guns blazing a large blanket thrown over the whole cat is often useful the cat then be scooped up and put into a secure container. If necessary bring out the leather braai gloves!
- Try to examine your pet slowly and gently.
- Call your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic before you move your pet- by letting the practice know you are on the way and the type of emergency you have, allows staff to be ready to assist the moment you walk through the door.
- Know your pets’ weight /age
How to transport your injured pet.
Unfortunately, most practices do not have enough staff available to send out to help. So the sooner you get your pet to the veterinary practice, the quicker it will receive treatment.
We often get calls from owner’s that are at a loss as to how to transport their sick or injured dog or cat. Here are some tips that can help overcome this problem.
1. Try to keep your pet (especially cats) contained in a small area particularly if they are distressed – this will reduce the risk of them further injuring themselves.
A plastic container with a red basket Description generated with high confidence A pet carrier is definitely the best option but a box /laundry basket or other container that can be secured can work well.
This can also be helpful for small dogs.
If possible place the carrier of box on the floor inside the vehicle so it doesn’t get thrown around whilst you are driving.
If you have a large dog that is immobile you will need help but it is not impossible to move even a heavy dog. Rolling the dog onto a large blanket, towel, old curtain anything that is soft that can be used as a stretcher. Even a board or a door can be used if it can be put into a vehicle easily.
By now you should be on your way to your vet and the medical care your pet needs.
Next month we will look at some of the different problems you may encounter at home and how to deal with them.