Discussing Some Of The Most Important Aspects Of Pet First Aid In Honor Of Pet First Aid Awareness Month
April is widely known and celebrated as National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. This is a month-long holiday designed to help educate pet owners on pet first aid. Whether you are trained or untrained in pet first aid, there is always more to learn regarding emergency medical care for pets. This article will cover 5 of the most important things everyone should know regarding pet first aid.
1.) Be Prepared
The best way to handle any emergency situation is to be prepared for any emergency situation. Every pet owner should have a first aid kit for the pets on hand in case of an emergency. Items that should be kept in your pet first aid kit include bandages, blunt-tipped scissors, latex gloves, sterile eye solution, plastic syringe, tweezers, medications (if applicable), antiseptic wipes, digital thermometer, emergency contact card, and treats. These are just a few examples of the essential things you should always have on standby for pet-related medical emergencies. For more information regarding emergency supplies for your pet, check out our previous article entitled National Pet Preparedness Month.
2.) Act Fast, But Remain Calm
Regardless of what type of emergency situation you’re in, the most important thing to remember is to act quickly and stay calm. During an emergency situation, every second counts. Wasted time could be the difference between life and death. That’s why it’s so important to have a plan in place to handle any given situation. Whether it’s a house fire, flood, or your pet is choking on something, you should have a clear plan ready so you know what actions to take and in what order. Many people tend to panic or freeze-up during the heat of the moment. But, this can easily be avoided if you already know what to do and when to do it.
3.) Applying Medical Treatment
You don’t need to be a medical professional to administer medical care to your pets. While you should always leave the serious pet medical injuries to your veterinarian, basic medical care can be administered by nearly anyone. We strongly encourage any pet owner to educate themselves regarding basic first aid for pets. You can take an online class for pet first aid and pet CPR through the RedCross website. In most emergency situations, you will need to apply some form of first aid before taking your pet to the veterinarian office or animal hospital. Being able to treat external bleeding, bone fractures, burns, choking, and seizures are essential for any pet owner. For more information regarding basic procedures of pet first aid, check out the A.V.M.A. website.
4.) Handling Seizures
When it comes to seizures in pets, there are two types of causes. Extracranial and Intracranial. Extracranial causes occur from things like hypoglycemia, hyperthermia, liver disease, and ingested poisons. Intracranial originates from the brain and occurs from things like tumors, trauma to the brain, autoimmune disease, and genetic epilepsy. If your pet is having a seizure, be sure to clear the area surrounding your pet and make it as safe and quiet as possible. Try not to touch your pet during a seizure as they may accidently bite. Once the seizure has passed, contact your veterinarian immediately to inform them of the situation.
5.) Poison Control
Our pets are amazing creatures, but they sometimes eat things they’re not supposed to. If your pet has ingested something poisonous and/or toxic, you should immediately contact the Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661). These organizations are open 24/7 and their medical professionals will be able to walk you through the process of getting the poisonous or toxic substance out of your pet. It’s imperative to act quickly as the more time passes, the more your pet will begin to digest the toxic substance.