Pet First Aid Information
Our EARS Team knows that emergencies don’t only happen to people… pets suffer from the same types of injuries that humans do, from issues such as hypothermia and heatstroke, to trauma such as cuts and broken bones, but even the best owners often find themselves unprepared for first aid situations. It is the type of thing you hope to never have to deal with, but being ready in case it does happen can save time, stress, and even the life of your pet. Here’s some helpful tips to keep in mind should you ever find yourself experiencing a pet first aid emergency.
First and foremost at-home first aid is never going to replace proper veterinary treatment. Even if it seems like everything is fine, and your pet is doing OK, you should still make a follow-up appointment as soon as possible just to be safe. A lot of issues and injuries to pets don’t reveal themselves right away, so even though things may seem good, complications can develop suddenly that you aren’t able to recognize at home.
If something does happen to your pet, stay calm… we know, that is easier said than done, but remember that pets take cues from their owners. So if you’re stressed, they’ll become stressed. Always try to minimize the movement of your pet whether they appear visibly injured or not. If you own a cat or smaller dog it is sometimes best if you can transport them to a veterinary hospital in their own carrier or even their bed. For larger dogs, assisting them with a sheet or a blanket underneath (“sling walking”) or if necessary even moving them on a blanket (“blanket carry”) will help. Remember, when you arrive at a veterinary hospital their technicians can assist you with getting your pet out of your car if needed. And if possible, call ahead and let the hospital know what the situation is, and what help you may need when you arrive.
Pets can suffer from shock just like humans, so if you notice your pet is breathing much more rapidly than usual, or may also shiver, be cold to the touch, or even vomit a little, that can all be signs of shock. Helping them to conserve heat by wrapping them up and keeping them warm will assure that they are less impacted by this and will help them recover quicker. Blood loss can also cause pets to go in to shock (again, just like humans), so controlling bleeding as best as possible is important. If bleeding is from a cut pad or paw, apply a dressing using a piece of absorbent bandage or clothing. Wrap the cut securely so that it is protected when you move your pet. If your pet has a visible trauma like a clearly-broken or fractured bone, don’t try to splint it or set it yourself! It’s best to protect it and transport your pet right away, so to do this you can wrap them up in a puffy jacket or blanket that will help absorb the impact of any movement on them.
Unfortunately, despite all the information and awareness, heat stroke is still a #1 issue among dogs. Signs include excessive panting and obvious distress, but can quickly progress to coma and death. It is VITAL to get your pet out of the heat and properly cooled off and to a veterinary hospital as soon as possible. During transport to the veterinarian, keep the car windows open which will help reduce body temperature. Avoid using ice or ice water because this may drop the temperature too quickly and cause additional complications.
These are just some basic suggestions. For complete information on pet emergency preparedness we invite you to join us for one of our Pet First Aid classes held regularly throughout the community. We are also happy to provide you with specific information or answer any questions you may have. You can always contact us directly using our Contact Form here on our website, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pet First Aid Kit
$15.00 - $20.00
These exclusive kits are put together by our team based on the items we have found most useful for any pet first aid needs and are based on three sizes - small animal, cats and smaller dogs, and medium to large dogs. Each kit contains items specific to them, which includes nonstick gauze, VetWrap bandage, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, disposable gloves, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, an emergency leash, and an emergency leash. We also include a "pet vitals card" for you to complete as well as a Pet First Aid Pocket Book with TONS of useful information for emergency situations (thanks to support from VCA Shoreline Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center).
*Anywhere shipping via USPS is included in the online price of our Pet First Aid Kits. If you would like to purchase a kit and arrange for pickup at an upcoming EARS event, the cost is $15.00.
IMPORTANT PET EMERGENCY RESOURCES:
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
Connecticut 24 Hour Emergency Hospital Contacts:
Signs Of Pet Emergencies
ANY bleeding that doesn't stop within five minutes
Interested In Scheduling Or Attending An EARS Pet First Aid Class?
We host courses in pet first aid regularly throughout the State, and also travel to provide these classes to animal organizations, community groups, schools, and others. If you would like to know more about attending a course or arranging one, please use our Contact Form to submit your information and we'll be happy to get back to you!