Pet owners love their pets and want to keep them healthy and happy. Like humans, pets can experience a situation where they require first aid. Do you know what to do if your pet has one of these misfortunes? Amy Flowers, DVM, reviewer for Fetch by WebMD, shares advice on the following pet emergencies.
• Hit by a Vehicle – If your pet is injured by a vehicle and is in pain, first muzzle it with a scarf, belt or towel to prevent it from biting you out of pain. However, if the pet is vomiting, skip this step. Get the animal off the road by gently sliding it onto a towel or blanket. Don’t lift the animal; if it seems to have any broken bones, do your best not to move it too much.
• Poisoned – Many common household items can be poisonous to dogs and cats. Call the Animal Poison Control hotline at 888•426•4423 or the Pet Poison Helpline at 800•213•6680 immediately. They probably can help you even before you get to a vet. Caveat – there may be a charge for the advice.
• Choking – If your pet is unconscious, open its mouth and try to clear the object out with your fingers. If the animal is conscious, do a modified Heimlich Maneuver. Place the pet on its side, applying pressure right behind the ribs and pressing your hands forward.
• Dog Bites – If another dog bites your pet, get to a vet or clinic ASAP. Dog bites can pull debris into the wound and if not cleaned out soon, the wound can become infected.
• Bee & Wasp Stings – Bee and wasp stings usually cause just minor swelling and itching. If you can see a stinger, use a credit card to scrape it out or pull it out with tweezers. An antihistamine like Benadryl will relieve some of the symptoms but contact your vet for the dosage. If you notice any swelling on face or neck, or hives all over the body, get the animal to a vet right away as it could be a severe anaphylactic reaction.
• Heatstroke – If your pet is panting heavily, drooling, having trouble breathing or showing other symptoms of heatstroke, move it to a shady area immediately. Put a cool, wet cloth around its neck and head (not its face.) You can also gently hose it down with cool water, especially the belly, before transporting it to the vet. Do not cool your pet down too quickly as this can be dangerous.
• Seizures – A seizure will generally pass on its own in less than three minutes. Your job is to make sure the animal is safe while it’s happening. Get any moveable furniture away. Don’t pull its tongue out of the mouth. Contact your vet when the seizure is over.