Unless you've been in an emergency with your pet, the thought of having to administer first aid may have never crossed your mind.
Can you spot the signs that your pet needs first aid?
Learning important Pet First Aid Skills can save your pet's life in an emergency situation.
ALWAYS REMEMBER: Emergency treatment should never be used as a substitute for veterinary care. Any first aid administered to your pet should be followed by immediate care by a veterinarian.
Pets are curious by nature. Everyday household supplies like bleach, detergent, and even toothpaste are a concern. Try placing these items in closed cabinets or closets on higher shelves.
If your pet is exposed to these types of products, READ THE LABEL. Any products that are harmful to people are also harmful to pets. All toxic products have an exposure/poison control sticker that says what to do when a human is exposed. Use those care instructions to treat your pet while following up with your veterinarian.
If you know or suspect your pet has ingested a harmful product, call your veterinarian, local emergency hospital, or ASPCA poison control hotline at (888) 426-4435.
If you are able, try to provide some key information to the provider for them to better treat your pet.
If your pet has been exposed to a chemical burn, flush the burn immediately and repeatedly with water.
For other burns, apply ice water or a wrapped ice pack. Never place an ice pack directly on the skin -- always wrap it with a towel or blanket. Call your vet for next steps.
If your pet is bleeding from a wound along the skin, place a piece of gauze on the cut and apply pressure until the blood starts to clot. Check the cut every 3-5 minutes while continuing to apply pressure. If the bleeding is severe, try to apply a tourniquet to give you enough time to get to a veterinary hospital for further care.
You might not recognize choking right away. Symptoms to look out for include: pawing at the mouth, choking sounds, coughing, and blue lips or tongue.
If your pet allows you to look inside their mouth and you can see the object, make a judgement call as to whether you can retrieve it safely. You can also try the pet Hemlich.
BE CAREFUL: a choking pet is more like to bite due to stress.
Time matters here, so head straight to the vet if you can't remove the object.
There is so much more you can learn about pet first aid; knowing these few tips can make a big difference in an emergency.
For the month of April, Firefly is giving a *FREE* pet first aid starter kit with any visit!
(while supplies last; one first aid kit per pet family)
Existing clients don't need to have an appointment to receive the kit. Just stop by the front desk and give us your pet's name.
Be safe and prepared!
Want more resources on pet first aid?
The Red Cross:
They created and app to help in an emergency.
They offer classes on pet first aid and CPR.