April is “National Pet First Aid Month” – Pet First Aid Essentials to Know Before an Emergency.

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4 Pet First Aid Essentials to Know Before an Emergency

by Susan Bird

April is “National Pet First Aid Month.”

If your pet suddenly experienced a medical emergency or needed some quick medical care, would you know how to handle it?

Here are some basics that will help all pet guardians be prepared to help animals in trouble:

  1. Have the Right Supplies Ready

It’s imperative to have certain necessities immediately at hand in case your animal friend suddenly needs your help. Create an animal first aid kit that contains at least these things:

Emergency contact information: Always keep handy the phone numbers for your veterinarian, a nearby emergency after-hours veterinarian, and (for USA only) the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435; note that there is a fee associated with this call). You don’t want to be scrambling to find these numbers when you need them.

Muzzle: Injured dogs often bite. Have an easy slip-on muzzle available. If you don’t have one, you can substitute strips of cloth, a necktie, a dish towel, a knee sock or any number of other soft fabric items. You may need to restrain a cat in a towel or pillow case, but be sure its nose is free to breathe. Never muzzle a vomiting animal, of course.

Bandages and Gauze: You’ll need the non-stick kind, not the adhesive bandages you use on yourself when you cut your finger. Try to find the self-cling kind at a pet supply store. If you don’t have any, you can use strips cut from towels or other fabrics.

Poison response supplies: Activated charcoal, hydrogen peroxide (3 percent) or milk of magnesia might mean the difference between life and death if your pet swallows something poisonous. Always contact a veterinarian for guidance before attempting to administer a treatment for poison or inducing vomiting.

Digital thermometer: Buy a pet thermometer. A regular human thermometer won’t do, because animal temperatures run higher than ours. A dog’s normal temperature ranges from 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, for example. Remember to take a temperature rectally, not by mouth. Lubricate with petroleum jelly first.

Also keep on hand things like antiseptic wipes, disposable non-latex gloves, adhesive tape, a foil emergency blanket, tweezers, blunt-end scissors, ice packs, a leash, a pet carrier, an eye dropper, and a plastic non-needle syringe for administering oral medication, and towels. Know where your pet’s medical records are.

  1. Know How to Safely Handle an Injured Animal

First, remain calm. Breathe and think clearly. If you are frantic, your pet will know that and become more fearful himself.

If your dog is in a lot of pain and not vomiting, muzzle him. Yes, he’s your buddy, but pain and fear may make him snap at you nevertheless. If he’s been injured in a fight or other aggressive setting, he may still be amped up. Don’t put your face close to your injured pet and don’t hug him or her — it might hurt.

Don’t move an injured pet before checking him or her to determine what sort of injury he may have sustained. You may need to splint a broken bone or stanch some bleeding before you can transport him to your veterinarian’s office.

  1. Basic Procedures To Learn Before Emergency Strikes

If you can, take a course from a knowledgeable source like the Red Cross about how to help your pet in an emergency. Learn how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on your dog or cat. Understand how to treat electrical shock or to care for injuries to the eye, feet and ears. Understand how to react in urgent care situations. When seconds count, you don’t want to be fumbling around, unsure of what to do.

  1. Let Technology Assist You

Your smartphone can be your best ally in a pet medical emergency. Download the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control mobile app or the Red Cross Pet First Aid app. Both offer substantial information that might mean the difference between life and death in an emergency.

Just as you should have plans in place for your family in the event of a fire or natural disaster, you need to pre-plan for a medical emergency for your furry family members. It’s the obligation of every pet guardian to know what to do at a moment’s notice when your companion animal is in trouble.

Are you ready?

Read more:http://www.care2.com/causes/4-pet-first-aid-essentials-to-know-before-an-emergency.html#ixzz3VxpWmXdj

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