First Aid

What type of emergency are you dealing with?

Is pet having difficulty breathing? Pale gums? Or bluish tinge to gums? – keep the animal as calm and comfortable as possible; use minimal restraint and no neck leads (place leash around shoulders over one front leg); avoid pet walking – carry if possible or have emergency staff assist with a guerney; ensure a cool environment (have a/c on high in car) Transport to closest emergency clinic

Is pet bleeding? – use a clean cloth or towel to cover the area and apply light but frm pressure; if bleeding is on a leg – apply the cloth or towel and try and keep leg elevated when transporting Transport to closest emergency clinic

Is pet seizing? – most seizures will stop in 2-5 minutes and not life-threathening. Owners should stay calm and speak reassuringly to pet during the seizure and possible place a blanket over pet to avoid injury. Never try and hold pet as they are seizing and may snap or bite unknowingly. Animals may have an altered mentation after a seizure and should be handled minimally and carefully. If a small puppy or kitten – place a small amount of karo syrup on gums as pet may be hypoglycemic. Prolonged seizures (greater then 5 minutes) can elevate body temperatures so place cold wet towels on pet prior to transport to an emergency clinic. Transport to closest emergency clinic

Pet has been hit by a car and not moving – probably shocky and should be covered with a blanket for warmth. Place small pets (exotics, cats, birds and small dogs) in a box or carrier for transporting. Large dogs can be transported on a flat board or by using a blanket as a hammock to avoid further injury. Transport to closest emergency clinic

Pet has a burn – apply cool water compress and Transport to closest emergency clinic

Pet seems to have an injury to a leg and possible a fracture – handle the fractured leg as little as possible and carry pet or transport in a box or carrier. If pet is being carried, have the injured leg held to the outside away from rubbing against your body. Do not let large dogs jump in or out of car without assistance and have emergency staff assist with guerney when admitting pet to hospital. Transport to closest emergency clinic

Has heatstroke – cool the pet by thoroughly wetting the hair coat and place in front of a fan. If pet is alert and responsive, you can offer ice chips but do not offer food or bowls of water. Maintain the pet in a cool environment (high a/c in car) and Transport to closest emergency clinic Heatstroke is a very serious and life threatening condition and may require extensive treatment and several days in the hospital before determining the damage done by over heating.

Has ocular(eye) injury – if the eye injury is due from an irrantant (soap during a bath) – flush eye with cool water or an approved eye saline wash. Cover the eye with a cool cloth and do not place any medication in eye until a through examination is completed – some eye medications can be harmful if being used for the wrong problem. Transport to closest emergency clinic

Has (wound s) – most wounds on pets are inflicted by other animals and will need clipping away the hair, cleaning and flushing and the start of antibiotics. This may or may not require a sedative as wounds can be painful due to bruising and the skin being injured by teeth or claws. The earliest wounds are cleaned and flushed, the less chance of infection (abscess) occurring. Transport to closest emergency clinic

Allergic reactions – Most commonly are related to insect stings and bites and more commonly seen n the dog, not the cat. Allergic reactions can also be caused by vaccine reactions especially in the younger pets. The most common reactions will be facial swelling and hives and severe itching and redness to skin. Some reactions may be more severe as with anaphylactic reactions (collapse; white gums; difficulty breathing; urination and defecation and shock) and should be treated immediately at an emergency clinic. If the pet has none of the above signs but does have hives and facial swelling, a dose of benedryl (childrens) can be given orally at 1mg per pound body weight. However, oral medications will not be effective for 30-45 minutes and swelling/hives will continue to worsen so injectable medications are initially more effective. Transport to closest emergency clinic

Straining to urinate – Most commonly noted in cats especially in male cats and is a life threatening condition involving immediate treatment and hospitalization. Inability to urinate in dogs is most commonly associated with bladder stones whereas in cats it is most commonly urinary tract infection. Any of these conditions require emergency treatment due to the affect on the kidneys and if not treated can lead to renal (kidney) failure. Transport to closest emergency clinic

Poisoning or toxicant – Many items around the house can be toxic to your pets including prescribed medications, cleaning supplies, garbage and plants. If the toxin is known, bring the packaging or plant with pet to the emergency clinic. Call the clinic prior to visit and have the ingredient handy as well as the estimated time of ingestion/exposure; approximate weight of pet and if pet has already vomited. It may be necessary to induce vomit prior to being seen at the clinic to avoid further absorption of toxin. Transport to closest emergency clinic

Find out what you can do before getting your pet to the hospital.

Here is a list of Veterinary Member Clinics in your area.