FIRST AID FOR PETS
Be Prepared for Emergencies
A pet can’t say where it hurts, but a smart owner can prepare for an emergency. A pet first aid kit can be especially helpful if an accident occurs after regular business hours. It’s a good idea to have a few things on hand at all times. It could make a huge difference to health and even survival of your injured pet.
Basic supplies for a pet emergency kit include:
Ø Phone numbers of your veterinarian and after-hours emergency clinic with driving directions if needed.
Ø Hydrogen peroxide – a good wound disinfectant or can be used to induce vomiting.
Ø Gauze roll and gauze sponges for wound cleaning and bandages.
Ø Adhesive tape for bandages.
Ø Thermometer – non-breakable plastic digital types are best.
Ø Cotton swabs, tweezers, scissors, instant cold pack and antibiotic ointment.
Ø Eyedropper or syringe without the needle for giving oral treatments.
Ø Clean linens or rubber tubing. Apply direct pressure to bleeding wounds. If bleeding is severe, apply a tourniquet.
While this may seem like a lot of items to keep in a pet first aid kit, you’ll be glad you had them on hand if an emergency happens, although a first aid kit for your pet should never be considered as a substitute for veterinary treatment. Immediately after administering any first aid, and preferably before, contact a veterinarian.
Pay close attention to what is normal for your pets in order to detect signals when something is wrong. When pets are injured or in pain, they are more likely to bite or scratch anyone who approaches them. Even the friendliest of pets must be handled with care for the safety of everyone involved.
Never try to obtain information via the Internet during an emergency or when a pet becomes seriously ill. Don’t waste valuable time trying to find an answer online. Early intervention can be the difference between life and death. Apply basic first aid if necessary and get your pet to your veterinarian as fast and as safely as possible.
Copyright © 2005 California Veterinary Medical Association and It's About Pets. All rights reserved.