Thursday, April 2, 2015

Top Tips to Help Your Pet in An Emergency

Photo Courtesy of AVMA

Did you know that April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month? I usually write my own posts but the American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA) has released a list of the Top Tips to Help Your Pet in An Emergency. Who could give us better advice than the organization to which our Veterinarians belong? Here is their advice:

Accidents happen – sometimes pets get injured, eat the wrong foods, get bitten, cut, or even have seizures.  But, there are ways you can help on the way to the vet. As Dr. Doug Aspros, Former President of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) says, “You can't be over-prepared. Do your thinking and planning when you're calm - you'll make better decisions when the emergency happens."

Photo Courtesy of Gordon Brice

So here are a few life-saving tips from the AVMA to help stabilize your pet:
  • If you think your pet has a broken bone, gently lay him or her on a flat surface, or use a blanket as a sling to gently transport your pet on the way to the veterinarian.
  • With cuts, press a clean, thick gauze pad over the wound and press on it until the bleeding stops. If bleeding is severe and on the legs, apply a tourniquet (using a rubber band and gauze) between the wound and the body to slow down the blood flow and get your animal to the vet ASAP.
  • For burns, flush immediately with lots of water. If the burn is more severe quickly apply an ice compress.
  • If your pet has been exposed to a toxin, check the label for immediate instructions such as washing its skin with soap and water, or flushing eyes with water.
  • If your pet is having seizures, keep them away from any objects, blanket your pet to keep them warm and call your vet or an emergency vet clinic.
  • For choking, if your pet can still breathe, get them to the vet immediately. Look in their mouth with a flashlight and quickly try to get the object out with a tweezer. If that doesn’t work, place both hands on the side of his or her ribcage and strike the rib cage firmly with the palm of your hand 3 to 4 times while getting to the vet.
Photo Courtesy of Nancy Ross

What your Pet First Aid Kit should include for home or travel:
  • VetWrap (or a similar bandaging product that clings to itself and molds nicely)
  • A nylon leash, muzzle, pet carrier (depending on animal size) and a pillow case for a cat that might need to be restrained; a small flashlight can also be quite useful
For more life-saving tips from the American Veterinarian Medical Association, log onto


James Stagg said...

Excellent advice! We prepare for human emergencies, but don't usually prepare for pet ones.

Thanks, Darlene!

Gary Rohde said...

Thank you Darlene. People often forget about their pets. Especially here in California. Thanks for the reminder.

Darlene said...

Thank you so much, James Stagg, for your comment. That's exactly why I wanted to post this. We need to think about our pets in an emergency situation.

Darlene said...

Thank you for commenting, Gary Rhode. I really appreciate comments and yours is most welcome. Every pet owner needs this information.