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April is Pet First Aid month and so far we’ve brought you articles on things to look for in a pet emergency including Heatstroke as well as Poisoning. We also gave you a refresher article on how to put together a pet first aid kit as well as tips on how to use the items that are in your kit. In this post however, we’ll talk about skills you might need in order to save the life of your pet before you’re able to reach the veterinarian.
Oh, and as a reminder, the care you give your pet in case of an emergency is never a substitute for the care that you would receive at your veterinarian or local emergency animal clinic.
If you suspect that your pet is dehydrated, pull up on the skin between the shoulder blades. If the skin doesn’t spring right back and it looks tented to you, this is a good indication that your pet is dehydrated.
In the event that your pet has been poisoned, look for bleeding, both externally and internally, pupils that are dilated, and drooling and foaming at the mouth. If your pet has begun having seizures or is experiencing other signs of abnormal behavior, these too are signs of possible poisoning. Don’t hesitate to call the Animal Poison Control Hotline at 888-426-4435.
Signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion include a body temperature of 104 Degrees F or above, bloody poo or vomit, unsteadiness on their feet or even collapse. If you notice a change in your pets’ breathing, an increased heart rate or his eyes seem off, he might be too warm. At this point try to cool your pet down with a water hose but only until his temperature reaches 103 Degrees F. Once you’ve done this, its’ time for a visit to your veterinarian or your local emergency animal clinic just to be sure that your pet is on his way to recovering.
If your pet happens to have been attacked by another animal, he’ll need veterinary attention to prevent the wound from becoming infected. If your dog is in the middle of a fight with another dog, it’s best not to try to break it up. The last thing you need is for yourself to become injured as well.
If your pet begins bleeding you’ll need to apply direct pressure using gauze over the injury. If it continues to bleed, you’ll need to continue wrapping it in gauze but be sure to not remove the soaked bandages until you reach the veterinarian.
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