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First Aid Tips for Pet Owners

Pet First Aid SolomonsIn the event of a pet emergency, knowing what to do could save your pet’s life. From accidental chocolate ingestion to being hit by a car, pet emergencies can happen at any time – and they can be pretty scary for both pet owners and their pets. By remaining calm and following instructions from your veterinarian, you can safely assist your pet during an emergency. Basic pet care knowledge, like how to treat a pet during a seizure, can help you safely handle your injured pet and ensure your pet receives the care he or she needs.

Learn Veterinary First Aid and Save Your Pet’s Life

Accidental poisoning is one of the most common pet emergencies. Household cleaning products, rodent poison, antifreeze, chocolate, and grapes/raisins are all common triggers for accidental poisoning. Oftentimes you will not actually see your pet consume this substance, but notice your pet exhibiting strange behavior. Symptoms of accidental poisoning in pets include breathing problems, confusion, dilated pupils, diarrhea/vomiting, tremors, and weakness. If you think your pet has been exposed to something toxic, every moment matters. Contact your veterinarian and, if possible, take samples of vomit, stool or the poison (if known) to your vet, along with your pet. For after-hours emergencies, contact the Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435, which is available 24-hours a day, 365 days per year.

Choking is a common pet emergency, especially for curious puppies and kittens that want to chew on just about everything, including holiday decorations, tinsel, and children’s toys. A choking pet is in a state of panic, so use caution when providing assistance. Symptoms of choking include difficulty breathing, excessive pawing at the mouth, and blue-tinged lips or tongue. If your pet is not breathing and you cannot dislodge the object yourself, perform the Heimlich maneuver. Place your hands right below your pet’s rib cage and apply firm, quick pressure. Push three to four times in order to dislodge the object. This video on YouTube is a clear demonstration of what to do.

Pets that are having a seizure need to be kept away from sharp objects that could hurt your pet. After the seizure, keep your pet warm and quiet and take your pet immediately to our veterinary hospital. Keep in mind that injured pets are scared, confused and in pain. While your first impulse may be to hug your pet in order to provide comfort, this movement may startle or upset your pet. Instead, focus on stabilizing your pet so you can safely transport him or her to our veterinary hospital for further care. If your pet cannot walk, create a makeshift stretcher using a dog bed, towels or small throw rugs. Whenever possible, contact our animal hospital so our emergency veterinary team will be ready to assist upon your arrival.

To learn more about emergency pet care, contact Solomons Veterinary Medical Center at (410) 326-4300.