April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month – a month dedicated to educating pet parents on pet care tips during an emergency.
In this blog, you’ll find out exactly what to do, and what not to do, in case of an emergency with your pets. Your knowledge and prompt response could save your furry companion’s life. So, take note of what you are about to learn and be prepared should a pet emergency occur when a vet’s not around the corner to assist.
Emergency 1: Pet CPR
So, Sandy is not a strong swimmer. But she accidentally slips into the pool and struggles to stay afloat. You immediately start to panic and jump straight in to rescue the wet ball of fur. Once you’re out of the water, you notice that she has trouble breathing. Oh no! What now?!
What NOT to do:
Don’t panic and rush him/her to the vet. There’s no time to waste, as a dog or cat can only live for up to 6 minutes without oxygen. Rather act fast and apply CPR.
What TO do:
Do CPR immediately! “Perform chest compressions with blowing into the nose intermittently”, says Dr Yecintha Naidoo, a vet at the Ridge Vet & Spa in Umhlanga.
PetMD provides the following pet CPR guidelines:
CPR for dogs and puppies weighing less than 14 kg:
CPR for medium/large dogs over 14 kg:
Emergency 2: Troubled ticks
Wait, is that a bloodsucking parasite you see on Bella’s back?
What NOT to do:
Dr Naidoo advises not to pull a tick off, because parts of it might break off and remain lodged inside your dog.
What TO do:
“Purchase an over the counter Tick n Flea product such as Bravecto/Nexgard or Frontline etc. If your pet shows symptoms of not being well such as lethargy etc. – seek veterinary advice.”, Dr Naidoo explains.
Emergency 3: Chocking hazard
You threw Bruno a bone and suddenly you notice that he’s making strange noises that sound like he’s chocking. How do you help your hound?
What NOT to do
You shouldn’t have given your dog a bone in the first place. “Bones are not digested properly and may cause gastric upsets or obstructions”, says Dr Naidoo.
What TO do
If your dog swallows a bone by accident and chokes on it. Do the following:
Always make your pet’s safety a priority. As a precautionary measure, save your local (and also a mobile) vet’s emergency contact details on your phone. If you are unsure what to do in a pet emergency, and you are travelling and/or not near a vet practice, you can still contact your local vet for emergency advice. He/she will guide you with the best possible course of action and recommended treatment.
Remember that dotsure.co.za covers the emergency vet bills if you take out a pet insurance policy*.
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