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**For the Love of Animals - First Aid for Dogs ,
Part 1 & 2

PET 911

What to do in case of an emergency and when to call the vet

 Pet first-aid kit:  Your vet’s telephone number, gauze rolls or pads, cotton balls, rounded tip scissors, hydrogen peroxide, hydrocortisone ointment, antibiotic ointment, eyewash, tweezers, rectal thermometer, syringe (without the needle) for giving oral medications, anti-inflammatory (vet prescribed or aspirin recommended for your dogs size), anti-diarrheal medicine (vet prescribed or Immodium AD), upset stomach medicine (such as Tagemet or Pepcid AC), Benadryl, a clean sock to slip over an injured paw to keep the wound and your floors clean.

Bite Wounds:  Approach the pet carefully to avoid getting bitten. Muzzle the animal if possible and needed. Clean the wound with large amounts of water. Apply pressure to profusely bleeding wounds. Do not use tourniquets. Call the veterinarian. Bite wounds often become infected and need an antibiotic prescribed by the veterinarian. Your pet needs to be seen immediately if bleeding is severe or if your pet is having trouble breathing.

Wounds and Bleeding:  If possible, trim hair away from the wound, clean surface wounds with hydrogen peroxide. If the wound is deep and bleeding, apply pressure until the bleeding stops. Call the veterinarian immediately if the bleeding does not stop. Any wound should receive professional care because pets will often lick them, cause infection, and an antibiotic then becomes needed.

Burns: (chemical, electrical, heat-including heating pad):  Flush the burn area immediately with large amounts of cool water. Apply an ice pack (wrapped in towel) to area for 15 – 20 minutes. Call the veterinarian.

Hit by Car:  Most pets that are hit by a car will need medical attention. Signs that your pet is in trouble and requires immediate treatment are breathing difficulties, unable to stand, profuse bleeding, pale or white gums. Call the veterinarian if your pet has been hit by a car. Even if your pet was just “bumped”, schedule a check-up to be sure there are not any underlying problems.

Coughing:  If your pet has been coughing for more than 24 hours, call the veterinarian. Coughing can be just allergies or a serious condition such as heart disease.

Choking (difficulty breathing, excessive pawing at the mouth, blue lips and tongue):  Look in the mouth to see if a foreign object is visible and remove the object with tweezers or pliers, if possible, to clear the airway. Be careful not to push the object farther down the throat. If the object remains lodged, place your hands on both sides of the animal’s rib cage and apply firm, quick pressure to expel it from the throat. You can repeat this procedure to dislodge the object. Call the veterinarian immediately, even if you are able to remove the object.

Heat Stroke (rapid or difficult breathing, vomiting, collapse, high temperature, glazed stare):  Place the animal in a tub of cool water (not cold, which can cause shock). Lightly and gently soaking with a water hose or wrapping in a wet towel also helps. Do not immerse the animal’s head in water. Call the veterinarian immediately.

Poisoning:  Record what the pet ingested and how much if known. Call the veterinarian immediately. Do not induce vomiting. In case of skin poisoning, wash with mild soap and flush well with water.

Vomiting:  Withhold food for 12 – 24 hours. After vomiting stops, offer the pet only a small amount of water (a few teaspoons for a small dog or cat, and 1/4 cup for a large dog). If the pet does not vomit, then slowly increase the amount of water and small amount of food given over a 24-hour period. Call the veterinarian. The most common cause for vomiting is something that the pet has eaten, however, a veterinarian can do blood tests to determine if it is caused by an infection or a serious disease.

Diarrhea:  Withhold food for 12 hours. Call your veterinarian. Pets that continue to have diarrhea will usually start passing blood and can become dehydrated.

Preventing emergencies is ideal to keep your pet safe and healthy. Know the whereabouts of your pets and their surroundings. Supervise pets outside. Be sure that there are not objects or people food in reach that cause choking or stomach upset. Outdoor pets need to have shade and plenty of water available especially in the summer.

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