Knowing first aid techniques can save your pet’s life! Pet dedicated trainings are more and more popular; they are very well adapted and provide all the necessary information to deal with emergency situations without panicking. Before you do subscribe for one of those training programs, here’s a little insight on how to behave in case of emergency.
The most frequent accidents
Here is a list of emergency situations that frequently occur with cats and dogs:
- Hyperthermia/hypothermia: Your pet’s rectal temperature is above 39° or falls under 38°. Take this seriously, especially with young pets, or on the contrary, senior pets.
- Choking: In most cases, your animal will cough and spit the object spontaneously. If not, be prepared to reach for the foreign object in your pet’s mouth yourself, or perform the Heimlich maneuver.
- Cardio-respiratory conditions: they are common consequences of a shock, and must be dealt with like absolute emergencies. If your pet carries a real-time follow-up tracker like Weenect Pets, beware of an unusual freeze of your animal’s movements.
- Toxic product ingestion: you should induce vomiting.
First aid procedures
A comprehensive first-aid kit is essential to prevent serious accidents. What should you putx in this kit?
- Bandages and strips of different sizes, gauze pads, veterinarian antiseptic wipes;
- A muzzle to prevent your dog from biting;
- A pillowcase to gently confine your cat;
- A rectal thermometer and petroleum jelly;
- Scissors and tweezers;
- Hydrogen peroxide, maximum 3% dosage, to induce vomiting;
- A foil emergency blanket and towels;
- Disposable gloves;
- The telephone number of your emergency vet and/or pet clinic;
Focus on the Heimlich maneuver
Your pet is choking; react fast! Useful on humans, it can also be applied on animals.
- For a dog: place yourself behind your dog, standing or crouching, depending on your dog’s size. Put your arm around the dog’s abdomen (only 3 or 4 fingers if your dog is small) and apply 5 brief but firm pushes. Repeat until your dog spits the object.
- For a cat: Place one hand on the cat’s back to keep it steady and the other hand on the abdomen at the basis of the chest. Apply series of 4 upward and forward pushes. You can help by blowing air through your cat’s nostrils twice between each series of pushes.
Close-up on: how to take your pet’s pulse
It is possible that your pet shows no sign of injury after a shock or a fall. However, there is a chance that it got hurt and/or is in shock. Taking a pet’s pulse is an accurate way to evaluate its overall state. Make your pet lie on its side. With your index and middle finger, find the pulse on the inside of the hind legs in the groin area. Count the number of pulses on a 20 second span, then multiply it by 3 to find the number of pulses per minute. The average pulse for a cat is 160/180 bpm. For a dog, it ranges from 60 (for a large dog) to 160 bpm for a small dog.
Be prepared to rescue your pet in case of an incident: get in touch with a first aid training facility to learn emergency procedures. You can also ask your vet to teach you a few basic techniques that can save your pet’s life. Go for it!