Hopefully, your dog or cat will never seriously injure himself, but as we all know they do love to get into anything and everything, so having a basic understanding of pet first aid is a good idea.
Always contact your vet if you have any concerns about your pet’s health, and if it’s an emergency give them a call first to let them know you are on your way.
First things first, keep calm, remember you do not want to panic your beloved companion.
Contact your vet as soon as possible, they may advise you to follow some specific instructions depending on what has happened.
Have a basic first aid kit within easy reach in the home (and tell the rest of your family where it is – you may not be able to leave the situation to fetch it for yourself)
Basic First Aid Box
- Antiseptic Wipes
- Saline Solution
- A Thick Towel (which can be used to keep them warm, dampen to keep them cool, or use as a stretcher if they cannot walk)
- Surgical Tape
- Cotton Wool
- Non-Adhesive Dressing
- Blunt-Ended Scissors
- Tick Twister/Tweezer
Common Issues That Require Basic First Aid
Bleeding – Small cuts will generally heal themselves, use the saline solution to give them a clean and bandage them. A deep cut will require flushing, sterilising, and dressing by a vet. To limit the bleeding until your vet can look at it, clean as best you can, cover the cut with a towel or cotton wool, and use the surgical tape to keep it secure, apply pressure, and try and raise the affected area above the heart.
Poisoning – It’s not advisable to make a dog or cat vomit (unless your vet advises this) if you suspect they have eaten something, try and take a sample or the plant or packaging with you to the vets to help them determine the best course of action.
Burns – As with humans, run the burn area under cold water for at least 5 minutes. Use the towel to keep them warm whilst doing this. You can rub aloe vera gel on the burn afterwards to help soothe it. Contact your vet for serious burns.
Choking – Using both hands to open your pet’s mouth, one on the upper jaw and one on the lowers, to prevent them biting you use their lips to create a barrier between your fingers and their teeth. Check and see for any foreign object and remove it. Sweep your finger across the back of the mouth. If you cannot see anything and they still look like there is a problem, you can use the Heimlich Manoeuvre. Contact your vet as soon as you can.
Seizures/Fits – If your dog or cat starts to fit they will usually fall onto their side and be unaware of its surroundings. Do not restrain them, instead move any objects or furniture around them that may cause them injury. Turn down the lights, the television etc and let them recover in a darkened, quiet room. Contact your vet if your pet experiences a seizure.