It’s the time of year when your dog is most likely going to spend more time outside and that increases the possibility of injuries. If your dog gets stung by a wasp or is showing signs of a heat stroke, do you know what to do? Of course, you’ll want to contact your veterinarian, but what occurs during the first few minutes of a medical emergency can impact your dog’s recovery. You never know when emergency first aid skills will be needed or where they’ll need to be administered to treat your dog’s injury. And you may be the only person there to assist.
Responsible pet ownership includes knowing how to keep your pet healthy and safe. Prepare for a medical emergency by having a first aid kit in your home and car that includes items such as scissors, tape, gauze, and a digital thermometer. Program your veterinarian’s phone number into your cell phone. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center provides 24-hour emergency information about toxic substances and how they affect different breeds, but there is a consultation fee for that service.
Pet Emergency First Aid: Dogs (636.7089 PET) is a DVD in the library’s Pets Neighborhood that is full of up-to-date information and demonstrations to help you acquire emergency first aid skills. For many people, watching demonstrations versus reading the instructions is the best way to understand something like emergency treatments. You’ll learn how to muzzle a dog (by using items in your first aid kit) so that you can proceed with the care necessary before taking him to your vet or the closest animal hospital. If your dog is injured and not moving, this DVD shows the proper way to move him into your vehicle so he can be safely transported to the vet. Staying calm and taking action to reduce the possibilities of complicating the injury is the goal the during this stage.
Additional topics covered include first aid steps for snakebites (poisonous and nonpoisonous), choking, CPR, dehydration, and how to stop a bleeding wound. Watch this DVD with other family members and discuss the various techniques and what you should do in certain situations. Pack the first aid kit together and talk about each item and what it is or could be used for. Jot down a list of questions to ask your veterinarian during your dog’s next routine visit and let your vet know you’re interested in learning all you can about emergency first aid.
Don’t forget to stop by the Pets Neighborhood the next time you’re in the library and check out the variety of books and DVDs available to help you care for your companion. If you discover something especially useful, let us know!