First Aid for Your Pet        

If you’ve ever read our posts before, or even googled Deceased Pet Care, you know that we believe “Your Pet is a Member of the Family.” And what better way to show you’re family than taking care of another in a time of need? April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. We’ve put together a quick list of the basics to make sure, if the need arise, you’re prepared to care for your pet.

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Be Aware

The first step in caring for your pet’s internal and external health needs is being aware. A watchful eye can not only alert you to a new need, it can be the best care of all: preventative. With a keen eye, most first aid situations can be avoided, or their impact lessened if unpreventable.

Be Calm

Your pet is hyper aware of your emotional state. They are like stethoscopes for sensing fear, anxiety, stress, and danger. That’s why is very important, whatever first aid situation happens, you try and remain calm. Your pet will already be experiencing a surge of adrenaline from the sickness or injury. Your calm reaction could help bring down the panic, and lead to a quicker healing process, or avoid further damage.

Be Protected

That’s right, even though your first instinct will be to rush to your pet’s needs, it’s important you protect yourself first. Injured pets, no matter calm, can lash out in panic, especially dogs. It’s important to muzzle your pooch before trying to treat any needs. This can be gently done with a tie or towel to ensure you remain bite free. However, if your pet is sick and vomiting, never use a muzzle.

Be Gentle

An injured pet is probably only thinking about two things: get better and avoid more danger. That means no matter the relationship you have with the pet, you need to be extra gentle when treating their needs. If your pet has suffered a physical injury, take care to softly and slowly address any areas of concern. If not performed with restraint, our desire to do good, could actually do more damage.

Be Prepared

Here’s the part of the article where we talk about practical steps you can take when administering first aid to your pet in need. None of these statements will be an exhaustive set of instructions for treatment, but with the aforementioned attitudes, and these quick tips -- you’ll be well on your way to taking care of your beloved pet.

Poisoning - If you think your pet is showing signs of poisoning, call your local veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Fractures - Muzzle your pet. Gently transfer them to a flat surface. Provide cushioning around the affected area. See your vet.

Burns - Muzzle your pet, rinse with cool clean water. For severe burns use ice water.

External Bleeding - Muzzle your pet. Take a soft towel or gauze and clean the affected area. Wrap the injury and check every 5-10 minutes. If bleeding still occurs after 20 minutes, contact your vet immediately.

Internal Bleeding - Signs of internal bleeding include: blood in mouth or stools, rapid heartbeat, weakness or fainting, coughing up blood, or collapse. If you suspect your pet is suffering from internal bleeding, see your veterinarian immediately.

Choking - If your pet is choking, be aware they could panic and bite. That why it’s important to remove and visible obstruction with tweezers and not your hand. If you are unable to see the obstruction, attempt to dislodge the item by doing multiple chest compressions with the back of your hand. If you are unable to quickly remove the obstruction, it is best to see your vet immediately.

Heat Stroke - With summer quickly approaching, it’s important to remember that your car is essentially an oven. Never leave them inside for any period of time if possible. If your pet is suffering from heat stroke, get them to a cool place, and wrap a cold wet towel around the next. Hold for a few minutes and repeat the process with a new cold towel until your pet returns to normal.

These are obviously worst case scenarios for pet owners. We never want to see our pets in pain, but it is important to be prepared. It’s also important to note that first aid is just that: “the first aid the pet receives.” It is never intended to replace the care provided by a licensed and trained veterinarian. At Deceased Pet Care, we want our pets to have the best days possible -- that includes making their worst days, the best we possibly can too.

Image credit: aaha.org