Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Furry Friend First Aid: Tips for Emergency Pet Care

The month of April represents National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. First launched by the American Red Cross, National Pet First Aid Awareness Month has become an important platform to educate pet owners on how to handle pet emergencies at home. Your furry family members are extremely important to you, so it’s a good idea to learn how to take care of them in an emergency. For example, what if your dog had a seizure after hitting his head on the counter? What if your cat ate a bunch of toxic flowers? These types of accidents could happen at any time, so it’s a good idea to prepare and learn how to deal with these unfortunate incidents before rushing to the vet.

Some of the most common types of pet emergencies include dehydration, poisoning, seizures, serious animal bites, heat stroke and open wounds. Here are some first aid tips to help your pet during an emergency at home:

  • Periodically check to see if your pet is dehydrated. Dehydration can have harmful side effects, so this is an easy checkup that should not be overlooked. Pull up the skin between the shoulder blades. If the skin is slow to return back down and tents upward, the animal is most likely dehydrated and might need to receive fluid injections or hydration supplements.
  • If a pet is poisoned, he or she will display many telltale signs. These include foaming at the mouth, dilated pupils, erratic behavior, seizures or bleeding.
  • If your pet has a seizure, make sure to remove all unsafe objects from the area. However, you should not try to touch the animal near the mouth when seizing. Often times, pets get scared during a seizure and they could bite. 
  • Heat stroke/exhaustion is a big problem in the summer months, especially in tropical climates. To tell if your pet is having a heat stroke, look for the following signs: wobbliness, trouble breathing or heavy panting, an increase in saliva, or a body temperature of over 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Apply gauze to open, bleeding wounds with pressure after gently flushing the wound with water. Do not remove gauze until you get to the animal hospital or veterinary clinic. If the wound was caused by another animal, seek veterinary help immediately to prevent infection or disease.

It’s also important to remember that knowing how to take care of your pet at home is a really beneficial skill. However, it’s best to immediately report to a veterinarian or animal hospital after a serious accident. First aid is extremely important, but it is never a substitute for official veterinary treatment

Now that you have some pet first aid tips for emergencies, it’s a good time to prepare by making sure you have all the necessary treatment products. Pet Health Market offers a huge variety of pet medications and first aid supplies for all kinds of animals. Browse our inventory to find the products you need to ensure the safe care of your pet!

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