Would you know what to do in an emergency?
You know we’re here for you and your pets whether you have a routine query or a blue light emergency. Whilst we all hope that our pets will never be taken seriously ill, or involved in an accident, it’s worth being prepared in case the worst should happen.
Suspected illnesses and injuries should always be assessed by your vet, and we would never recommend trying to treat problems yourself. However, if you were faced with an emergency situation, would you know what to do? Here’s some top tips in an emergency:
1. Stay calm and stay safe. If there’s something putting your pet in danger, make sure it’s not going to put you in danger too.
2. Contact your usual clinic straight away. You’ll be able to speak to someone 24 hours a day, and it’s important that we know what’s happened early on to ensure we can provide the best care. Remember that you can still get emergency care when your clinic is closed.
3. Be aware that frightened or injured pets may behave differently to normal. Watch out that you don’t get bitten or scratched by your pet.
4. Never try to give medicines to your pet without speaking to your vet first. Many human medicines can be harmful or even toxic if given to our pets and pet medicines should only be given as prescribed at the time.
5. Avoid giving food or drink to your pets in case they need to be anaesthetised when they get to the clinic.
In case of injury to your pets, it’s worth keeping a first aid kit in the house and ideally one in the car too if you travel with your pets. A pet first aid ket will contain items similar to a human first aid kit, and should consist of:
- A roll of bandages
- Open-weave bandages
- Non-adhesive absorbent dressings
- Surgical sticky tape
- Cotton wool
- Sterile absorbent gauze
- Pair of scissors
- Sterile gloves
- Saline solution
- A large towel
- A cone / Elizabethan collar
The contents of your first aid kit are mainly to help you deal with wounds, cuts and grazes. Aim to stem serious bleeding with dressing and bandages before coming to the clinic. Although bandaging a pet might seem straightforward, it’s always important to get veterinary advice after applying an emergency bandage. Bandages which are too tight, wrongly positioned, or left on for too long can cause unintended problems.
Minor cuts and grazes should be cleaned and kept dry and monitored to ensure they heal properly. There are obviously plenty of other emergencies where your first aid kit won’t be much help, so if you notice changes in behaviour, lethargy, bloating, vomiting or seizuring, don’t forget that your team are here for any advice and assistance you need.