It’s hard to imagine something bad happening to our favourite furry friends, but things happen! In the event of an emergency, it’s important you and your family have a plan of action. Here are some helpful tips from the ASPCA: Emergency Care for Your Pet.
Finding 24-Hour emergency care for your pet
Have a conversation with your vet about emergency protocol. Is there a 24/hr service? Do they work with an emergency clinic nearby?
Once you have the information, keep the name, number and address of your local emergency clinic tacked to the refrigerator or stored in your cell phone for easy access.
Signs your pet may need emergency care
Pets may need emergency care because of severe trauma. This could be anything from chocking, heatstroke, an insect sting, household poisoning or other life-threatening situations. Here are some signs the ASPCA says when emergency care is needed:
- Pale gums
- Rapid breathing
- Weak or rapid pulse
- Change in body temperature
- Difficulty standing
- Apparent paralysis
- Loss of consciousness
- Excessive bleeding
When your pet is in pain, they’re not themselves. Animals who are injured can act aggressively toward their owners. This is why it’s important to protect yourself first. Here are the ASPCA’s suggestions for approaching dogs and cats:
For dogs: Approach your dog slowly and calmly; kneel down and say his name. If the dog shows aggression, call for help. If he’s passive, fashion a makeshift stretcher and gently lift him onto it. Take care to support his neck and back in case he’s suffered any spinal injuries.
For cats: Gently place a blanket or towel over the cat’s head to prevent biting; then slowly lift the cat and place her in an open-topped carrier or box. Take care to support the cat’s head and avoid twisting her neck in case she’s suffered a spinal injury.
Once you feel confident and safe transporting your pet, immediately bring him to an emergency care facility. Ask a friend or family member to call the clinic so the staff knows to expect you and your pet.
Learn more about first-aid treatments to perform at home and CPR, on the ASPCA’s full article here.
If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to contact your vet!
Got a Pet? Get a Vet!™
The Got A Pet? Get A Vet!™ campaign promotes and educates owners about the importance of annual veterinary checks and having open communication about their pet’s health and wellbeing with their veterinarian.
Early disease detection, behavioural concerns, tick and flea prevention and more can all be discussed with a veterinarian. To learn more about this campaign and to vote for your veterinarian, please visit GotAPetGetAVet.ca