The recent Australian bushfires hit animals as hard as it hit humans. Experts reveal that approx. a billion animals died in the horrible incident with more than 15.6 million acres of land reduced to ashes. In times like these, saving your loved ones is the top priority, but it is important to remember that your pets are also your family members.
Considering such a heart-breaking event covered the headlines the last few months, this would be the right time to open up a discussion on how you can give first aid to your pets in emergency situations. With some know-how of how to help your animals in times of need, you’d be calmer and more collected in such circumstances. So, let’s explore some scenarios of pets getting injured and what you can do to help them in the moment.
First aid tips for pets
Let’s dive into some tips for providing immediate first aid to pets in different scenarios:
1 - In case of bleeding skin or broken bones
It’s not uncommon for pets to get involved in accidents and bleed. In fact, severe injuries can also be caused such as fractures. When this happens, follow these steps:
- If your pet is bleeding, apply some pressure on the wound and then cover it with a bandage.
- If you suspect a closed fracture, use a splint to support limbs and be careful about moving. A cardboard can work as a makeshift splint.
- You may need to dress an open fracture and wound. For this purpose, use sterile dressing. You’ll need clean clothes and towels as well as gauze pads.
2 - In case your pet is hit by a car
It’s not uncommon for pets, particularly dogs, to get hit by cars when on the road. When such an event happens, take a blanket to your pet. You may need some assistance if there is too much traffic. Depending on your pet’s size, you’ll need a small or a sturdy blanket. Here are some quick tips if you find your pet has gotten hit by a car:
- Your first step should be to cover your pet’s mouth and keep it away from yourself because it may lash out in despair. For this purpose, use a scarf, belt or sock to muzzle the animal.
- Keep your pet warm in a blanket but don’t apply pressure to suspected injured areas.
3 - In the case of choking
Another incident which you should be precautionarily prepared for as a pet parent is that of your pet choking. Animals, like toddlers, don’t shy away from putting various objects in their month. This can result in choking as your pet may unsuccessfully try to cough out the object that’s stuck inside while panicking. Following are some first aid tips for pets to follow if such a thing happens:
- Open your pet’s mouth and try to take the thing that he had taken in out.
- If the first trick doesn’t work, place your animal on its side. Gently push from behind its ribs with your hands pushing forward.
- If your pet is unconscious, take the stuck object out and perform rescue breathing.
4 - In case of seizures
Many pets suffer through convulsions for various medical reasons. If you find that your pet is experiencing a seizure, wait for 3 minutes which is the time it will take for the shaking to pass. In the meanwhile, here are some steps to follow to help your animal and stay safe yourself:
- Stay away from the animal. Don’t try to touch it or go near its mouth.
- Don’t feed the pet any food or water. There is risk of choking.
- Make sure the area surrounding your convulsing pet is clean of things that can hurt.
- Once the seizure has passed, calm your pet.
5 - In case of burns
While some burns come from fires, such as the Australian bushfires, others can happen due to electricity shocks, chemical exposure, heat, scalding through hot water, etc. If your animal is burned, you’ll be able to catch the burn easily in that instant. Sometimes though it takes a day for the burn to be noticeable. If your pet gets burned, follow these first aid steps immediately:
- Cool the area where it has been burned through cold compression method or using running water. Apply a cool pack for 5 minutes.
- Keep your pet warm until you reach a vet clinic.
6 - In case an object penetrates your pet
During play, pets may get severely injured if a sharp object penetrates through their skin. In such a situation, don’t attempt to remove the object as it can cause more damage. Just try to remove the object slightly out of the animal’s body but only if you are sure you can skillfully do so. What you can do is:
- Don’t remove the object if it is close to the chest area.
- Cover the wound and control the bleeding without applying any pressure to the object and wound.
- Keep the animal warm.
Doctors recommend SOS tablets for humans when they suspect an extreme health issue. But this medication doesn’t mean that the patient doesn’t need to reach the hospital in time. The same case is with animals - you should immediately give them first aid, but this doesn’t mean that a veterinary visit should be delayed.
Pet first aid supplies that pet owners should have handy
Purchasing a premade pet first aid kit is something all responsible pet parents should do. You can easily buy one from an online pet supplies store
. Now that we’ve discussed pet first aid tips, let’s look at what first aid supplies you should have. These include:
- Gauze pads, clean clothes and towels
- Cast padding, and splint
- Leash, and muzzle
- A digital thermometer
- A clothe stretcher
- Non latex disposable gloves
- Bandage, scissors, and wound cleanser
- Hydrogen peroxide for inducing vomiting in case of poisoning
- Triple antibiotic ointment for minor cuts and scratches
- Nail clippers
So, that was a quick look at some pet first aid tips for unfortunate incidents of your furry buddy getting hurt. If you are a pet owner you may experience several incidents in which your pet gets injured. Considering how such calamities fall unannounced, its best to be prepared.
Published on: December 23, 2020