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How to Know When your Beloved Pet Needs Emergency Care

Posted Oct 18 2009 3:15am
Humans are not the only ones who may need emergency care at some point in time. Your pets may require it as well. Accidents do happen, so when something happens to your pet, do you know where to turn to for help? What if it is in the middle of the night or away from home? Having an emergency plan in place before you need it is so important for pet owners.

How to Know When your Beloved Pet Needs Emergency Care

Locating Emergency 24 Hour Care for your Pet

Your veterinarian is the best source of information when it comes to preparing for a pet emergency. Check to see if they offer 24 hour emergency care or perhaps partner with another clinic that does. Larger vet practices have doctors that rotate shifts for after-hour calls while others may offer home visit services. Store the contact information for your veterinarian and 24 hour emergency clinic in your cell phone and at home in the event your pet may require after-hours medical treatment.

How Do You Know when Your Pet Needs Emergency Care?

There are a number of situations when emergency care is a must for your pet. For instance, severe trauma caused by an accident such as a car hitting them or even falling out of a car or home window would require emergency treatment. Choking on an object, snake bite, poisonous insect or spider bite, poisoning and heat stroke are additional instances when emergency care is a must. If you are unsure as to whether your pet should be taken to emergency vet care, these signs should help you identify the need:

1. Rapid breathing
2. Disorientation and/or dizziness
3. Pale gums
4. Problems standing
5. Fast or weak pulse
6. Seizures
7. Excessive bleeding
8. Visible Paralysis
9. Losing consciousness

When the Need for Emergency Care is Apparent

Sometimes when a pet is injured, they may act mean or aggressive toward their humans. Be prepared for this to happen and ask for help if needed. If your pet does not growl or appear to want to bite, create a temporary stretcher so it is easier to transport your pet. The neck and spine should be stabilized if possible in case of spinal injuries and possible paralysis. Call ahead to the emergency clinic so the veterinarian on call will be ready to treat your pet immediately.

First Aid Treatments You Can Perform on your Own

You may have to stabilize your pet before they can be moved to the emergency vet clinic. There are some basic first aid methods you can try to buy some time. For instance, if your pet is choking, open your pet’s mouth and see if you can remove the item choking them. If not, try to perform an adaptive form of the Heimlich maneuver by delivering a well-defined knock to the chest which should hopefully dislodge the item causing your pet to choke. For bleeding caused by an accident, apply a clean cloth to the wound, apply pressure and elevate the area if possible.

CPR can be performed on pets. If your pet became unconscious even after removing an obstruction, you would need to perform CPR to save their life. Holding their jaw closed, blow into your pet’s nostrils every three seconds and massage the area in the chest near the heart. You may have to perform CPR all the way to the emergency clinic but hopefully, your pet will start to breathe unaided.

For suspected poisoning, you should call the ASPCA Poison Control hotline. Pets get into pesticides and even poisonous mushrooms in the yard. Toxicologists on call devise the best recommended treatment for your pet until you can get them to the vet.

Your pet is a valuable member of your family. You should know what to do to protect them in the event of an emergency situation.

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