April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month Be a well-prepared pet parent… Oh no, Rover got into our trash again!! As pet owners, there are many emergency situations that arise on a daily basis, and sometimes getting to your veterinarian is a timely and strenuous ordeal. In times like these, it is always recommended to take your four-legged friend to a veterinarian, however here are some potentially lifesaving tips to use at home and on the way to your veterinarian. As with your family, having a emergency plan is best, and discussing this with your veterinarian is recommended. By Dr. Charlotte Pulliam, DVM • Town Center Animal Hospital
No, singing the alphabet won’t save our furry friends, but focusing on Airway, Breathing, and Circulation/Cardiac function can. AIRWAY: Focusing on anything that could block the normal flow of oxygen into the lungs. Saliva, vomitus, or foreign material (rocks, toys, sticks). If a foreign object is stuck, do not use excessive force to try to remove the object, and never pull on a string! BE CAREFUL – PAINFUL OR SCARED PETS MAY BITE! BREATHING: Focus on trying to allow the animal to start breathing again, or breathe more efficiently. Make sure the head is straight, pull gently on the tongue to allow for better breathing. Mouth to nose rescue breaths can be administered, but again use caution as not to get bitten. Circulation/Cardiac Function: Assess by feeling for a pulse inside the inner thigh region, also by placing your hand over the left side of the chest. Further assistance with CPR or ABC’s can be discussed with your veterinarian. As the weather warms up, another common emergency is an external laceration or wound. As mentioned before, it is always best to seek professional veterinary advice, although here are some tips to try to manage a severely bleeding wound. Try to apply pressure to the bleeding with clean gauze or cloth. If the laceration is superficial, cleaning the wound might 8
Las Vegas Pet Scene Magazine • March/April 2016
help, only using saline, betadine, or chlorhexadine. Summer parties, BBQ’s, Pool parties – Poisons? Yes, many pets will sneak a “treat” in or some will go for the whole table! As a general rule of thumb, human food is for humans, and pet food is for pets! Many human foods can be toxic, and some even life threatening! Grapes, fried foods, chocolate, alcohol, garlic, onions, and candy are common items found at social gatherings, ALL of which are toxic to dogs and cats. Try keeping a treat stash for your furry family members, or better yet maybe putting them in a quiet room for some rest during the event. These events can be a lot of fun for us, but the amount of people and noise can sometimes overwhelm our pets, and can unknowingly even put them in harms way!
Remember to always STAY CALM! Just as humans can sense your energy, animals can too! Keeping a level head can sometimes help save your pets life. Also remember these are just tips that MAY save your pets life, but routine exams and bloodwork can catch problems earlier, possibly eliminating these emergencies. Make a plan, stay calm, and always contact your veterinarian.