Emergency - have you ever sat with an injured pet and frozen - not knowing what to do?

Emergency - How do you cope?

A fair percentage of the pets in Veterinary Clinics are there due to some trauma, accident etc.

If your animal has been involved in some or other accident, but does not appear to be injured you should still see the vet. Often there are internal injuries which are not obvious and if left untreated, could lead to severe problems and even death. If for example your pet was hit by a car, and he suffered internal injuries, he may not look to bad, but over a period of time, his condition will begin to deteriorate and if left that bit too long, it could mean the end of your pet. In most cases your pet will be suffering from shock and that needs medication. Eyes that are injured or pop out, not really seen in the Yorkie, but seen pretty regularly in the Pekingese, need to be seen by a vet asap. The longer an eye is left unattended the smaller the chance of it being put back into position, the longer left unattended, the greater the chance of the animal losing an eye or becoming blind.

REMEMBER any animal suffering from shock, is not totally aware of what is going on, and in a lot of cases may bite, to protect itself.

Be extra careful how you move any injured animal. If at all possible use a board, covered with a blanket or two and gently move the injured pet onto the board. Small dogs, baking trays or bread boards may be used provided they are big enough. IF no board is available, gently lift the animal preferably also in a blanket. Work carefully and gently remembering to talk to the animal, in a very gentle manner, which will comfort  the animal to some degree. If an animal has an obvious injured or broken limb, be very careful. If you fear that the dog will bite, you can use a strip of material to gently muzzle the animal, but DO NOT do this if the animal has breathing problems, or an injured or fractured jaw. If you cannot muzzle the animal but fear being bitten, put a towel over the animals head.

If you need to use tea towels etc on open wounds, please use clean towels. IF you do not. the risk of infection is dramatically increased.

Injuries that expose the insides, awful thought, but if your dog is to survive you need to keep those organs moist, they must not be allowed to dry out. Do not use paper towel, tissue or cotton wool, anything that can disintegrate. A clean tea

towel would be the best and moisten it, not dripping wet, but moisten and lay it over the open area. If your animal is bleeding badly, if at all possible use some gauge, and a light bandage, you then need to apply some pressure. The bandage should be reasonably firm but not tight. DO NOT attempt to stop the bleeding by applying a tourniquet. This should only be done by a professional. If you use this method incorrectly, you may very well stop blood flow to certain areas or limbs and this could end up in that part of the body dying off. ANY FORM OF BANDAGING can cause further complications, be careful. Obviously broken limbs with bones etc exposed, do not attempt to return to a normal position, gently cover with a clean tea towel. If your animal has a wound involving the airways, keep covered with a damp tea towel or gauge depending on the size of the wound.

ANY of the above conditions, need urgent medical assistance.

ALL Pet owners should have a pet FIRST AID KIT. The contents should include at least two clean tea towels. Gauge. One never knows, when you least expect it – you could end up with a problem. Ask your vet what he could supply you with and what he suggests you purchase for a well equipped first aid kit.

Beware if your animal has open gaping wounds with internal organs visible, DO NOT attempt to treat yourself, or apply any anti bacterial medications. Keep the area as clean as possible by applying your moist tea cloth. Leave treatment to the professionals.

DO NOT administer any pain relief. If your animal needs an anaesthetic that could cause a major further problem. Remember animals cannot use the same pain medication human’s use. Another reason for not administering pain relief. - the vet will not be able to judge what condition your animal is in, if its senses have been dulled by pain medication.

Please remember that you are responsible for the animals you own, they deserve to be taken to a vet.

A good idea – print out your vets contact details, as well as an afterhours emergency clinics details and contact number. Use clear tape and stick onto the top of your first aid kit.

REMEMBER to stay calm. A panicky neurotic owner, will only complicate matters. If you panic this in turn will make your animal panic.

With your First Aid Kit at hand and all the emergency contact numbers at your fingertips, should an accident ever happen, you will be more than prepared to cope with it.