First-Aid for Your Pet

Know what to do when your pet becomes hurt. Some general guidelines are:

1. Be the First to Aid Your Pet— When your cat or dog suddenly falls ill or becomes injured, follow some simple first aid measures to stabilize your pet before getting him to Arrowhead Animal Hospital, P.C.

2. Stay Calm— Your pet will be calm if you’re calm. You will also be able to better describe the incident and your pet’s symptoms if you don’t panic. This will help us better assess his condition when you get to Arrowhead Animal Hospital, P.C.

3. Focus on Your Pet— If possible, have someone else call us so you can focus on administering first aid and/or assessing the best way to move your pet without causing further pain or injury.

4. Hot or Cold?— The normal body temperature for dogs and cats is 100–102.5 degrees. When you call us we might ask you to take your pet’s temperature and report it.

5. Handle With Care— No matter how friendly your pet can be under normal circumstances, it is extremely important to understand you must carefully restrain an injured pet. This is for your safety and for your pet’s as well. Muzzle a dog unless he is unconscious, has difficulty breathing or has a mouth injury. Use an E-collar or carrier for cats; muzzles can inhibit their breathing and create additional distress.

6. Survey, Secure, Stat!— While it is important not to self-diagnose your pet’s symptoms, you must first determine the situation, then stabilize your pet, then bring him/her to Arrowhead Animal Hospital, P.C.

Broken Bones Survery – your pet is limping or favoring a limb. Secure – Muzzle your dog or use an E-collar for your cat and manipulate his head away from you while placing him in a padded carrier. Stat – Go to Arrowhead Animal Hospital, P.C. immediately. Pelvic fractures may not be readily apparent.

Burns Survery – Your pets skin has obvious signs of burns, or he has ingested a toxin and is drooling, pawing at his mouth or swallowing excessively. Secure – Restrain your pet. Flush burns with cold water or apply a wash cloth cooled with ice water. Stat – Go to Arrowhead Animal Hospital, P.C. within the hour, or immediately if electrocution was the source of injury. Bring the chemical agent with you, if possible.

External Bleeding Secure – Restrain your pet for his/her protection and yours. Then, firmly press thick gauze on the wound until clotting occurs. Apply a tourniquet between the wound and the heart only if bleeding is severe or a limb is hemorrhaging. Every 15 seconds, loosen the tourniquet for 20 seconds. Stat – Go to Arrowhead Animal Hospital, P.C. immediately.

Internal Bleeding Survery – Your pet is bleeding from the nose, mouth, ears or rectum, is coughing blood, has blood in his urine, pale gums, collapses or has a weak or rapid pulse. Secure – Keep him warm and as quiet as possible. See if he responds when you call his name. Stat – Go to Arrowhead Animal Hospital, P.C. immediately.

7. First Aid Kit Checklist— Use a waterproof container and put together a well-stocked pet first aid kit using this checklist recommended by Veterinary Pet Insurance:

___ Arrowhead Animal Hospital, P.C. contact information
___ Northside Emergency contact information
___ Alcohol prep pads
___ Blanket or towel
___ Cold pack
___ Digital thermometer
___ Gauze rolls
___ Gauze pads
___ Gloves
___ Hydrogen peroxide
___ Rags or rubber tubing
___ Scissors
___ Soft muzzle
___ Tweezers

8. Rabies Recommendation— It is critical that you can provide evidence of your pet’s rabies vaccination at all times. You were provided a rabies certificate when your pet received his rabies vaccination at Arrowhead Animal Hospital, P.C. It has an expiration date. A pet without proof of current vaccination may be quarantined if he bites you or anyone else. A rabies tag is not considered proof of current vaccination.

*From the Veterinary Pet Insurance Pet WellCare Education Series