Your kitty or canine friend is likely curious and energetic. However, sometimes a pet's sense of adventure can lead to injuries or accidents. In this post, our Doraville vets share a few pet first aid tips and explain what to do if your cat or dog gets injured.
Preparing Your Pet First Aid Kit
To help you prepare in case your cat or dog is injured, our team at WellPet Humane has compiled a list of essential items for your pet's first aid kit. Keep these items in your toolbox or another case, and make sure they are easily accessible. In the event of a pet emergency, you'll want these items handy to use at all times, until you can get your pet in to see a veterinarian:
- Antibiotic ointment
- Antiseptic lotion, spray, or powder
- Alcohol swabs
- Blanket, muzzle, carrier, or leash to secure your pet
- Blunt-tipped scizzors or razors for cutting hair and bandages
- Cotton swabs or cotton balls
- Copies of medical records
- Copy of rabies vaccination
- Grease-cutting dish soap
- Hand sanitizer or wipes
- Hydrocortisone cream 3%
- Instant hot and cold packs
- Lubricating jelly
- Nonstick and waterproof adhesive tape to secure bandages
- Penlight or flashlight
- Rectal thermometer
- Splints and tongue-depressors
- Sterile gauze pads and bandages
- Styptic liquid to stop minor bleeding
- Turkey baster, rubber bulb syringe, or dosing
Basic First Aid For Pets
Below are some basic dog and cat first-aid tips that you may need to use do before bringing your pet to an emergency vet clinic.
- To be safe, muzzle your pet. Even the nicest pets can bite when they're hurt, so it's best to be careful. Ask your vet in advance how to use gauze to tie a muzzle if you don't have a muzzle handy.
- Press a clean, thick pad of gauze over any cuts or scrapes, and keep your hand on the wound until the blood starts to clot. Keep the pressure on for at least three minutes before checking to see if the blood is indeed clotting.
- Keep the pet as quiet and warm as you can.
- If you think the pet has broken bones, find a flat surface, like a board or stretcher, that you can move the pet on from place to place. Using a blanket or towel to tie the pet to the surface may also be a good idea.
- Remember that any first aid you give your pet should be followed by veterinary care right away. First aid care is not the same as veterinary care, but it could save your pet's life until it can see a vet.
- WellPet Humane offers urgent care on a limited basis during our regular clinic hours. Our caring team can help pets in most emergency situations. Call your vet to find out how to move an injured animal based on your specific situation. Suppose your pet needs emergency or urgent care outside of our office hours. In that case, you may want to use your favorite search engine to look for emergency veterinary care in or near Doraville.
How To Perform CPR On Cats and Dogs
It is scary thinking you might need to perform CPR on your pet, but it can happen. CPR for dogs and cats is virtually the same as CPR for people. These directions are designed to help in the event that your dog or cat is unconscious and reduce the risk that you'll get bit if they awaken.
- Remove any obstacles. Open the animal's mouth and make sure its air passage is clear. If not, remove the object blocking the airway.
- Extend the head and give the dog or cat a few fake breaths.
- For large dogs, close the dog's mouth tightly and breathe into the nose. The dog's chest should raise. Give 2 breaths at a time
- You may be able to cover the nose and mouth of small dogs and cats with your mouth while breathing. The chest of the animal should rise. Take two deep breaths.
- Do chest compressions
- Large dogs may be able to be positioned on their backs and their chest compressed in the same way that humans do.
- You may need to lay the animal on its side and compress the side of the rib cage for small dogs and cats, as well as large dogs with funnel chests. You can also turn the animal on its back and press on both sides of the rib cage.
- The rate of chest compressions varies depending on the cat or dog's size.
- Dogs over 60 pounds: 60 compressions per minute.
- Animals between 11 and 60 pounds: 80-100 compressions per minute
- Animals 10 pounds or less: 120 compressions per minute.
- Alter your breaths with compressions. The compression-to-breath ratio should be similar to that of humans - 30:2. Repeat until the animal responds or begins to breathe on its own.