Accidents happen — sometimes pets get injured, eat the wrong foods, get bitten, cut, or even have seizures. But there are ways you can help, even as you’re on the way to the vet. Dr. Doug Aspros, Former President of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) says, “You can’t be over-prepared. Do your thinking and planning when you’re calm — you’ll make better decisions when the emergency happens.” And we just so happen to think he’s right.
With that in mind, here are six helpful first aid tips from the AVMA. (For more tips, you can visit the AVMA website.)
1. Broken Bones
If you think your pet has a broken bone, gently lay him or her on a flat surface, or use a blanket as a sling to gently transport your pet on the way to the veterinarian.
Press a clean, thick gauze pad over the wound and press on it until the bleeding stops. If bleeding is severe and on the legs, apply a tourniquet (using a rubber band and gauze) between the wound and the body to slow down the blood flow, and get your animal to the vet ASAP.
Flush immediately with lots of water. If the burn is more severe, quickly apply an ice compress and call your vet. They’ll help you determine whether or not you need to come in and when.
If your pet has been exposed to a toxin, check the label for immediate instructions, such as washing the skin with soap and water, or flushing eyes with water. In cases of poisoning, get in touch with the Pet Poison Helpline immediately.
If your pet is having seizures, keep them away from any objects, blanket your pet to keep them warm, and call your vet or an emergency vet clinic.
If your pet can still breathe, get them to the vet immediately. Look in their mouth with a flashlight and quickly try to get the object out with a tweezer. If that doesn’t work, place both hands on the side of his or her ribcage and strike the rib cage firmly with the palm of your hand 3 to 4 times while getting to the vet.