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Vet Smart: Getting Pet Smart About Pet Emergencies

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By Maria Bolaris-Forget

Most of us have “some” training in dealing with emergencies, human emergencies that is. But, honestly, how many of us are properly prepared to deal with a pet emergency? Chances are most of us wouldn’t even know where to begin.

Still, pets are a big part of our family and life, and experts strongly suggest get pet smart in case of emergency.

They recommend starting out simply and simply placing important emergency numbers where they can be easily seen and accessed. And, that means finding and after-hour veterinary clinic in your area; as well as keeping directions to the clinic easily accessible too. And, while not always easy, experts suggest it’s best to call ahead.

In addition, experts add that now many fire departments offer pet-sized smoke inhalation masks and that the American Red Cross offers classes first aid for pets. In fact, their website references guides geared at teaching owners how properly dispense medications, recognize and emergency situation and perform CPR and first aid; as well as how to address and treat common emergency issues requiring immediate attention

They (the experts) add that pet first aid kits are available for purchase at Red Cross locations throughout New York, Connecticut, Oklahoma, Texas, and San Francisco. But, for those who don’t live in these areas and need to get one immediately you can create one at home using simple supplies such as Q-tips, guaze pads, a thermometer, tweezers, rolls and bandages, hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment, instant cold packs and rags or rubber tubing that can be used as a tourniquet.

Experts go on to suggest that pet owners get familiar with what is normal for pets, including the resting pulse and hart rate for cats (150-200 beats per minute), while for small to large dogs it varies from (60 to 120 beats per minutes).

A dog’s pulse can be found near the inner hind legs and is usually taken by counting the number of pulses per 15 seconds and multiplying it by four. And, normal temperature for cats and dogs falls between 100 to 102.5 degrees.

Wondering if there’s really something wrong? Look for the following signs: blood, diarrhea or black stool that has a tar-like consistency. Should your pet experience shock you’ll notice a weak pulse, short, shallow breathing, nervousness and a confused appearance. Internal problems, such as bleeding are often indicated by bleeding from the mouth, rectum or blood in the urine.

Should your pet get seriously hurt, handle with extreme caution and care and make sure to keep cool. Calm and quiet…noises may only further freak you pet out and some bay even bit or scratch. Experts suggest trying to get a “grip” on your pet with a muzzle, if necessary, but make sure your pet is not having difficulty breathing, in which case experts suggest keeping the muzzle off. You can also use a blanket or towel to calm your pet, especially since keeping him or her warm, quiet, and restrained will put them somewhat at ease until you can obtain professional help.

According to The Humane Society even pet owners need to be extremely cautious when dealing with a very sick or hurt pet, pointing out the need to pay special attention to body language and sounds to help you pinpoint the cause of pain and where it’s coming from. Refrain form making fast movements that may be a bit “jerky”, instead move slowly and with determined ease. Remember, pets much like kids, can lose their composure if you lose your cool becoming even more nervous and scared.

Long Island Pets Articles > Vet Smart: Getting Pet Smart About Pet Emergencies

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