It is always useful to carry a first aid kit for your pets when out and about, you never know when they could get into trouble and need some basic first aid. This is not an alternative to getting veterinary care but can help provide support in the short term.
What Should I Do In An Emergency Situation?
- First ensure the safety of yourself and others never put yourself in any danger, try to keep calm and assess the situation before acting. Even your own animals when injured are frightened and often in pain and may act differently and even try to bite.
- Contact the vet. Keep your vet’s phone number to hand and know the name of the practice. If you are going on holiday and taking your pets with you its advisable to find the number of a local vet before you go so it is at available in case of emergencies. The people who you booked with or the local tourist information centres will usually give you recommendations.
- Treatment can usually be provided more quickly if the dog is taken to the surgery and with all the facilities present the best care can be given, rather than if the vet is called out.
- Always phone first rather than just turning up at the practice, whatever the situation, so that we are prepared for your arrival. Staff may be able to suggest immediate action you can take before travelling with them.
- Talk quietly and gently to animals as you approach them and move slowly avoiding sudden movements.
- If there is a risk of biting, put a muzzle on the dog, or wrap tape around the nose and tie behind the ears, you could even use an old tie for this! Only apply muzzles if there is no difficulty in breathing. Small dogs and cats may be restrained by putting a thick towel over their heads.
- Control any bleeding by applying pressure by hand of with bandages, if blood seeps through a bandage do not remove just apply another layer on top. Take photographs of any wounds before you bandage them to show the vet when you arrive at the practice, this will help them know what they are dealing with.
- Never pull anything out of wounds as this may cause more damage than leaving them in situ.
- If you need to move your pet and there is a risk of broken bones or spinal injury try to use something rigid to move them on to prevent any further damage or a large blanket as a stretcher.
- Keep them warm animals in shock will rapidly loose body heat so keeping them warm and dry is always helpful.
- If you think your pet has something toxic on their coat or feet try to prevent them licking and grooming themselves to reduce the chance of ingestion of toxic substances.
- Never give human medicines to pets – many will do more harm than good. Do not offer food or drink in case and sedation anaesthetic is needed for their care.
- Drive carefully when taking the patient to the surgery – you still need to abide to the highway code.
- In an emergency, please call us at Pride Veterinary Centre on 01332 678333. We are available 24/7 with a dedicated Vets at Night team based at Pride Veterinary Centre.
What Should I Include I My Pet First Aid Kit?
This is a selection of some of the basic things that you could include in a first aid kit:
- A selection of sterile wound dressings
- Conforming bandages
- Gauze bandages
- Crepe bandages
- Self-adhesive tape
- Antiseptic wipes
- Cotton wool
- Latex gloves
- Foil blanket
- Sterile eye/ wound wash
- Tick remover
- Bandage scissors – blunt ended