Saturday, 18 August 2012

Animal First Aid Tips

I made up a leaflet in work for a dog show we were at today. A lot of people were very grateful for the advice and pointers so I thought I'd share it here.

Any advice given below is purely for first aid purposes, it's meant for a temporary guideline until you can get your pet to a Vet.

Ingestion of poison/medication - If your pet has ingested something it shouldn’t have, you should phone your Vet immediately. Depending on what has been swallowed we may need to see your pet, although not all things will need treatment. If we ask you to bring your pet to the surgery, please try and bring the packaging from whatever was ingested – it will help us find out the exact treatment needed. The information we will need to help us is the name of the product, the strength of the product, the amount that has been ingested and how long ago it was ingested.

Cut paw or injury that causes bleeding – If possible, the bleeding should be controlled by applying a dressing. DO NOT apply a dressing if there is a something still embedded into the wound. If a dressing cannot be applied and there is nothing in the wound, then apply some pressure using a clean t-shirt/towel etc. and get to the Vet. The quicker we check a wound, the better for treatment.

Burns or Scalds – If your pet has been scalded, try and cut away the wet hair surrounding the area then immediately rinse with cool water. Burns should be rinsed immediately with cool water. Scalds caused by fat or oil can potentially continue to burn if the fat or oil isn’t removed so try and soak up as much as possible with paper towels. If needed, a warm detergent solution can be used to gently cleanse the surrounding skin before the using cool water to rinse the area. Whenever rinsing the area with cool water, care should be taken to keep the rest of the animal warm and dry. Your pet should then be seen by a Vet as soon as possible.

Road Traffic Accidents – Immediate Veterinary attention should be sought but some basic care until then would be to make sure the animal is warm, if they go into shock this could cause hypothermia. If you are at all worried about any spinal damage, care should be taken not to move the spine at all. A parcel shelf can make a very good makeshift stretcher – you should position the shelf behind the animal and pull them onto the stretcher using the skin along their back, this won’t hurt them and is better than possibly causing more damage. Any bleeding should be controlled if possible.

Insect stings – If it’s a bee sting and it has JUST happened then it may be possible to remove the stinger. This should be done by using a bank card or similar and you should try to scrape or flick the stinger away. Tweezers should not be used as this could squeeze more poison into the sting.
For bee stings, you should rinse with a bicarbonate of soda solution – 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda to quarter litre of water.
For wasp stings, you should rinse with a vinegar solution – 50:50 with water.
After rinsing, an ice pack will help alleviate the pain and swelling. Wrap the ice pack in a towel and place against the sting for short periods of time (10-15 minutes). If the swelling continues after bathing and ice pack, then your pet should be seen by a Vet.

Jellyfish – If your pet is stung by or licks a jellyfish, vinegar is good for neutralising. Either applied directly to the sting or (if the jellyfish was licked) soak a piece of bread in the vinegar and feed to your pet. You should closely monitor your pet for any more swelling and Veterinary advice should be sought if you’re worried.

The above are only guidelines, if at any time you are worried or don’t feel confident in attempting these things then seek Veterinary help.

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