April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month!
I can't believe mom almost let the month pass without talking about this very important topic!
Pets are an important part of many families and Pet First Aid Awareness Month is the perfect time to ensure you have the skills needed to take care of your furry family member in an emergency.
Pet First Aid Tips
Do you know what to do during a pet emergency? Here are some common emergency tips:
- To determine if your cat or dog is dehydrated, pull up on the skin between the shoulder blades. It should spring right back; if it stays tented this is a sign of dehydration.
- Signs of poisoning include bleeding externally or internally, dilated pupils, drooling or foaming at the mouth, seizures or other abnormal mental state or behavior.
- If your pet has a seizure, make sure it is in a safe place, but do not restrain the animal. Keep your hands away from its mouth as your pet may not know who you are during a seizure and could bite you do to fear.
- Signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion include collapse, body temperature of 104 degrees F or higher, bloody diarrhea or vomiting; wobbliness, excessive panting or difficulty breathing; increased heart rate; mucous membranes very red; and increased salivation.
- Pet bites by other animals need vet attention to prevent the wound from becoming infected (even if minor bite) and to check for internal wounds. Never break up a dogfight yourself because you could be bitten.
- If your pet is bleeding, apply direct pressure using gauze or clean cloth over the bleeding site. If blood soaks through, apply more gauze over the gauze already in place (do not remove soaked gauze as that will remove pressure from the wound). Take pet to veterinary hospital as soon as possible.
Pet First Aid App
More lifesaving information is available on the Red Cross Pet First Aid App that helps cat and dog owners to provide emergency care until veterinary assistance is available. Follow this link to download the app: http://www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/pet-first-aid-app.
Pet owners may also take a Red Cross Pet First Aid course so they can practice the skills and receive feedback. Go to http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class for information and to register.
As many of my pals already know, I was saved during our apartment fire February 23, 2012 by a neighbor who was a V-E-T. She did CPR and got oxygen put on me right away. Her actions saved my life that night! Mom will always be grateful to the wonderful V-E-T lady and her husband for making the effort to help me until she arrived home and was able to race me to the Emergency V-E-T. Please take a few minutes to review Pet First Aid and CPR. You could save your fur-friends life!