/ Monthly Care Tips

Pet First Aid: 5 Things Every Dog and Cat Parent Should Know

Published July 4, 2011 in Monthly Care Tips |

Be alert and immediately responsive when your companion gets injured as every second counts in saving his or her life...

No matter how careful we are as fur parents, dogs and cats sometimes still manage to cut themselves, get overheated and eat things they really should not. We have compiled some first aid tips to help you be prepared should trouble strikes in five common situations:

1. Treating A Cut or Scratched Paw
One of the most important things you can do if injury is on your companion’s paw is to put pressure on it with a clean towel and bring him or her in the nearest veterinary clinic. Do not apply a tourniquet because it can decrease blood supply to the injured limb and that is very dangerous. And you should probably avoid rinsing a wounded paw in water as that will release a blood clot that has formed.

2. Evaluating Vomiting and Diarrhoea
If your companion is vomiting or diarrhoea symptoms persist for more than half a day, or if there are traces of blood in the vomit or defecate, there is a possibility that your dog or cat may have been affected by toxin in his or her diet. It is advisable to being your companion to a veterinarian right away.

Otherwise, if vomiting occurs just a couple of times, withhold food and water for at least six hours and see if the condition subsides. If your companion continues to vomit or become lethargic, or if it is a puppy or a very small, toy breed dog, it is pertinent that he or she be brought to a vet as soon as possible because they can dehydrate quickly.

3. Dealing With Heatstroke
Heatstroke is especially a risk in Singapore in view of our humid weather. Signs include panting, increased respiratory sounds, collapse, seizure, vomiting and bloody diarrhoea.

Get your companion away from the heat immediately and soak towels in room temperature or tepid water — not cold water or ice – and place the wet towels over him or her and put a fan in the room to allow ambient cooling.

Put the towels over your companion’s torso, over their back, chest and abdomen. The mistake most people make is dousing the animal in ice-cold water, and that can actually cause the blood vessels in the skin to constrict and it could cause the animal’s core temperature to rise and make the temperature worse. The most important thing is to get your companion to the vet. They may need intravenous fluids if they are severely dehydrated.”

4. Handling Household Toxins
Chocolates, onions, raisins, grapes, various plants, as well as household chemicals are commonly ingested by animals, or people give their animal companions over the counter medications, such as Tylenol or Paracetamol, which can be very toxic or fatal to companions.

If you suspect your companion may have ingested something toxic, the best thing to do is to take him or her immediately to a veterinary clinic and bring along what was suspected to have been ingested. Do not try to induce vomiting without professional advice, it can be dangerous.

5. Responding If Your Companion Is Hit By a Car
Quick thinking and knowing what to do can help save your companion after an accident. If the injured animal is not able to move, put him or her on an immobile surface, like a flat board or big, giant piece of plywood and strap him or her down so that further injury is not inflicted should there be a spine injury or neck injury.

Then get the companion to the nearest veterinary facility. Even the nicest companion can lash out when they are injured and in pain so use a towel over the animal’s head or use a pair of nylons to put around the animal’s muzzle and tie it shut, so that the person helping the companion keeps from getting bitten.

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