Knowing some of the basics and having a first aid kit on hand may save your pets life.
To make up a first aid kit for your pet is quite easy.
Get a water proof bag large enough to hold the following supplies:
- Sterile wound dressing,
- gauze bandage,
- medical tape,
- thermometer andlubricant such as KY Jelly,
- small syringe or eye dropper,
- chlorhexidine disinfectant in a small bottle (with instructions on how to dilute it for use),
- plastic non latex gloves,
- ophthalmic saline solution,
- antiseptic wound ointment, and
- a small bottle or bag containing a few washing soda crystals.
Additionally have a ruler or other rigid material for a splint and a blanket large enough to cover your pet and a soft nylon rope to fashion a muzzle in an emergency.
Optional Extras include tick remover, and instant cold pack.
Once you have gathered you supplies place them in your waterproof bag and add a card with your vets and the Animal Emergency Centres number on it.
Your first aid kit is now ready
Your pet has just ingested something toxic. What do you do?
First, take a deep breath. Stay calm, the more composed you are, the sooner you can seek the correct medical attention.
Then, take the following steps:
- Check to make sure your pet is breathing normally and acting fine otherwise and remove your pet from the area.
- Make sure no other pets or children are exposed to the area, and safely remove any poisonous material.
- Collect a sample of the material, along with the packaging, or container. The information on the pack can be vital in the treatment of your pet.
- Don’t give your dog any milk, food, salt, oil, or any other home remedies. This can lead to complications.
- Never induce vomiting without talking to your vet—you may cause further problems by doing so.
- Get help. Program your vet’s phone number into your phone, as well as the Animal Emergency Hospital number.
Remember your pet’s prognosis is always better when treatment is sought immediately, so don’t wait to see if symptoms develop before seeking help by calling your vet or us on 02) 6288 4944. There is only a small opportunity to remove the poison from your pet before it is absorbed so don’t delay.
Prevent Pet Poisoning in your home
Prevention is better than cure, and by taking a few simple precautions you can prevent your pet from getting poisoned.
In the Living Room
- Make sure any pot plants or cut flowers are not poisonous. Take especial care with bouquets of flowers as they often contain Lilies, which are highly poisonous to cats. • Avoid the use of aerosols and heavily fragranced products around caged birds.
- Make sure any home fragrance products such as pot-pourri, plug in diffusers and oil burners are well out of reach of pets.
- Make sure ashtrays, cigarettes and nicotine replacement products are kept out of reach of pets.
In the Kitchen
- Make sure foods poisonous to pets are kept out of reach these include sugar free gum, grapes, chocolate, onions and many more. For a more complete list check out our top ten kitchen toxins. Also avoid leaving fatty foods out as these can cause pancreatitis if eaten.
- Avoid access to garbage bins and compost heaps as these can contain many toxins such as coffee grounds, spoilt food and cooked bones, which can cause serious problems for pets.
- Make sure alcohol is also kept out of reach.
In the Bathroom
- Keep all medications vitamins and supplements locked up in secure cupboards—don’t leave them on bench tops or plastic containers, which are easily chewed through.
- Never use any human medications on your pets without first checking with your vet that it is safe to do so. Many common medications such as Paracetamol are toxic to pets.
- Store your pets medication separately from your own, it has been known for humans to accidentally take pet medications and visa versa. Always check the label to make sure your are using the correct dose and medication before giving it.
- Keep pets away from cleaning products. When cleaning any room with detergents and disinfectants make sure to shut your pet out of the room until the product has dried. Cats are often attracted to bleach and other cleaners and can suffer serious problems after licking at cleaning products.
- Keep your toilet lid closed, it is not uncommon for a dog or cat to drink from the toilet bowl given half a chance and this can lead to nasty consequences especially if you use automatic toilet bowl treatments.
In the Laundry/Garage
- Keep pest poisons out of reach of pets. Check all products to see if they are toxic to your pet and know what to do if any product is ingested. Where possible choose products that are not toxic to your pet Do not use insecticides without knowing the toxic effects of the product. Read the label carefully and make sure your pet is locked away when using sprays etc. Never use dog products on cats or visa versa without check with your vet first.
- Keep batteries out of reach, if chewed or swallowed these can cause serious harm and dogs seem to like chewing them.
- Keep glues out of reach—dogs love to chew on the bottles and these can cause serious damage by poisoning or causing blockages in the gut.
- Ethylene glycol (antifreeze) products are extremely toxic. Choose propylene glycol products as they are safer. If you spill any antifreeze on a driveway, clean it up immediately or dilute it with several litres of water.
- Keep all automotive products—like windshield cleaner fluid, engine oil—away from pets, and immediately clean up any spills.
- Dogs like to eat some fertilizers such as blood and bone and Dynamic Lifter. These can cause serious problems if ingested in reasonable quantities, so keep bags tightly sealed and use products according to label instructions.
- Grub or snail killers—use safer alternatives such as Multigard as most snail killers are extremely toxic to pets. Avoid them if possible.
- Insecticides used outside the house may contain organophosphates or carbamates and these can be very dangerous if ingested in larger concentrations.
- Keep pets off lawns until herbicides are dry. Once absorbed by the plant leaf products such as round up are no longer toxic to your pet.
In the Garden
- Make sure that plants in the area your pet has access to are not poisonous. Check out our top 11 toxic plants to help you with this or go online at www.petpoisonhelpline.com
- If placing pest poisons in the garden pest traps to place the poison inside as this avoids transference of poison by the pest to areas your pet can access.
- Make sure to remove ay mushrooms that sprout up as these can be highly toxic.
Source: Pet Poison Helpline, petpoisonhelpline.com
It is important to understand when you might need to provide first aid for the pets in our family and how.
1) Recognising emergency warning signs: If you pet shows any of the following signs, seek immediate veterinary advice. This list is however not all inclusive, any major changes to your pets behaviour warrant veterinary attention.
- Abnormal heart rate
- Coughing, especially if persistent and severe
- Difficulty breathing. Is your pet moving his abdomen to breath?
- Dilated pupils
- Lethargy or weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Pale gums
- Restlessness and panting
- Unproductive retching
2) Stop, Assess, Act. In case of an emergency remain calm, assess your pet methodically and communicate clearly with your veterinarian.
- Safety first. Make sure it is safe for you to go to your pet and take precautions against being bitten or scratched as panicked pets often lash out in fear.
- Check the ABCDs: Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Disability. Make sure your pets airway is clear, check for breathing and a heartbeat and then assess the degree of injury.
- Administer first aid. Stop or control any bleeding, flush burns, immobilise broken limbs, etc
- Call your vet and get to the hospital as fast as you safely can. Make sure to let your vet know what has happened clearly so they can prepare for your arrival.
3) The Vitals: Baseline Health Stats. You must first know what is normal in order to be able to determine if anything is abnormal.
- Heart Rate: Small to Medium dogs 70-140 beats per minute
Large Dogs: 50-120 beats per minute
Cats: 140-200 beats per minute
- Respiratory Rate: 15-30 breaths per minute for dogs and cats.
Finding a pets pulse
Finding a pets heart beat
Here is some information to help you keep your pets safe at home:
Poisons and Toxins
If you are worried about your pet’s health or would like to further discuss how you can manage first aid for your pets in your home call us now and you can talk to one of our trained staff at reception or make an appointment to see one of our veterinarians.