Beacon Transcript – As humans are not the only beings at risk of choking, electrocution, or other life-threatening accidents, April has been named National Pet First Aid Awareness month in an attempt to educate more pet owners how to respond to urgent situations.
It’s Important to Know and Monitor Your Pet’s Behavior
According to Kim Gaebelein, marketing director at Bil-Jac Foods, owners must be able to tell when their pet is acting a little off. As they are unable to express their grievances, they will show their owners that something is not quite right. Unfortunately, all animals choose unique ways to communicate with their human family, so all individuals must be well-acquainted with their pet’s quirks.
Another crucial detail is to always have your veterinarian’s phone number at hand. Don’t keep their card in purse or in a drawer, memorize it on your cell phone as an emergency can arise at any time.
Always Have a Pet First Aid Kit at Hand
Veterinarians advise pet owners to have a pet first aid kit both at home and in the car. Besides a harness and/or leash, food, a couple of bottles of water, a blanket, some dry food, and two bowls for said water and food, the kit must also contain any medication that the pet is currently taking, hand sanitizer, rubber gloves, and an antiseptic solution. Don’t forget an ace bandage or an elastic as many wounds require on-the-spot tending.
The Basics of CPR for Cats and Dogs
Make sure to use a mirror to check if the cat or dog is breathing before proceeding as performing CPR on a healthy pet could lead to severe complications, including premature death.
- Lay the animal on a flat surface while making sure that the left side is facing upwards.
- Move the pet’s left elbow back to the chest to locate the heart. It’s critical to locate the pulse. If the pet is obese, you can check the femoral artery – on the inside of the thigh.
- If the animal is not breathing and doesn’t have a pulse, tilt the head back, hold the mouth shut, take a full breath, and give 4-5 quick breaths.
- Then, administer 15 compressions in 10 seconds. It’s very important to apply the right amount of pressure. When performing CPR on a cat or small dog, you can do so with only one hand, or by using your thumbs while holding the entire rib cage within your palms. In the case of large dogs, you can use both hands, just like on humans.
- Repeat the cycle of 15 compressions to one breath. Every 15 compressions and one breath, squeeze the abdominal area as it will help blood circulate.
Dealing with Chocking
Be it small toys, bigger pieces of food, or other items, pets are in a constant danger of choking. Fortunately, you can administer the Heimlich maneuver to help them rid their airways of the obstructing object. The easiest way to do this is to turn the pet upside down, their back against your belly and press on the diaphragm four or five times. If they don’t eliminate the foreign object from the first time, sweep their oral cavity with your finger, give them some air like in the CPR method detailed above, and repeat the Heimlich.
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