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First Aid

Emergency Procedure

When you come across an accident or an animal in severe distress, immediately proceed with the basic emergency drill, as outlined below:

  • If breathing appears to have stopped completely, check for a heartbeat

  • Normal heartbeat can be felt by placing the fingertips on the lower part of the chest wall on the left side, just behind the front leg

The ABC Drill
  • Airway - Ensure that there is nothing blocking the animal's nasal passage. Squeeze the nasal passage with a flat palm. Blow into the nose, it helps clean the nasal passage.

  • Bleeding - To control bleeding, tightly press a cold compress or cloth against the wound. Repeat and bandage. If blood is bright red and pumping, it is from an artery. Apply a tourniquet above the wound. If the blood is dark red and flowing regularly, apply the tourniquet below the wound.

  • Collapse, Convulsions and Lack of Consciousness - Ensure the animal in place where it will not receive any further injury. Start artificial respiration. If it does not respond, try mouth to mouth respiration. Convulsions occur in cases of heat stroke, severe exhaustion and poisoning. Do not restrain an animal when it is having a spasm. Administer glucose and a warm drink orally, once the animal recovers from the fit. Give Diazepam (to calm down the animal) orally after consulting a vet.

Useful Techniques
  • Pulse Taking : The normal pulse rate of cats is 110-140 beats/minute, and of dogs, 80-120 beats/minute. The smaller the breed, the higher the pulse. Put your index and middle finger over the artery at the point where it crosses the thigh bone on the inside of the thigh. Count the pulse rate for 10 seconds and multiply by 6.

  • Artificial Respiration : If possible, lay the animal on its right side, open its mouth and take out anything blocking the air passage. Pull the tongue forward. Press down firmly with both hands below the shoulder and over the ribs. Release immediately and briskly.

  • Mouth-to-mouth respiration : Clear the animal's mouth of any foreign obstacles, hold it closed and blow into nostrils.

First Aid Procedure
  • Place animal in a cool, well ventilated place or a shaded area

  • Give small amounts of cold water containing glucose or sugar frequently

  • Ice packs should be applied on the head, forehead and all over the body. If you cant get ice, apply water all over the body and cold towel compresses on the head and chest

  • Give cold milk to drink

Once first aid has been administered, and the animal is stable, consult a vet.

Your First Aid Kid

Nobody can fully plan for an emergency, but it always helps to be equipped with the basics. Keep a first aid kit in your house and car for when you come across a sick or injured animal. Your first-aid kit should contain:

  1. Gauze Bandages
  2. Cotton Wool, Cotton Rope
  3. Adhesive Tape
  4. Dettol, Savlon
  5. Scissors
  6. Antiseptic, Antibiotic Ointment
  7. Betadine Lotion
  8. Disposable Gloves
  9. Clean piece of white cloth
  10. Tabs of Paracetamol/Crocin, Avil, Perinorm, Brufen, Analgin/Novalgin
  11. Tissue Paper
  12. Thermometer
  13. Tincture of Benzene
  14. Tincture of Iodine
Useful extras - Torch, Blanket, Old Rugs, Paper, Pencil Chains and Tape Muzzle

Consult the vet for further medication

Seasonal care for pets

Heat Stroke
Heatstroke may kill or seriously injure your pet - but it can easily be avoided. Never leave pets in cars on warm days; exercise during the cool part of the day; look for rapid breathing;loud panting; or staggering. Professional help may be needed, but in the meantime quickly get the animal to a shady ventilated area, and sponge off with cool water.

Flea Season
As a loving pet owner, you'd do anything to prevent your cat or dog from suffering. After all, they're part of the family. Yet every year when flea season begins, the suffering sets in. It's like an old broken record. Fleas bite, and the scratching and chewing starts again. It's a painful and irritating routine for you and your pet. But that's just the beginning. Adult fleas jump on your cat or dog. They bite them to feed on the blood. Then the fleas produce eggs. Eggs drop from your pet to the ground or carpet. The eggs develop over time into adult fleas. And the cycle starts all over again.

An Invisible Threat
The adult fleas on your pet can actually cause serious medical problems -- like flea allergy dermatitis or tapeworms, and in some extreme cases, anemia. Flea-related diseases account for more than 50 percent of dermatologic cases presented to veterinarians and more then 35 percent of the total small animal veterinary effort.

When to Start Treating?
Ideally, flea control should begin as flea prevention -- before flea season starts. Depending on which part of the country you live in, your flea season can last for four months or it can be a year-long problem.

Where to Turn?
If you are in the midst of flea season and still have problems with fleas, do not despair. Your veterinarian is a flea expert and can advise you on the latest new products that kill adult fleas, eggs, and larvae, and that take care of fleas in your environment. They will base their recommendation on your regional weather conditions (high humidity and heat means more fleas on the way), your pet's health and level of flea infestation.

Pets and Fireworks Don't Mix
The sound of fireworks can terrify your animal. It may run away, perhaps into traffic. A pet's ears are more sensitive than ours. Explosive noises may damage your pet's hearing, or the pet may be injured by a falling firecracker. Remember, pets and fireworks don't mix.

Dont Let Your Pet Go Back to School
When the school bell rings, don't let your pet go back to school. Many dogs and cats will naturally follow kids--or will be encouraged to tag along. Many become lost, injured, or cause a nuisance around the school yard. Keep your pet confined when children leave for school. If you drive, don't take the pets with you. Animals learn quickly and may find their own way to school later on. Brief separations during the days just before the new school year will help those children and pets that are especially close. And if your pet is missing, call the school first.

Holiday Safety For Cats
The holiday season is a time for celebration, but can also be a time of trouble for your family cat! For example, mistletoe and artificial snow are poisonous; Christmas ornament fragments can perforate the stomach; string, ribbon, and tinsel if swallowed may cause painful intestinal problems; frayed light cords cause shock or burns. Don't spoil your holiday with a medical emergency. As the winter months and holidays approach, you need to take time to ensure that your pets enjoy a happy, healthy holiday season.

Housing
It is best to keep pets indoors during the winter months, but if this is not possible, outdoor pets must be provided with shelter. Their home should be elevated off the ground to prevent moisture accumulation and have a door of some kind to keep out winter winds, sleet, and snow. Shelters should be insulated or heated. Water sources may be heated to permit constant access to unfrozen water; thermal units designed specifically for this purpose are readily available. Outdoor pets require extra calories to keep warm, so feed your pet according to its needs when the temperature drops. In severely cold or inclement weather, no pet should be kept outside. Indoor pets should have sleeping quarters in a draft-free, warm area with their bed or mattress elevated slightly off the floor.

Roaming Cats
Roaming cats, as well as house pets and wildlife, may climb onto vehicle engines for warmth during cold weather. Be sure to check under the hood before starting your vehicle and honk the horn to startle any animals seeking shelter inside.

Frostbite & Snow Removal Salt
Snow and salt should be removed from your pets paws immediately. Frostbitten skin is red or gray and may slough. Apply warm, moist towels to thaw out frostbitten areas slowly until the skin appears flushed. Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for further care. Snow removal products should be stored out of the reach of pets and small children as their toxicity varies considerably.

Toxic Plants & Holiday/Winter Product
Plants and other items associated with the winter and holiday season can be toxic to your pets. What follows is a general guide. Please consult your veterinarian, animal poison control, and the manufacturer for specifics. Remember, the earlier you seek treatment, the better for your pet!

Low toxicity
Poinsettia leaves/stems; balsam/pine/cedar/fir; angel hair (spun glass); Christmas tree preservatives; snow sprays/snow flock; tree ornaments; super glue; styrofoam; icicles (tinsel); and crayons/paints.

Moderate toxicity
Fireplace colors/salts; plastic model cement Moderate to high toxicity holly berries and leaves; bubbling lights (methylene chloride); snow scenes (may contain salmonella); aftershaves/perfumes/alcoholic beverages; and chocolate (dark is more toxic than milk).

Highly toxic
Mistletoe (especially berries); expoxy adhesives; and antifreeze. Please note that some items have special problems. For example, whereas angel hair is usually considered to be of low toxicity, it can irritate eyes, skin, and the gastrointestinal tract; the content of Christmas tree preservatives varies and often effects depend upon the amount ingested; styrofoam, small parts from Christmas tree ornaments and toys, as well as tinsel, can cause mechanical obstructions in the gastrointestinal tract; snow flock can cause problems if sprayed into the mouth and inhaled; and chocolate, of any type, should never be given to a pet. Antifreeze deserves special mention because even a very small amount can be rapidly fatal to pets.

Other Holiday Concerns
If you plan to take your pet with you during holiday visits, make sure that your pet is welcome first (with all the activity, it may be better to board your pet or hire a pet sitter). Holiday treats, such as rich, fatty food scraps, bones from fish, pork, and poultry, alcoholic beverages, and chocolate, can be harmful or toxic to pets. Do not allow friends and relatives to give your pet special treats it could ruin everyone's holiday (including your veterinarian's). Do not allow pets to play with ribbons, yarn, or six-pack beverage holders and don't put ribbons or yarn around your pet's neck. If you want to decorate your pet, invest in a holiday collar. These last for many years, are more attractive, and are a lot safer! Cover or tack down electrical cords.


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