Help in an emergency can be crucial to survival
If an animal has injured itself or has been involved in an accident, the owner or the people who find the animal should take it to a vet as quickly as possible. That is the only way to prevent life threatening consequences. Vets from Maxi Zoo explain what people can do in the way of first aid before getting to a vet.
What should I do?
If the animal has been injured in a fight or by a sharp object, first feel around its body carefully for wounds. Once you have locate the affected area, dress it with a bandage or in an emergency, compress a piece of clothing onto the bleeding wound. Fix the whole thing with a bandage if necessary. You can rinse out the wound before binding it with sterile electrolyte solution – every animal medicine chest should contain this in addition to a sterile wound dressing and gauze bandages. Prevent your pet from biting or licking the wound. Regardless of what happens, phone the vet’s in advance so that they can prepare for the emergency situation. Especially with accident injuries or emergency operations, they will need a lot of assistance. With any pet injury and above all in an accident situation, it is very important to stay calm and treat with consideration.
Assessing the situation
Firstly, make the accident spot safe. You must ensure that you are not in danger yourself for example after a traffic accident on a busy road. Bear in mind that even your own pet can bite or scratch you in an emergency situation. You can bind a dog’s muzzle closed with a bandage, cloth or with the lead. Approach the animal cautiously, with comforting words. Then assess the animal’s condition. The animal is very likely to be in shock. An important sign of this is its breathing. Directly after a shock, the rate increases and the pulse races – with both dogs and cats. Feel the pulse on the inside of the thigh of its back leg. If the circulation has broken down, you can recognise this by the pale colour of the mucous membranes, e.g. the gums. Also if you press on the gum and it takes longer than two seconds to become red again, then circulation has broken down. The animal must be taken to the vet immediately as its condition can deteriorate rapidly!
Transporting an injured animal
Transporting a sick or injured animal to a vet can be difficult. Here are a few pieces of advice on safe transportation:
– Find someone to go with you. That’s especially important if you don’t have a transport box.
– If the animal appears to be lame or have injuries to the spine, carry it between two people on a stretched out cloth and lay it on a board in the car.
– A blanket is a good idea if the animal resists you. You can put the blanket over it to allow you to lift it more quickly and place it in a basket or a box. In the case of suspected internal injuries or fractures, a blanket pushed underneath serves as a carrying sling.
Call into your local store today to discuss your reptile’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.