Learning Pet First Aid Can Save your Dog’s Life

Q-What is the busiest day of the year for dogcatchers?

It is estimated that 92% of dogs and cats will experience an emergency during their lifetime, and according to The American Animal Hospital Association, 25% more of them could be saved if just one pet first-aid technique were applied prior to them getting professional veterinary care?

Would you know how to answer the following questions?
How do you induce vomiting?
What if your pet had a seizure?
What if your pet ate something toxic or poisonous?
What if your pet was suffering from a burn or heatstroke?
Learning the answers to these questions will make you more knowledgeable and less likely to panic during an emergency. First aid care is not a substitute for veterinary care, but it may save your pet’s life until they receive veterinary treatment.

It is a good idea to have a pet first aid kit on hand so you can provide treatment when necessary. Knowledge and preparation are key to remaining calm during an emergency. In addition, it is important to learn what valuable information you can provide to your vet in case of an emergency so they can be ready to treat your pet upon arrival. The AVMA website offers a printable list that you can use to create you own pet first aid kit. http://www.avma.org/firstaid/supplies.asp

In addition to pet first aid, it is important to have a family emergency evacuation plan in place that includes your pets. Make sure to keep plenty of food, water, portable crates/kennels, medications, and copies of vaccination records on hand in case you are evacuated.

Work with your veterinarian and learn the normal vital signs for your pets(s) including temperature, breathing rate, and pulse so you know what is not normal. We encourage a strong relationship with your veterinarian.

Practice purposeful petting with your pet(s) and work to desensitize them to being handled by the groomer and the vet. Spend time working with and training them. Obedient pets tend to stay out of harm’s way.

Another benefit of pet first aid is learning how to deal with choking, bleeding, and fractures and how to restrain, muzzle and transport an injured pet if necessary.

You are what you eat and that also applies to your pet. We will cover the importance of good nutrition and the benefits of supplements.

Recognize the signs when it is time to euthanize your pet and the feelings of loss, grief and denial that come with the loss. We mention options available for counseling.

I am going to share my testimonial below so you can see the obvious benefits of learning pet first aid. On Thursday, May 10, I was never more thankful to put my Pet Tech First Aid Training into action. I live in Muncie, IN and I have a large 1.5-acre backyard. I have underground fencing in my yard and while I never leave my dogs outside when I am not home, I do put them outside in the evening while I am working. That night I had the biggest scare. I heard growling, fighting, barking and crying and immediately went to investigate. I saw two coyotes running off and my littlest dog, Sheba, lying on the ground crying (By little I mean 40 pounds). I quickly ushered all my dogs inside and Sheba managed to get up and limp inside but then immediately fell over and was unable to walk. My instincts immediately kicked in and all I could do was focus on her and what she needed. I was able to be calm, confident and soothe her while I quickly looked her over. After assessing that she needed immediate veterinary care, my biggest concern was how to get her to my vehicle. Since she was lying down, I tried to support her and pick her up but she cried out every time I moved her. From our training I remembered using a towel or blanket and slowly managed to slide her onto a towel and then carry her to the truck. While on the way (the nearest emergency hospital is 15 minutes away), I called the vet and reported her injuries, gave my ETA and provided all the information needed over the phone so when I arrived they had a room ready for me. I cannot stress how important it is to do that. It saved me about 10 minutes of time in filling out paperwork and getting current information. Sheba was a trooper through the whole experience. Even on the exam table looking at all her injuries, her tail was wagging. After I talked to the vet about what they were going to do (shave all her injured areas and start stitching her back together) and they wheeled her away for surgery, I finally started to cry. I felt much better after they complemented me on the fact that I was able to give them such thorough information in light of the incident. She was in surgery for 7 hours and I am happy to report that she will be all right. She was in the hospital for 5 days. I was able to visit her 24 hours a day and they were very accommodating each time I called or stopped over for an update. I picked her up on Tuesday night. She wore a plastic cone for 2 days and then I purchased a comfy cone for her and she wore that until we took the stitches out 2 weeks later. She was such a good patient she became the mascot for Northwood Animal Hospital during her stay. They said she took her pills without a fuss, loved being handled and didn’t complain about anything they had to do to her. All of her training and the snout to tail assessment was the best thing I could have taught her. She got all of her staples out on Saturday, May 26 (they went through 3 staple guns to give you an idea of how many they used) and she was the perfect patient again. Lots of treats and positive reinforcement and she didn’t mind at all. A few positive experiences came from the incident. 1) the hospital was so impressed with my skills and knowledge that I am a pet first aid instructor and dog trainer, they are going to recommend all their clients sign up for one of my classes. 2) Since Sheba had such a great experience there and the staff fell in love with her, I may actually switch vets for her for future use. 3) During my visit I saw a sign on their door that they were looking for dogs to be blood donors and I have a golden retriever that met the requirements so we are now donating blood for other dogs that may need it.  Just another way I can help to pay it forward for other clients and dogs.
When I shared the story with my neighbors they could not believe I was able to handle everything without panicking and I told them that due to the training and practice, instinct just kicked in and I knew my sole job was to care for my dog. I truly believe that my attitude, knowledge and instincts helped me save my dog. Had I panicked and became hysterical; I may have lost my pet. My quick thinking and judgment helped her to survive and thrive. I am happy to report that she had no adverse reactions about going outside and still lives to chase birds and bunnies, dig holes and wrestle with my other dogs. I do go outside in the evening with them and plan to install a motion detector light so I can keep an eye on them. They are my kids and their health and safety is my biggest priority. I chose to be a Pet Tech First Aid Instructor and can honestly say I love what I do. To summarize my experience…Cost of vet bill with Sheba=$2600, cost to install motion detectors and keep an eye on them from now on=$100, cost to provide this testimonial and be a pet first aid instructor=PRICELESS!

A: July 5-the day after the holiday. The noise and commotion startle many pets and they either escape from their yards or their crates and run away from the noise. Please keep your pets in a calm and safe environment and leave the TV or radio on for them.

I am attaching a picture of happy, healthy Sheba. You can see her lovely haircut and some of her scars. She is still healing but has improved 100 percent!