Dog First Aid Tips
For several years, I lived a couple of blocks away from the Charlotte Panthers’ football stadium. It didn’t take me long to realize that walking Annie Girl after a football game would be more like agility training! Tailgaters may make great football fans but they are not great basketball players. They seldom managed to get their trash into those little round things called trash cans. Which meant walks were spent avoiding chicken bones and broken glass, among other things.
Dog owners work hard to make their homes a safe, dog-friendly place. But sometimes, accidents happen. A pill slips from your hand. A spider bites in the backyard. Neighbors have parties.
That is why April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month and why I’m sharing these six common pet emergency tips from the American Red Cross.
- To determine if your cat or dog is dehydrated, pull up on the skin between the shoulder blades. It should spring right back; if it stays tented this is a sign of dehydration.
- Signs of pet poisoning include bleeding externally or internally, dilated pupils, drooling or foaming at the mouth, seizures or other abnormal mental state or behavior.
- If your pet has a seizure, make sure it is in a safe place, but do not restrain the animal. Keep your hands away from its mouth as your pet may not know who you are during a seizure and could bite you.
- Signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion include collapse; body temperature of 104 degrees F or above; bloody diarrhea or vomiting; wobbliness; excessive panting or difficulty breathing; increase heart rate; mucous membranes very red; and increased salivation.
- Pets bitten by other animals need vet attention to prevent the wound (even if minor) from becoming infected and to check for internal wounds. Never break up a dogfight yourself because you could be bitten.
- If your pet is bleeding, apply direct pressure using gauze over the bleeding site. If blood soaks through, apply more gauze (do not removed soaked gauze) until you can reach a veterinary hospital.
Did you know the American Red Cross has a Pet First Aid App? It is a great in-your-hand and on-the-go-with-you resource.
If you have any concerns about your dog’s health, please call your veterinarian immediately