Pet first aid
Pet first aid
We hope you never experience an emergency situation but it’s always helpful to be prepared.
Learn a little about pet first aid and keep a pet first aid kit in the house. Pet first aid kits are available from our shop at St Helens Vets. Here is some basic information on pet first aid that may help you while you wait for veterinary attention.
For larger wounds, keep the animal as quiet and still as possible and apply pressure to the wound to help stop blood being lost. Bandage using a clean towel, piece of clothing or bandage material. The bandage should be firm but not too tight.
Do not try to remove any foreign object from the wound as this can sometimes make bleeding worse.
Bite wounds often get very infected as the teeth harbour a lot of bacteria and these get implanted into the tissue around the bite. We often need to give antibiotics for these
Don’t give food or water as your pet may need an anaesthetic to repair the wound and this requires an empty stomach.
If your pet is experiencing breathing difficulties, if necessary open up your pet’s airway by pulling the tongue forward out of the mouth until it is flat. Check the throat to see if there are any objects blocking the airway. Breathing problems can be caused by obstructions, asthma (in cats) overheating and chest issues.
You can try to open the mouth and look for the object that may be blocking the airway. Be careful as a choking pet might bite in panic.
Move your pet to a shaded area. Place a cool wet towel around their neck and use a hose or pour cool water over them. Never leave your pet in the car on warm days. The temperature inside a car can rise very quickly to dangerous levels, even on milder days.
Try to determine what and how much your pet swallowed, as this is very useful for us in choosing the right treatment and antidotes. Here are some examples of substances that are toxic to pets if ingested.
- Chocolate (especially dark chocolate)
- Raisins / grapes / onions
- Ibuprofen / paracetamol
- Antifreeze / rat poison / slug pellets
- Lillies / holly, yew and mistletoe berries
Make sure your pet is not near any objects that may harm them. Don’t touch the face or mouth as many pets having a seizure may bite without meaning to. Remove any bright lights or loud noises from the vicinity.
Remember, don't delay in calling St Helens Vets for veterinary help, even if it's just for phone advice.