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Pet First Aid Guide: How to Give Pets First Aid?

Curious and energetic creatures, our pets often find themselves in accidents and injuries due to their sense of fun and adventure. Today, our Pittsboro vets will share a few pet first-aid tips and discuss the actions to take if your dog or cat gets injured.

Preparing Your Pet First Aid Kit

To ensure you're prepared in case your dog or cat gets injured, [COMPANY-NAME] has compiled a list of essential items for your pet's first aid kit. Store these items in a toolbox or another easily accessible case.

  • Latex gloves 
  • Cotton swabs or cotton balls
  • Antiseptic lotion, powder, or spray
  • Hand sanitizer or wipes 
  • Instant hot and cold packs 
  • Alcohol swabs
  • Penlight or flashlight 
  • Nonstick and waterproof adhesive tape to secure bandages 
  • Grease-cutting dish soap
  • Tweezers 
  • Sterile gauze pads and bandages 
  • Hydrocortisone cream 3%
  • Blunt-tipped scissors or razor for cutting hair and bandages 
  • Splints and tongue depressors 
  • Styptic liquid to stop minor bleeding
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Blanket, muzzle, carrier, or leash to secure your pet
  • Rectal thermometer
  • Copy of rabies vaccination
  • Water in case of dehydration 
  • Lubricating jelly 
  • Copy of medical records
  • Turkey baster, rubber bulb syringe, or dosing 

Basic First Aid For Pets

Here are some basic dog and cat first-aid tips you should consider before taking your pet to the vet.

  • To be safe, muzzle your pet. Even the nicest pets can bite when hurt, so it's best to be careful. Ask your vet in advance how to use gauze to tie a muzzle if you don't have a muzzle handy.
  • Press a clean, thick gauze pad over any cuts or scrapes, and keep your hand on the wound until the blood starts to clot. Keep the pressure on for at least three minutes before checking to see if the blood is clotting.
  • Keep the pet as quiet and warm as you can.
  • If you think the pet has broken bones, find a flat surface, like a board or stretcher, on which you can move the pet from place to place. Using a blanket or towel to tie the pet to the surface may also be a good idea.
  • Remember that any first aid you give your pet should be followed by veterinary care immediately. First aid care is not the same as veterinary care, but it could save your pet's life until it can see a vet.
  • Some animal hospitals that treat emergencies have ambulances. Call your vet to find out how to move an injured animal based on your specific situation.

How To Perform CPR On Cats and Dogs

The thought of needing to perform CPR on your pet can be frightening, but it's a possibility. CPR for dogs and cats closely resembles CPR for humans. These instructions assume the pet is unconscious and there is no risk of being bitten.

  1. Remove any obstacles. Open the animal's mouth and make sure its air passage is clear. If not, remove the object blocking the airway.
  2. Extend the head and give the dog or cat a few fake breaths.
    • For large dogs, close the dog's mouth tightly and breathe into the nose. The dog's chest should raise. Give 2 breaths at a time.
    • You may be able to cover the nose and mouth of small dogs and cats with your mouth while breathing. The chest of the animal should rise. Take two deep breaths.
  3. Do chest compressions
    • Large dogs may be able to be positioned on their backs and their chest compressed in the same way that humans do.
    • You may need to lay the animal on its side and compress the side of the rib cage for small dogs and cats, and large dogs with funnel chests. You can also turn the animal on its back and press on both sides of the rib cage.
    • The rate of chest compressions varies depending on the cat or dog's size.
      • Dogs over 60 pounds: 60 compressions per minute.
      • Animals between 11 and 60 pounds: 80-100 compressions per minute
      • Animals 10 pounds or less: 120 compressions per minute.
  4. Alter your breaths with compressions. The compression-to-breath ratio should be similar to that of humans - 30:2. Repeat until the animal responds or begins to breathe independently.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Our 24/7 emergency vets in Pittsboro stand ready to provide swift care for your pet, ensuring they receive the necessary attention. Contact us immediately or bring your pet directly to our 24/7 emergency veterinary clinic for urgent care.

New Patients Welcome

Pittsboro Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Pittsboro companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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