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With April being Pet First Aid Awareness month, below we list of a number of quick tips. This list is meant as intermediary steps. You should also consult a veterinarian.

Pet First Aid

Do you know what to do during a pet emergency? Here are some common emergency tips:

  • 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 suspect your pet has been poisoned, contact Animal Poison Control 888-426-4435
  • 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. You should 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.
  • 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.
  • Know where to go in case of an emergency. Your regular veterinarian is a great place if the emergency occurs during the day. If the the emergency occurs in the evening or weekends it may be necessary to go to the emergency clinic in your area. Most are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
  • Ensure important phone numbers such as your veterinarian, emergency vet hospitals, or emergency contacts are easily accessible.
  • Pack a pet first aid kit. It is best if you can have one for her car, and one for at home use. Fill it not only with useful supplies, but also keep a copy of your pet’s medical records with your pets name, age, breed microchip number, vaccine history, and any pre-existing conditions.

This last point is especially helpful if you regularly use a pet sitter or babysitter and will ensure that this person will have all they need should an emergency arise.