Q. Can pet parents give first aid?
A: Yes. First aid is an emergency procedure to save the life of your pet, so anybody who observes the injury or trauma first can provide aid. You may request for basic first aid training from your vet, which will be quite useful at times of emergency. It should comprise a restraining equipment as your pet may bite you owing to its pain. Call your vet and explain the nature of injury or illness and ask for advice regarding first aid. Rush to your vet as quickly as possible, but don’t panic.
Q. What should you if your pet ingests intoxication and poisoning?
A: This is the most commonly-encountered emergency condition in dogs. Many a time, pets may be left unattended, at homes or in farms, they may succumb to accidental consumption of harmful and toxic substances: rat poisons, toilet cleaners, fertilisers, batteries, harmful drugs. As a first measure, read the product label of the consumed poisonous substance, which provides the details of the antidote. Your presence of mind in letting your vet know about the ingested poison can save your pet’s life. If your pet vomits the substance, it is a good sign. S/he now needs supportive therapy. Your vet will do the needful. If the substance comes in contact with the eyes or skin of your dog, wash it with clean, plain water. Take your pet to the doctor immediately afterwards.
Q. What can you do if the pet suffers from convulsions and seizures?
A: It may happen after ingesting some poisonous substance. It’s important not to frighten your pet. S/he should be kept very calm. Hold a towel or blanket and wait for a minute. In case the seizure continues, wrap the pet with a towel or blanket; you can protect him/her with some cushions. Keep your pet away from sharp and harmful objects which may cause further injury.
Q. How can you help your pet in case of accidents or trauma?
A: Take your pet to the doctor immediately. If the pet is bleeding, try to stop the flow of blood. Burn injuries can cause serious tissue damage. Cool down the burned area by gently pouring cold water mixed with some potassium permanganate (if available). Also, use ice pack as a cold compress to cool down the injured area. In such a situation, always consult your vet and rush to the clinic, as soon as possible.
Q. What is the method of providing artificial breathing to your pet?
A: In certain conditions of illness, your pet may stop breathing or it may be very shallow and deep. In such situations, provide the type of external breathing known as ‘rescue breathing’. Perform this external breathing process by shutting the dog’s mouth with your hand and pumping air into the pet’s nostrils directly by your mouth until you see his chest expanded. Once the chest expands, continue ‘rescue breathing’ once in every 4-5 seconds.
Dr Khaja Mohteshamuddin, veterinary surgeon
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