Emergency Pet Care

A pet owner must be aware of emergency pet care basics for unforeseen situations. Some injuries may need solely home treatment while others will need to be taken to the vet; however first aid procedures are helpful in preventing complications such as infections or poisoning.

Pets can easily get injured around the home or in dog or cat fights.

Emergency Care for Bites and Injuries

Pet saliva can have a lot of harmful bacteria. Bites or scratches from other animals may get easily infected. Even if your pet cuts himself in a foreign object, the wound may get infected as the pet tends to lick the wound.

If your pet is bleeding, you need to apply pressure on the wound and stop the bleeding before proceeding with the first aid help.

Clip your dog's hair to have easier access to the injury. Having no hair around the injury will also speed up the healing.

Clean the wound with a disinfectant or an antibacterial soap. Apply a topical ointment containing antibiotics, put some bandages and take your pet to the vet.

In case the wound is more severe, the pet may need some stitches.

Poisonous Bites

If you live in an area with snakes, it's good to be familiar with snake bite emergency basics. Snake bites may be fatal if the antidote is not administered in timely manner.

Once you detect the bite, you need to get to a vet within the next 60 minutes. Meanwhile, you have to make sure the venom doesn't spread in the pet's body. Keep the bite area below the heart level. If the wound is on a limb, apply a tight bandage above the wound to prevent the spreading of the venom.

Don't wash the bite, as water may promote the dispersion of the venom. Don't suck the venom out, as it is toxic for humans also.

Emergency Care for Pet Burns

If your pet has burns, you need to apply cold compresses. If the burns are caused by chemicals, you need to hold the wound under running water for 5 minutes.

Clip the hair around the wound and clean the area with disinfectant. If there are any fibers in the wound, try to remove these; however if the fibers are burnt in the wound, leave them there as you can cause a lot of pain by removing them. Apply an antibiotic ointment and cover the wound with bandages.

Fractures and Emergency Care

In case your pet has a fracture, the joints above and below the fracture must be held still. If the fracture is on a limb, make some splints out of wood or use the splints that you may have in your first aid kit. Put the pet on a stretcher, a wooden plank or a hard surface while transporting him to the vet.

A fracture is signaled by limping, bruising and swelling of joints or even deformities.

If your pet has an open fracture and bones may be out of place, don't try to push back the bones.

Keep a first aid kit for your pet besides the human first aid kit. Include surgical gloves, bandages, sterile towels, disinfectant, antibiotic cream, splints, scissors and some eye and ear drops.

While offering emergency help, try to keep your calm so as your pet will not get overly stressed.