If you’re reading this, there’s a chance you’re having an emergency with your pet and are looking for guidance.
Read below for some guidance and next steps for dealing with those emergencies.
For those looking for a new veterinarian, Bickford Park Animal Hospital is a Toronto veterinary clinic that can help you with checkups and emergencies alike.
What Should Be In Your Doggy First Aid Kit?
Just like a good parent to human kids, a responsible pet parent is prepared for emergencies.
Even though dogs are very resilient, accidents and injuries do happen, and preparedness can help both you and your pup through the experience.
Make sure you have:
• Surgical sticky tape
• Blunt-ended scissors
• Cotton wool and sterile absorbent gauze
• Bandages (at least 5cm width)
• Open-weave/conforming bandages (at least 2.5cm width)
• Non-adhesive absorbent dressings (at least 5cm x 5cm)
• A thick towel
• A muzzle, if your dog might be prone to biting
Most of this stuff can be found in a basic first aid kit from the drug store, though you may need to visit a pet supply store for some of it.
What To Do In An Emergency Situation
When an emergency occurs, your fur-baby will need you to stay safe and calm, because they will be frightened.
Just like when a human is injured and we call the emergency line, you’ll want to have your vet’s and emergency veterinary clinic number in your phone for events such as this.
No matter how grave the situation, it’s recommended that you call the vet first before rushing over – in the event there’s no surgical staff in at the time, they can give you directions to the fastest care.
Be sure to not give your dog any human medicine, which can harm them more than help.
In case your pet might need an anesthetic once they arrive at the vet, avoid giving them any food or water.
You may also need internal diagnostic imaging for your dog.
Lastly, be careful driving your pet to the hospital so that they aren’t further stressed.
First Aid For A Dog In A Road Accident
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say.
Whenever you’re near traffic, keep your pet on a leash and keep a comfortable rein on them – don’t let them dash out into traffic.
If they do get hit, make sure you don’t rush them – they will be confused and in pain, and they may lash out and bite.
Instead, speak soothingly and move slowly.
If you have a blanket, towel, sweater or scarf handy, you might need it to muzzle your dog to prevent them from biting.
Read below to get more information on treating injuries they may have sustained.
First Aid For A Dog With A Broken Bone
The most important thing you need to know is that you should not make any attempt to set the bone or splint it – it may cause bone to break through the skin surface and further harm your pet.
Instead, try to confine your dog comfortably so that they don’t further hurt themselves but are at ease on the way for help.
Most veterinary clinics will have staff on hand who are can perform emergency surgery on your dog if that’s what is required.
Our goal is to have you home and back to normal as quickly as possible.
First Aid For A Dog Who’s Bleeding
As best you can, keep your pet quiet by using a calming or soothing voice.
Try to stop the bleeding by wrapping the wound with a tight bandage.
If you are not at home, use a scarf, jacket or baby blanket – whatever you have handy.
If blood continues to seep through, apply another tight bandage layer; try to avoid using a tourniquet, which should only be a last resort.
If the area is too difficult to bandage, hold a non-adhesive absorbent dressing in place to staunch the blood flow.
Call the emergency clinic and get your pet to a vet as soon as you’re able.
Additional note: if you are bandaging your dog’s limbs, be sure to include the lower leg in the bandaging process to avoid swelling.
First Aid For A Dog Who’s Been Burned
Similar to how you’d treat your own burn, run cool water over your dog’s burn for several minutes to cool the skin and the spread of the burn.
Next, call your vet and prepare to transport them for treatment.
Never use ointments or creams on your pet.
If you truly need to apply a topical solution for a long transport, soak a dressing in saline solution and apply it to the area.
Lastly, keep your pet warm until they get care.
Book An Appointment At Bickford Park Animal Hospital
If you have a new pet, it’s a great idea to start building a relationship with your local vet, so that you have expert advice and emergency help at a moment’s notice.
We can help prepare you for emergencies, and we’ll be here to treat your fur-baby if something does happen.
Call now to book an appointment at Bickford Park Animal Hospital and we’ll have you ready for pet parenthood in no time.
Bickford Park Animal Hospital is a veterinary clinic in Toronto, located across from Christie Pits park, committed to the highest level of caring and treatment for cats and dogs.