Know the basic first-aid techniques for pets

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Recently a bill was signed into law that would allow ambulances to transport police dogs to a vet or hospital in the case of an emergency. Unfortunately, this luxury does not exist for the average dog or cat. Instead, pets have to rely on their owner’s ability to care for and transport them to a vet in the case of an emergency. Owner and Veterinarian of the Poplarville Animal Clinic, Amanda Soxworth, said that because of the rural nature of Poplarville and the surrounding area, she and her staff often deal with life-threatening injuries to pets such as gunshot and dogfighting wounds. In these cases, knowing basic first-aid and CPR could save an animal’s life. According to an article published by the Blue Cross Animal Charity, there are several things pet owners can do to stabilize a sick or injured pet and keep it alive long enough to reach professional help. The article states that a pet-specific first aid kit should be kept handy and include multiple kinds of bandages, dressings, surgical tape, wool, sterile gauze, towel, scissors and an Elizabethan collar.

If a pet is injured, attach a muzzle or cover its mouth with a towel to ensure no one gets hurt. Never give an injured pet human medication or food and water, the article states. If an animal is bleeding, tightly attach a bandage or towel. If an animal is burnt, run the injured area under cold water and contact a vet. Do not apply anything but saline soaked dressings to burns, the article states. If an animal’s heart stops or it is no longer breathing, the American Red Cross’ website suggests laying the animal on its side and performing CPR at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. After 30 compressions, give two rescue breaths and then continue compressions. Continue this cycle either until the animal is responsive, or a vet can be reached, the website states.

As Soxworth said, rural areas in Pearl River County can be dangerous for pets. In response, pet owners should learn basic first-aid training in case they need to save an animal’s life.

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