Owning a pet is like having a child, you spend a lot of time worrying about them getting hurt, and then once it happens, it can be hard to figure out what to do. We care about the well-being of our pets in the same way we care for other members of the family, and in the event of an accident, it is important that owners feel equipped to support their pets as efficiently as possible. With that in mind, this post lists some common pet injuries and the best method for owners to use in response. These tips may be quick fixes, but it is imperative that your furry friend is taken to the vet in good time to ensure nothing has been missed.
Pets may often act as if they’re indestructible, but they’re made of brittle bones just like we are. In the event of a broken bone, it is recommended that owners locate the area of the breakage quickly and act appropriately depending on the location of the injury. If you believe it is likely that your pet has broken a rib, be aware that a splintered rib can penetrate the lungs if the animal is moved around too much. Apply dressings to any breaks in the skin around fractures. Exposed breakages on limbs can be supported with homemade splints. Rolls of newspaper and cardboard tubes are particularly effective for this purpose. Be careful when attending to these injuries as animals in pain can often bite, scratch or lash out at people trying to support them. Animals with a broken pelvis should not be lifted or manipulated excessively and instead should be moved to a safe area with a sling or piece of fabric.
Burns on pets can be treated in a similar manner to humans. Cool the immediate area with cold water and apply a moist cold compress to the burn while travelling to the vet. Ensure your pet is at an appropriate temperature and that the affected area is not being irritated by licking or pressure.
This is considered to be an emergency situation. When your pet is suffering from an obstruction of the airway, you must transport them to the vet immediately and perform treatment on the way. Open the animal’s mouth and try to see what is causing the obstruction. If you feel it is safe to attempt it, try to remove the object with your fingers. Only attempt this if you feel it can be removed easily and with minimal stress to the animal. The more stressed they become, the harder they will try to breathe, and movement can cause further damage to the airway. The Heimlich manoeuvre can also be performed on animals following these steps:
- Lift your pet’s back legs off the floor and suspend them upwards at an angle while supporting them with a strong open hand.
- Find the spot on their abdomen where the ribs finish
- Deliver a moderate blow to this area using a free open hand. Repeat 4 times.
Seizures and Fitting
Many pets experience seizures as part of disorders such as epilepsy. When a seizure comes on, make sure the room is clear of objects that may harm the animal. Keep it quiet and dark and sit by your pet until the convulsions cease. If your pet remains unconscious after the episode, ensure they are breathing and that their airway is unobstructed. If this is not a regular occurrence due to a disorder, see the vet immediately.
In the Event That Resuscitation is Required
The action you must take regarding resuscitation depends on two factors: the heartbeat and independent breathing. If your pet is breathing but does not have a heartbeat, they require a cardiac massage, which involves performing compressions on the animal’s chest. Place the palm of the hand over the third and fourth rib and perform 15 compressions with half a second between each press down.
If your pet has a heartbeat but is not breathing, you must perform artificial respiration. This involves checking for airway obstructions before pinning the tongue down and blowing into the mouth and nostrils until the chest rises. Perform this breathing technique every 6 seconds and regularly check for an improvement in condition. Transport to the vet immediately and continue the action while travelling.
For further advice and instruction where injuries and common problems are concerned, contact Animal Tracks Vet Clinic and a professional will see to your enquiry as soon as possible.