First aid for pets

Almost all pets will experience health problems or a medical emergency. As a responsible owner, it’s up to you to make sure they get the treatment they need.

Your safety is the top priority

Always keep yourself safe when administering treatment to any animal. Your pet may normally be an angel, but when frightened and in pain they could suddenly bite or scratch. Use a handmade muzzle, such as a towel, to protect yourself from harm.

ABC could save a life

In emergency situations, stay calm and remember your ABC.

  • Airways: Is the airway clear?
  • Breathing: Can your pet breathe easily?
  • Circulation: Can you feel a pulse or heart beat?

If not, contact your vet immediately.

Pets are often inquisitive and regularly get themselves into scrapes. Here are the five most common concerns and what to do.

  1. Wounds

    If your pet is wounded and bleeding, apply pressure, clean the area and remove debris. Apply a firm bandage and monitor the bleeding. For significant wounds, always take a trip to your vet.

    Tip: Have a pet first aid kit handy so you’re always prepared.

    Infection can easily cause more problems than the original wound. Most wounds will require antibiotic treatment, so make an appointment with your vet to be safe.

  2. Poisoning

    There are many household items and plants that can be fatal to pets. Symptoms are often extreme. Contact your vet immediately if you suspect your pet has been poisoned as you may not have much time.

  3. Bites

    Insect bites may require vet treatment. Minor symptoms include swelling, but in severe cases insect bites can result in respiratory distress and even death.

  4. Snakes

    If your pet is bitten by a snake, keep it still and contact your vet immediately. Symptoms of a snake bite include anxiety, respiratory distress, shallow breathing and bloody urine.

  5. Burns

    For heat or chemical burns, flush the area under cool running water for at least 10 minutes and seek advice from your vet.Tip: Your pet first aid kit should include: bandages, dressings, surgical sticky tape, cotton wool, sterile absorbent gauze, scissors, a thick towel and a cone collar.

  6. Seizures

    Do not try to stop the seizure. Instead, use a calming voice so your pet relaxes. Clear the surrounding area and seek veterinary advice if the seizure lasts for more than five minutes.