Thursday, February 9, 2017

Is It a Pet Emergency? Part 1

By Karen Ritacco
If you are a pet owner, there’s a good chance that at some time in your pets’ life, you might be faced with a pet emergency. It may be difficult to know when to seek emergency care for your pet. You will never go wrong to call your veterinarian first. Most veterinary hospitals have a veterinarian on call 24/7. Just as with any emergency, planning is key and can make the difference of life and death. I will try to map out a plan that I hope will be helpful to you.

It would be a good idea to put together a first aid kit. I plan to write an article in the near future, explaining what to put in your first aid kit, but for now it will be a good place to keep some important and necessary information. You will need to put your veterinarians phone number and the phone number of Animal Poison Control Center which is (888) 426-4435. You should obtain a copy of your pets’ medical records and vaccination history from your veterinarian in case your vet is not available and you have to go to a different animal hospital. Be sure to get a copy of all medications (including parasite control meds) that your pet is taking.

If your pet becomes ill or is injured, it’s good to know when it is a true emergency that will require an immediate trip to the animal hospital. Here is a list of 20 conditions that are to be considered an emergency needing immediate care.
  1. Unconsciousness
  2. Vomiting and or diarrhea, more than two – three times in a three-hour period or if your pet is vomiting blood.
  3. Severe bleeding that doesn’t stop within five minutes, or a wound that is open and bleeding, or if bleeding is from the eyes, nose, or mouth.
  4. Choking, unable to breath or difficulty breathing, or nonstop coughing
  5. Symptoms of bloat, abdominal swollen and hard to the touch, restlessness, panting, retching, or trying to vomit, abdominal pain, or vomiting.
  6. Hit by a car (even if you don’t see any visible injuries. There could be internal injuries that you cannot see).
  7. Your male cat is straining to urinate or if any pet is straining to urinate or defecate.
  8. You pet may have eaten or swallowed something toxic like antifreeze,  rodent poisoning, medication, cleansers, chocolate, grapes, xylitol, petroleum, snail bait, etc.
  9. Disorientation
  10. Seizures and or staggering or falling over
  11. Any injury to the eye
  12. Injury or burn where a bone is exposed
  13. Refuses to drink for 24 hours
  14. Thermal stress, either heat stress or heat stroke, or hypothermia, even if your pet seems to be acting normal.        
  15. Broken bones or severe lameness
  16. Difficulty breathing and or gums look blue or pale
  17. Excessive licking or drooling for an extended period of time.
  18. Allergic reaction such as swelling around the face or hives.
  19. Snakebite or venomous spider bite.
  20. High fever or lethargy. A dog’s normal temperature is 100- 102.5 Degrees. 
You might want to put this list in your pet’s first aid kit so that it will be handy. Stayed tuned for more information on pet emergency care.

About the Author
Karen Ritacco is the owner of Cumberland Pet Grooming & Boutique. She worked as a licensed Veterinary Technician for many years prior to opening Cumberland Pet Grooming in 1989. She is an I.S.C.C. Certified Pet Stylist. Her passion is helping pets to be healthy inside and out. She also carries natural and holistic foods, supplements, treats, and more. Her salon is located at 300 Buffalo Valley Rd. in Cookeville (corner of S Willow). 931-528-7711

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