April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month
April 1st, 2019
April is designated as National Pet First Aid Awareness Month by the American Red Cross, making it a perfect time to learn how to care for your precious feline friend in the event of an accident or an emergency. Following are some tips to ensure you are well prepared to handle any emergency.
Keep Emergency Contacts Handy
Keep emergency numbers on hand. These could include your veterinarian's after-hours emergency number and ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Hotline (888-426-4435). Consider placing these numbers on your fridge door or in your wallet, or anywhere you can access them quickly in case of an emergency.
Sign Up for Training
The best way to be prepared for a pet first aid emergency is to take a class offered by The American Red Cross or your local veterinarian. Practicing CPR ahead of time will leave you better prepared to handle an emergency. You may want to watch informational videos or buy a pet first aid guide as recommended by your veterinarian.
First aid training will help you learn how to check your pet's vital signs including the pulse rate, respiratory rate, etc. You'll also learn how to clean and bandage a wound, and how to protect yourself and others from a frightened kitty's bite. You'll learn to recognize the signs that indicate when a trip to the animal ER is necessary, and most importantly, you'll learn how to perform CPR.
Prepare a First Aid Kit
You can put together a first aid kit, or you can purchase one that's already assembled. Make sure it includes non-stick bandages, self-cling gauze, and paper tape to dress wounds. If your kitty ingests a poisonous substance, it helps to have activated charcoal or hydrogen peroxide on hand. Your first aid kit should also include a thermometer to determine whether your cat is too hot or cold, along with splint supplies, compresses, antiseptic spray, gloves, and tweezers.
If your furry companion experiences an emergency, stay calm and act fast. If your kitty is unresponsive, first check the airway to rule out something being stuck in the throat. Check for breathing and a heartbeat. If breathing is compromised, you will need to start pet CPR. Try to remove any lodged object or perform the Heimlich maneuver if necessary. If there is bleeding, place a compress over the wound and splint any broken bones before moving your furry friend. Call us as soon as possible for care instructions until you can bring your cat in for emergency care.
We Are Here for You
Contact us at All About Cats Veterinary Hospital for more information on how best prepare for an emergency. We are committed to providing you and your feline friend with purr-fectly compassionate and comprehensive care. We are always here for you and your furry family member.
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