First aid is an invaluable skill that could save the life of your pet. Here are some basic procedures for common pet injuries and illnesses that could make all the difference for you and your pet.
Choking or breathing problems
If you’re able to safely look in your pet’s mouth do, using pliers or tweezers to extract any foreign objects. If it’s not immediately obvious, or your pet becomes more distressed, call the vet. If you can't remove the object or your pet collapses, place both hands on the side of your pet's rib cage and apply firm quick pressure. Alternatively, lay your pet on its side and strike the rib cage firmly with the palm of your hand 3-4 times. This will push air out of their lungs and, hopefully, push the object out. Repeat until the object is dislodged or until you arrive at the vets.
As a general rule, products that are harmful to people are harmful to pets, such as cleaning products, rat poison and antifreeze. But common food, including chocolate, onions and garlic, are also poisonous to your some pets, especially dogs.
If a toxic product, such as bleach, gets on your pet's skin or eyes follow the instructions on the product’s label as you would treat a person, if you are able to do this safely. Remember, a distressed animal can lash out. Call a vet if you are unable to treat the area or your pet becomes worse.
If your pet has swallowed poison, is having seizures or losing unconsciousness, call the vet immediately and tell them as much as you can about the product or food your pet has swallowed.
Restrain your pet and move any objects away, such as furniture. Tim the seizure (they usually last two to three minutes). When it ends, comfort your pet and keep it warm before calling the vet.
If you suspect your pet may have a fracture, you need to get it to a vet which is where things can get tricky. If your pet is a particularly agitated, you may need to gently muzzle it temporarily. If you need to carry your pet to the car, use a board as a stretcher or a rug or blanket as a sling. Becareful not to put pressure on the injured area.
Cuts and wounds
If a wound is bleeding, press a clean gauze pad over it - again you may need to muzzle your pet. Hold the pressure for a minimum of three minutes before checking. If the bleeding is severe, call a vet and try and elevate the wounded area, while continuing to apply gentle but firm pressure until you can get it to the surgery.