April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month

This April, we would like our clients to consider Pet First Aid. Summer is coming, and that always means more time outside away from the city and away from local veterinary clinics. We all love getting out to the mountains, hiking and camping, or even just down to the river here in Calgary. April is the perfect time to ensure that you have the skills to take care of your furry family members if you ever experience an emergency situation. Having any medical first aid knowledge always helps, but there are some extra pointers specifically for pet first aid.

Here are a few different initial assessments you can do to check your pet’s medical status:

1. Dehydration

To determine if your cat or dog is dehydrated, pull up on the skin between the shoulder blades. It should spring right back; if it stays tented this is a sign of dehydration.

2. Heat Stroke/Exhaustion

Signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion include collapse; body temperature of 104 degrees F or above; bloody diarrhea or vomiting; wobbliness; excessive panting or difficulty breathing; increase heart rate; mucous membranes very red; and increased salivation.

3. Seizures

Similar to humans, if your pet has a seizure, make sure it is in a safe place. Also, do not restrain the animal. Keep your hands away from its mouth as your pet may not know who you are during a seizure and could bite you out of fear.

4. Poisoning

Signs of pet poisoning include bleeding externally or internally, dilated pupils, drooling or foaming at the mouth, seizures or other abnormal mental state or behaviour. The ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline number, in case of emergencies, is 1-888-426-4435.

Check out the Red Cross website for more first aid tips for pet owners, and also more offers such as videos and first aid classes.

The Red Cross has a mobile app that you can download onto your smartphone and consult if you ever find yourself needing some extra information.

You can also always consult the American Humane Society website for continuous and up to date information regarding all relevant holidays and the National days regarding pets!