|Shih Tzu/Dogs/First Aid|
by: Connie Limon
Goals of first aid are: Keep your safety in mind at all times. Attend to any severe bleeding that is present. Administer CPR if needed. Immobilize injuries and/or pet for transport. Take your pet to the vet as soon as possible. Delay in seeking professional help often increase costs and decreases treatment success.
When you do encounter an emergency situation, do not panic! Look around your surroundings to be sure there are no moving vehicles, broken glass, chemical spills, fire and electrical hazards. Approach the injured or ill pet slowly and with caution. Use a calm reassuring voice. You might need to apply a muzzle. Injured or ill animals might bite out of pain or fear. If this occurs, don't take it personally and don't feel like your animal is now vicious or worthless and needs to be gotten rid of. Be understanding that the animal is under extreme stress and hardly knows what to do himself.
Never use a muzzle on an animal that is vomiting, choking, convulsing or having breathing difficulties. If you cannot muzzle, use heavy-duty gloves or drape a blanket or thick towel over the animal's head prior to handling.
Determine whether a life-threatening situation exists and give appropriate first aid. Look for unconsciousness, shock, hemorrhage, look for breathing difficulties. Trauma (like hit by a car), poisoning, and air leakage from chest are all life-threatening. Transport the animal to the vet or emergency vet hospital. Transport securely - use a travel kennel most preferably. If a travel kennel is not available, place the animal in a box.
If head or spinal injury is suspected, use a board, plywood, window screen or any flat, firm surface to transport. If this type of flat support is not available, transport the pet in a large towel or small blanket. You might call the vet clinic in advance of your arrival giving them the circumstances of the accident, or illness.
Planning for an emergency:
Decide what you need to do ahead of time and rehearse. Have important telephone numbers such as your local vet and two of the closest 24-hour veterinary emergency clinics in a place you can find easily in a sudden emergency. The Poison Control Center number should be easily found: (800) 548-2423.
Items for your pet first aid kit:
Leash, Welder's gloves
Sterile nonstick wound pads
Clean hand towel
Cotton balls and/or swabs
Chlorhexidine wash (0.5%)
Sterile eye ointment
Triple antibiotic ointment
Forceps and/or tweezers
Plastic digital thermometer
Reusable cold pack