Click here to learn more.
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Just the thought of something happening to your pet is enough to get your heart thumping in your chest. Despite your best intentions, accidents can and do happen. But if you’re prepared, your pet has a better chance of making it through a crisis situation.
In any medical
emergency, the best course of action is to bring your pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Since time is of the essence, don't waste precious moments surfing the Internet for suggestions or trying to handle the situation yourself. And never give any medication to your pet unless you get the green light from your vet.
It's always good to know some key first aid techniques, but keep in mind that you should only use them to stabilize your pet until you can get to a veterinary hospital. That said, here are five common emergency situations — and the simple steps you can take to help your pet.
If you suspect that your pet has
eaten something toxic, call your veterinarian or the
ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline (888-426-4435) immediately. Unless instructed to do so by a veterinarian,
vomiting. Many toxins are corrosive, and
vomiting may damage the esophagus or cause choking.
Should your veterinarian instruct you to induce
vomiting, he will provide you with a recommended dose of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, based on your dog’s weight. (Do not use salt or syrup of ipecac.) Take your
dog outside or cover the floor with newspaper. Measure the dose and use an eyedropper to administer the hydrogen peroxide into your dog’s mouth. If your pet does not vomit within five minutes, repeat the dose one more time.
Since there are no at-home products that can be used to induce vomiting in
cats, you'll need to take your feline to a veterinary clinic for treatment. In either case, get your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
All cuts, punctures and
bites have the potential to become infected, so they need to be examined by a veterinarian. If your pet is bleeding profusely, cover the area with sterile gauze and a clean towel, and then apply direct pressure until a clot forms. If there is an object penetrating the wound, such as a stick, do not attempt to remove it.
If the wound is not bleeding, remove any debris and clean the area with sterile saline solution or clean water. (Do not use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, which can damage the tissue.) Apply clean gauze and wrap a bandage around it to keep the area clean and prevent your pet from
Lay your pet on a flat board, and then strap him down to help prevent movement. Avoid putting pressure on the chest, which can hinder breathing. If your pet has sustained a head injury, tilt the board so that your pet’s head is slightly above the body during transport.
If you notice any broken bones, do your best to minimize excessive motion, but don't attempt to splint them. This may only make the situation worse — plus, you don't want to waste any time getting your pet to the veterinary clinic. Once inside the car, cover your pet with a blanket to help prevent shock.
Even if your pet does not appear to be injured, it’s still critically important that you have a veterinarian examine him. Many pets suffer internal injuries that are not obvious, and they may be very serious if not given immediate professional attention.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Rescuers were searching for a man lost
in the woods when a dog appeared and
led them to the man's location.
We asked our Facebook fans to share
their best tips for first-time cat owners,
and here's how they responded.
Before the summer ends, we have ideas
for summer activities that'll get you and
your dog outside and having a ball.
Does your kitty ever take kibble away
from his dish and munch on it in another
spot? Here's what's going on.
We’re clearing up popular misconceptions
about health, anesthesia, vet checkups and
more when it comes to older…
A people-loving dog who hails from Italy,
the Bracco Italiano is usually happiest
when he's with his family or out…
Parasites are no fun for dogs. Learn how
to protect your canine from heartworms,
hookworms, whipworms and more.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
Visit HealthyPet magazine for interviews with pet-loving celebrities, health advice from our experts, training tips and…
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.