Pets are a lot like kids. Be it, playing rough or making a big mess, they have a knack for getting into trouble and often end up hurting themselves.  Rather than panic about the situation, it helps to prepare beforehand for an emergency situation. We list some common pet injuries/accidents and first aid treatments that could save their life.

  • Handling Cuts and Scrapes:

Dogs, especially active breeds like Jack Russells and Labs are prone to cuts and scrapes. This could occur due to sharp objects like thorns, or from scraping against rough surfaces. As a rule, remember to check your dog from head to toe after every outdoor session, or after you come from work. If you observe this type of injury, apply an antibiotic ointment on the wound, but first remember to clean the wound using a towel dipped in diluted antiseptic lotion. Bandage the wound if it is minor and change the bandage daily. For major wounds, take your pet to a vet immediately. Smelly wounds also need immediate medical intervention. For swelling, apply a cold compress with a clean towel.

Assess the severity of the bleeding and take your pet to the vet immediately if blood loss is significant. If blood only oozes out, the injury is probably minor and can be treated at home. In any case, it is important to stop the bleeding. Use a sterile gauze pad or clean towel to apply direct pressure on the wound until the bleeding has stopped.  To dress the wound, spread antiseptic ointment on a gauze pad and apply it directly to the wound. Now securely wrap gauze around the body to prevent the pad from slipping. Clean the wound daily.

  • Bee Stings and Spider Bites:

Dogs and cats can get curious around insects and may end up getting stung. Wasp and bee stings are irritating and painful for the dog, especially if they are around the face (nose, tongue, etc.).  Bee stingers lodge themselves in the victim’s skin and the bee dies almost immediately after the stinger detaches from its body. To remove the stinger, scrape it out with your fingernail or a credit card. Do not attempt to use tweezers or you may end up injecting the remaining venom. Apply a mixture of baking soda and water over the area to reduce pain. Benadryl (the plain formula) also helps for bee stings. Wasp stingers do not dislodge from their body, but they are  still very painful. Also, wasps tend to sting multiple times. Spider bites are not usually dangerous, But some spiders like the Black Widow can cause serious complications. look for allergic reactions like swelling, breathing problems, Unconsciousness, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. Some allergic reactions cause the animal’s windpipe to swell making it very difficult to breathe. Such pets may die of suffocation, hence immediate treatment is necessary.

  • Snake Bites:

Rattle snakes bites can be life threatening and are extremely painful. They are identified by puncture wounds (from the fangs) on the animal’s skin. This can be difficult to observe on animals with thick fur. Look for swelling, vomiting, etc. Some pets may also become very lethargic.  Do not apply ice or bandage the wound.  Also don’t cut into the skin to suck out the poison. Instead, take him to the vet as quickly as possible.  Your vet will likely treat your pet with anti-venom, pain relief medications and antihistamines.

There’s nothing more heart-wrenching than finding your pet friend in pain, but with a little patience and know how, you can save his life.

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