Updated: Oct 27, 2019
“It is 6:30 am, we just returned from our morning walk, Max was acting in a strange way, couple of minutes later, he was choking, all his body was shaking, I ddn’t know what is wrong with him, what to do, whom to call at that time in the morning! He entered in seizures….. white foam was coming out of his month… then a terrible silence…Max was gone! I lost my best friend in less than 10min”.
How many times have you heard someone talking about that awful moments they went through and the terrible feeling of standing helplessly watching their best companion suffering to death without knowing what to do. Today, we are going to learn some important steps that could be done till we reach the animal hospital or contact our vets, it can mean the difference between life and death.
The most two common emergencies pet owners face are: heat strokes in summer and the swallowing of poisonous substance while walking their dogs. By knowing Pets basic First Aid owners could learn how to:
Lower their pet’s body temperature if he suffers from Heat Stroke and prevent brain damage or death.
Expel poison from your pet’s system by properly inducing vomiting.
Prevent your pet from losing consciousness by alleviating choking.
Stop bleeding and prevent infection by properly bandaging a wound.
Artificially keep your pet’s heart and lungs working until you can get him to professional medical help.
It’s important to keep a first-aid kit handy in the event of an injury or if the dog ingests poison, so you can intervene on his behalf just before you take him to an animal hospital.
· Small towels or strips of clean cloth to control bleeding or protect a wound.
· Milk of Magnesia or activated charcoal to absorb toxins in case your dog ingests poison.
· Hydrogen peroxide or Salted water to induce vomiting when giving orally in the event a dog has swallowed something poisonous.
· 5ml syringe
· A roll of gauze to wrap a wound or tie around your dog’s muzzle to keep him from biting if he’s injured.
· An adhesive wrap made especially for use on animals to wrap gauze or cloth bandages.
Keep the first-aid kit in a bag or box clearly labeled and place it somewhere you will remember in case an emergency occurs. Always take your dog to a vet immediately after you apply first aid.
Over the last three years, more than 70 pets’ owners lost their pets against street poisoning. So many kind of poisonous substance appeared in the local markets. Whether it is individual attempts to poison street strays – thinking it is the best way to get rid of them – of governmental implementation of kill policies as a response to residence complains. Countless number of strays lost their life along with so many domestic pets.
One of the most unique privilege of living in Maadi was the sunset walks in the clean street, around beautiful large greenery and gardens in each Midan in Maadi. Maadi was a walkable district from Road 9 to Degla, families and friends enjoy the quite, clean, noise free streets with the beautiful rare old fossil trees. A natural meditating environment, a very attractive destination to all those seeking a clean and quite neighborhood to live in.
Over the last ten years, that image changed in a drastic way, gardens are neglected, old houses abandoned, less and less greenery or parks, increasing level of pollution and noise. With the deterioration of the district environmental condition started a bigger problem: More Trash and more stray population gathered up near that free available source of food. Sunset or sunrise walks became a challenge, especially if someone is walking their dog, a challenge to find a clean street or a nice park to enjoy these walks. A high risk to safely allow your dog to express its nature in sniffing grass, flowers or picking a bone from the street.
Size does matter when it comes to poisoning. What could kill a Chihuahua may have no effect on a Saint Bernard. The ability for any potentially poisonous substance to cause health issues is proportional to the animal’s body weight.
The following are common signs of poisoning or toxicity in dogs and cats:
• Muscle tremors or seizures • Vomiting and/or diarrhea, sometimes with blood • Drooling or foaming. Pawing at the mouth • Redness of the skin, ears, eyes • Lethargy or anxiety • Blisters on the mouth or skin where poison made contact • Swelling • Elevated or decreased heart rate, breathing and body temperature
If you know (or suspect) that your pet has been poisoned, immediately administer water and salt with a syringe giving orally to stimulate them to vomit.
In addition to what goes in their mouths, dogs and cats can be poisoned by toxins that are absorbed, inhaled or injected into their bodies.
Common Household Poisons Include: • Alcoholic Beverages • Batteries • Detergents, Fabric Softeners and Cleaners • Fertilizers and Insecticides, and rat poisons •Foods – chocolate, coffee, tea, grapes & raisins, Macadamia nuts, onions, bread dough, fruit seeds & pits, gravies and high-fat foods.
It only takes a short period of time for an animal left in a car, tide in garden or top roof away from any shade in summer, or walking long walks in Egyptian summer weather (40C) to get into a deadly situation. Pets don’t sweat to regulate their body temperatures (normally 38 in dogs and 37.5 in cats). They release heat through their tongue, nose and foot pads. Without prompt attention, Heat Stroke can result in brain damage, kidney failure, cardiac arrest and death. Older and overweight pets as well as short-nosed breeds are at the greatest risk.
Symptoms of Heat Stroke include: • heavy panting • gasping • vomiting (if not yet dehydrated) • foam around the mouth • weak or high pulse • inability to drink • bright red or suddenly bluish gums • loss of consciousness.
Move the animal to a cooler environment. Indoors is best with a cool fan blowing on the pet but even a shady sidewalk or grassy area can help. • Immerse in lukewarm water (not ice) beginning at the paws on up if animal is too large or if you don’t have appropriate size tub. Getting the skin on the paws, pits, groin and belly skin cooled is most imperative. Water often skids off fur on breeds with undercoats and does not cool skin when applied to their back. Rubbing alcohol wipes applied to the inner flaps of the ears and pads of the feet have a cooling effect. Do not douse a dog with an entire bottle of rubbing alcohol. This could cause a sudden change in body temperature and result in shock. • Placing a cool pack (or bag of frozen peas) on dog or cat’s neck and groin can prove helpful in cooling him off. Remove pack every few minutes to make sure you don’t cause frostbite to animal’s tissue. • Do not force pet to drink as he could aspirate fluid into his lungs. Wrap animal in wet sheet or towel, turn on car air conditioning and drive quickly but safely. • If pet goes unconscious, rub a little honey on his gums to increase blood sugar level. • If the pet cools too quickly and temperature drops to 36C cover him with a blanket and place a 2-liter bottle filled with warm (not hot) water next to him as you immediately transport him to your Veterinarian.
Although the heat stroke and poisoning are the most common emergency pet owners faces in Egypt, there are several risks that might cause a sudden tragic to the pets : shocking, drowning, bee stung, bites and injuries… being informative and having necessary full knowledge about basic first aids would guarantee a long lasting happy moments shared with your best fur friend!