Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Blog the Change: Pet First Aid Awareness

Harley with my First Aid book from class.

Do you know how to help your pet in case of an emergency? Are you certified in First Aid...for your pet? Do you have a First Aid Kit all stocked and ready? April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month, and today for Blog the Change for Animals,  (which is part of Be the Changes for Animals, or BtheC4Animals, where bloggers share their "cause" quarterly to help benefit the welfare of animals worldwide), we here at the FiveSibes homestead are talking about Pet First Aid Awareness.


To kick it all off, we are starting with a brief pop quiz to test your knowledge on recognizing and responding to a pet emergency. Now come back here...no one likes quizzes, but this one could save your pet's life...




Ready? Here we go...


1. Your dog has a seizure, what do you do?
2. How do you know if your pet ingested/inhaled, or absorbed a poison?
3. Do you know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke?
4. What to do if your pet gets stung by a bee?
5. Do you know the signs of bloat?
6. What are the ABCs of CPR?
7. Do you know the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)?
Answers at the end of the post.

 

"Woo...what's he bag for, Mom?" asks Wolf.

Do you have your vet, pet emergency hospital, and poison control numbers in your cell phone’s contact list or posted near your landline phone? Also include a family member, neighbor, or friend  you can call to help in case of an emergency. Sometimes we may need an extra set of hands to help transport the animal in need, or to stay behind with the pets left home.


Charges Apply. www.petpoisonhelpline.com
Charges Apply. www.aspca.org

Bandit wondering about the bag, too.

Do you know how to administer First Aid or CPR to your pet if need be? Have you taken any courses? Did you know you could sign up and get certified for a Pet First Aid, AED, and CPR course? It's not only a very important thing to learn, but classes are fun, too. And, I was even given my own mini First Aid Kit, including a stethoscope, that is now part of our First Aid Kit. You can check HERE for American Red Cross classes near you.

 Do  you know what a "Fly" bag is? 
(answer below!)

"Is this a 'Fly' bag, Mom?" asks Chloe and Wolf.

Do you have the American Red Cross Pet First Aid App on your cell phone? The app shows step-by-step instructions for:
  • First Aid emergencies
  • CPR
  • Pet profile for storing tag ID, photo and medical information
  • Early warning signs for when to contact a veterinarian
  • Animal hospital locator
  • How to include pets in emergency preparedness plans & a hotel locator
  • It also has First Aid quizzes for both cats and dogs.
To download the American Red Cross Pet First Aid App, visit Apple App Store or Google Play Store for Android, or go to www.redcross.org/mobileapps.


"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” ~Benjamin Franklin




Okay - time to see how well you did on your Pet First Aid Quiz!

1. Your dog has a seizure, what do you do? 

Keep your dog in a safe place away from anything that may hurt him/her during a seizure (wires, items falling off a shelf, other pets, etc.) keep hands away from mouth, speak softly, keep calm, note all symptoms and time lengths of seizure. Post-seizure, dog may experience disorientation and temporary blindness, keep safe and away from stairs. Contact your vet.
 
2. How do you know if your pet ingested/inhaled, or absorbed a poison?

Signs include bleeding externally or internally, dilated pupils, drooling or foaming at the mouth, seizures or other abnormal behavior, trembling, drowsiness, shock, diarrhea, vomiting, red irritated skin or eyes, burned lips, ulcers in mouth. Contact your vet immediately.
 
3. Do you know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke? 

Bloody diarrhea or vomiting, wobbliness, excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, mucous membranes very RED, increased salivation. Get your pet to a cool spot, apply cool water, contact vet immediately.
 
4. What to do if your pet gets stung by a bee? 

Do NOT try to remove the singer as it may release more toxin. Contact vet. If hives progress, bring pet to vet immediately for a shot of medication or instructions on administering on-hand antihistamine.

5. Do you know the signs of bloat? 
Signs include hyper salivation, restlessness, pacing, distended abdomen, non-productive vomiting, shock. All life threatening and pet must get to veterinary hospital immediately!
 
6. What are the ABCs of CPR? 

A = AIRWAY. Check Air to be sure nothing is their mouth.  
B = BREATHING. Begin rescue breathing. Place hand over nose or nose and mouth. Gently exhale until chest rises.  
C = CIRCULATION. Check circulation. Start chest compressions. (Please check with your vet, be sure to take a First Aid class, or refer to the American Red Cross First Aid App for instructions.)
 
7. Do you know the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)? 
Dog is wobbly, may twitch, seem blind, go into seizures, and even collapse. Rub corn syrup on dog's gums, even if comatose. Check ABCs and perform CPR if needed. Take dog to vet hospital IMMEDIATELY!
*Sources: American Red Cross Pet First Aid App & FiveSibes™

The Doctors TV Show presents "Ask the Vet" Pet CPR with Dr. Courtney Cambell:





FIRST AID KIT 
Do you have an up-to-date First Aid Kit for your dog? If yes, check to be sure you have current supplies and that topicals (and meds if you carry them in the kit) are up-to-date and have not expired. If no, there's no time like the present to either get one or create your own. I used to have a First Aid “Basket” for the FiveSibes, inspired by my future son-in-law who is a volunteer firefighter and EMT who has a "fly" bag (a fully-stocked First Responder medical and trauma kit housed in a duffel bag), I have now updated and upgraded our First Aid Basket, that also contained a mini on-the-go kit, to a bright red First Aid “fly” bag that includes: a stethoscope, antiseptic, antibiotic cream, gauze, bandages, scissors, tick remover tool, ear and eye ointments, First Aid instructions, Benadryl® (in fridge), ear thermometer, alcohol pads, latex gloves, portable water bowl, pet's photo ID, etc. 

Gibson checking out our First Aid Kit.

Since my Gibson is an Epi-dog, I also include things such as his journal (containing medications, vet and ER contact numbers, and notes about seizures, including date/time, length, type, etc.), instant ice packs, medication list, and anything that I keep on hand in case of a seizure (i.e. Rescue Remedy®), disinfectant wipes (for clean up), and paper towels.  It also has pockets so I can toss his meds in when we are traveling, or on "the fly!" As an extension of sorts to our First Aid Kit, I also keep natural vanilla ice cream in the freezer at all times (to help raise sugar levels post-seizure) and a "cooler collar" (a collar that a thin ice pack slips into) for Gibson to keep him cool on a  hot day to help prevent triggering a seizure, or to help keep his body temp from rising should one occur.



We all hope we are never faced with an emergency or disaster, but if we are, it is better to be prepared and have emergency vet numbers and First Aid information at our fingertips because in an emergency, seconds are vital.  


Ben Franklin summed it up best when he stated, 
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”



Blog the Change

18 comments:

  1. WOW this is seriously one of the most informative pet blog posts I've ever read - tons of helpful info - thank you SO much! I never knew about pet first aid classes, for example. And that app - how cool is that! We do have poison control and the # and location of our closest 24 hour pet ER, but all the other stuff I didn't know about. THANK YOU :)

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    1. You are very welcome! :-) Thank you for coming by and for your very kind words! :-) We all love our pets and keeping them safe is another extension of our love! Hopefully, no on ever has to use it, but it's all very good to know!

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  2. Thanks for this very informative post! I am pet first aid and CPR certified and I have made what I think is the most thorough first aid kit possible (that is actually due for an update- I want it to have CPR masks for each pet!): http://www.cascadiannomads.com/pet-adventure-blog/kit-updating-our-perfectly-complete-do-it-yourself-pet-first-aid-kit Being prepared for an emergency truly does save lives!

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    1. Thank you. I'll pop over and check your post out, too!

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  3. That was a terrific post gang! We all hope we never need to use it though.

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    1. Thanks, Brian! We hope the very same.

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  4. Excellent!!!! Time for Mom to do some updating too.

    Woos - Ciara and Lightning

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  5. Wonderful presentation on information that could save lives! The White Dog Army is VERY proud...momma knew all of the answers on the quiz...makes us all feel very safe!

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  6. Wonderful presentation on information that could save lives! The White Dog Army is VERY proud...momma knew all of the answers on the quiz...makes us all feel very safe!

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  7. This was such a wonderful informative post! Loved the quiz too!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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    1. Thanks, Jenna! We want all pets to be safe! :-)

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  8. This is awesome and such wonderful information to have available. I hadn't heard of the red cross app, but I have thought it would be good to take the first aid course. Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. So glad you came by! It's good info to have, but hope we never have to use. :-)

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  9. Wow, I bombed half the quiz, never heard of a fly bag. I do have the vet on speed dial so I guess I don't get a 0! Thanks for an excellent post that surely raised my awareness of this issue.

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    1. You get a gold star for trying! :-) We are glad to share the info "just in case," but hope no one has to be in a need to use it. Thanks for coming by!

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