October is National Pet Wellness Month
Avoid October Frights With These Pet First Aid and Safety Tips
October is here which means spooky season is upon us. It is also National Pet Wellness Month. This is a perfect time to share some safety and first aid tips to keep your pets physically well. This article will cover five injuries or health concerns to help you become more informed before an emergency happens.
Fall weather is often a popular time to host bonfires and while they are lots of fun for us humans, they could be a danger to your pets. Keep your pets away from open flames at all times.
If your pet does experience a burn, there are steps you can take to help ease their pain as you get in contact with your veterinarian. If your pet has a burn on an area of skin that can easily be submerged, place the burned skin into a container filled with cool, but not ice cold, water or saline. If you cannot submerge the burn area, spray down the area instead.
Ideally, your vet should take over at this point, but if you cannot see a veterinarian quickly and you feel comfortable, you can ask them for specific instructions or perform these basic steps. You can continue by clipping the remaining hair around the area. Clean the burn area again with saline. Cover the burned area with dry bandages and see a veterinarian for further help.
There are many objects that can be choking hazards to pets. It is valuable to know what those objects might be and what to do if your pet does begin to choke.
Potential choking items might include pieces of sticks, rocks, toys that are too small for a larger pet, coins or any other objects that could be small enough to potentially be swallowed by your pet.
If you notice your pet panicking, pawing at the mouth or gagging, they may be choking. Try to have someone restrain your pet if this is the case, and then use both hands to open your pet’s mouth and try to see if anything is visibly lodged in the throat. If it is difficult to see, sweep a finger across the mouth to feel and grab the object out.
If there is an object lodged and you are unable to grasp it or if it is too far down, immediately call your closest veterinarian for assistance. If you cannot see anything in the mouth, or your pet is in respiratory distress, use Heimlich Maneuver guidelines for pets.
There are many causes of vomiting attacks in pets and some causes are nothing to be concerned over while other causes may be more serious. You should be familiar with your pet’s habits so you are able to identify the next steps when you see them vomit.
If your pet has a vomiting episode and you feel that it is out of the ordinary, call your veterinarian. If you can link an isolated instance of vomiting to a cause that is not of concern you likely do not need to contact a vet.
Take notice of other behaviors around the time when your pet vomits to relay the information to your veterinarian so they can try to determine the cause of your pet’s vomiting. You know your pet best so your recall of the events is crucial.
- Hot Spots
Hot spots are common in dogs and cats and appear as small, red, infected areas on the skin that irritate pets. These can be a great annoyance to your pets, but they can easily be healed within a few weeks if treated properly. Common locations include the head and legs.
The causes can range greatly, and it is often advised to go straight to the veterinarian so the spot does not worsen as your pet tries to scratch the area. Your vet can show you how to continue cleaning the area and prescribe any antibiotics if necessary. Depending on the location of the hot spots and your pet’s behavior, you may want to place a cone collar on your pet.
- Household Poisons to Pets
Halloween is a time for treats, but make sure you are not tricked by what pets can have. While there are human foods that will not harm pets, there are many that act as poisons to your furry members of the family. Be familiar with these items and stick to dog or cat treats if you are unsure if a specific food is safe.
Some of the most common household poisons include chocolate, candy, grapes, onions, alcohol, batteries, human pain medications and plastic.
The signs of poisoning vary greatly, anywhere from diarrhea and vomiting to difficulty breathing and loss of consciousness. If you think your pet has been poisoned, call your veterinarian immediately. If you know what poisoned them, take note of what it was and how much so you can share these details with the vet.
These are just five safety and first aid concerns to be mindful of not only in October, but all year round. As we move into the holiday season it is important to continue looking out for our pet’s total wellness. Be familiar with the signs and treatments of burns, choking, vomiting, hot spots and poisoning in your pets so you can face the scary head on. Always contact your veterinarian for more information!