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Dealing with Common Emergencies

As a pet owner, you will eventually run into an emergency with your furry-friend; it’s almost a fact of life. Be they big or small, the pet or the emergency, being aware of common emergencies gives your pet the best chance of making it to a Vet where they can see them through.

Common Situations:

Unfortunately, not every accident or emergency can be listed, but here are some common emergencies that you may encounter over the course of your pet’s life.

· An impact with road traffic.

· Hazardous chemical exposure, either ingested or external contact.

· Chocolate ingestion (theobromine).

· Cuts or bites to the face and neck.

· Bodily swelling or bloating with no obvious cause.

· Lumps, bumps and growths that you feel unsure of.

· Prolonged constipation or diarrhoea.

Being Emergency Ready:

Picture a potential emergency; what would you need most? What could you not do without? What would be most useful for your pet? You can’t predict what type of emergency you’ll find you and your pet in, but you can be ready for most, if not all of them with a few, simple, universal first-aid supplies. Get a decent sized box, label it clearly and have a place to put it that is easy to get to. Once you get that far, we recommend putting the following into or having near it:

· Bandages – a roll of self-adhesive or crepe bandage.

· Conforming/open-weave bandages.

· Non-adhesive absorbent dressings to cover open wounds.

· Surgical sticky tape.

· Cotton wool.

· Sterile absorbent gauze.

· Blunt ended scissors.

· A thick towel that smells like you.

· A muzzle for a dog.

· A carrier for a small animal or cat.

Emergencies for Dogs:

Depending on the type of emergency you find yourself in, there are a few key things you need to keep in mind when dealing with an injured dog, even if it’s your own. Approach carefully and speak to the dog in a calm tone. When you’re close enough you can then investigate the wound or injury. Once you know the severity of the damage you can then phone your Vet and tell them the nature and location of the injury and when they should expect your arrival. If they don’t ask you immediately, tell them whatever information you can about the dog (breed, weight, age, size, temperament, etc…). Next you should begin preparing your dog for travel. Attach their lead, muzzle them if necessary and carefully put them in a car. If a car isn’t an option, you can fashion a makeshift stretcher out of two brushes and a blanket to carry your dog to the nearest Vet. Once you and your dog make it through the doors, the Vet will take it from there.

Emergencies for Cats and Small Animals:

In the same way you would approach your dog, approach the animal and investigate the severity of the wound. While you may think a nick or scrape might be harmless for a dog, smaller animals have a lot less blood in their bodies, so profusely leaking wounds can often lead to complete exsanguination in a matter of hours. Once the wound has been assessed, begin preparing the animal for transport to your local Vet. Again, if you do not have access to a car, a simple box or drawer padded with a blanket can be used to transport the animal on foot to the nearest Vet.

Emergencies are a part of life. They’ll happen to all of us at one point or another and all we can do is prepare for them. For that reason, we are one of the only Vets in Dublin and Meath with a dedicated emergency service available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. To find out more about this service (preferably not during an emergency), click here. Otherwise, call 01 8213189 for our Meath and North Dublin clinic, or 01 2987510 for our South Dublin clinic.

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