Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pet first aid and CPR- Education (Part 2)

Now you know your dog (or family pet) will more than likely experience an emergency at some point in his life.  And you know that prevention is key, inside and outside the home, but what next?
Local resident Denise Fleck, instructor, writer, trainer, and owner of Sunny Dog Ink, has several different titles as well as a very impressive resume with her active role in the pet community.  Denise has trained with seven national organizations in animal saving skills.  She has hands on experience volunteering at rescues and on an animal response team.  Denise has given pet first aid and CPR training to several celebrities, hundreds of pet care professionals, and everyday pet owners across Los Angeles, Orange County, Inland Empire, and San Diego counties; increasing awareness and empowering people with new tools to make a difference and save a pet’s life.
In a recent interview with Denise I asked, Why is Pet CPR and first aid important for everyday pet owners?  She replied, “No one has a vet velcroed to the hip.  When your pet is injured it makes a big difference how quickly you can get attention to your pet, so knowing what to do can limit the pain and suffering and save a life.”
When I asked Denise, What is the number one life saving techniques every pet owners should know?, her first response was, “To know your pet.  Noticing signs when something is wrong can catch a lot of problems before they become serious.” 
Become familiar with your dog.  If you know your dog’s normal temperament then you will notice if he has a change in behavior, if he’s acting funny, or if something seems wrong.  Check over his body regularly to see if there are any current problems than have gone unnoticed but may become bigger problems if left unattended. 
·         Check his ears for smells, wounds or mites. 
·         Check his eyes to see if he can follow your finger at different lengths away. 
·         Check his mouth for clean teeth and health looking gums. 
·         Do a massage over his entire body (including the muzzle, tail and paws) checking for bumps, scrapes, ticks, fleas, hot spots, and sensitive areas your dog does not like you touching. 
The more regularly you do this, the more your dog will become use to you touching all areas and they will be more relaxed if you have to do so in an emergency.  

When I asked Denise what the number one life saving technique was, she automatically answered “know your pet” but as far as first aid techniques, she said the “Heimlich maneuver.” 
Educate yourself.   During an emergency, every second counts, so you need to act quickly.  Learning first aid techniques for various situations and knowing CPR can make all the difference in the result of a situation.  Knowing what to do in the event of an emergency will not only substantially increase your dog’s odds at living but also help you to keep from panicking until you get your dog to the vet.  You are not helping yourself, your dog, or the situation by panicking, so it is best to stay calm and act quickly. 
Check out the Sunny-dog Ink website for more information about upcoming classes with Denise.  Or, get a little education sooner…. On June 26th Denise will be teaming up with Team O2, in an effort to raise contributions for pet oxygen masks.  Starting at 4p.m., she will be teaching an “Introduction to Pet First Aid and CPR” at this event, located at 2400 N Canal Street in Orange (behind Walmart).  The cost is $10 and firefighter and other emergency personnel are free.  All proceeds go toward providing two local communities with pet oxygen masks (life saving equipment).   This is a win-win opportunity for you and the community. 

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