Monday, June 20, 2011

Pet first aid and CPR- Introduction (Part 1)

Has your dog ever started limping, had an allergic reaction to a bug bit or sting, or eaten a ton of chocolate before you could stop them?  Has your dog ever choked on a small toy, sock, or bone?  From scratches to heart failure, dogs will need medical attention at some point in their life.  If that isn’t bad enough, 9 out of 10 pets experience an emergency at some point in their life.  So, it isn’t a matter of IF your dog will need emergency attention, it’s a matter of WHEN your dog will need emergency attention.  And when that time does come, it’s up to your knowledge and quick action that will make the difference between life and death.
Riverside resident, Angie Lopez, shares her experience with her 3 year old Lab, Daisy. “The whole family was outside eating barbeque and enjoying the day.  We had no idea Daisy got into the house until we realized she wasn’t outside.  We found her laying on the kitchen floor. She had eaten everything in the trash, and I mean everything!  We had to rush her to the vet to get her stomach pumped.  It scares me to this day when I think what would’ve happened if we hadn’t found her in time or if we weren’t even home.”
So what can you do to increase the chances that your dog (or any family pet) will avoid becoming a statistic?
Prevention in always key.  Ensuring your dog has a healthy and dog friendly environment at home is the first step to keeping Fido out of trouble. 
·         Chemical cleaners are the obvious choice that should be kept out of reach of the dog.  But there are other household items our dogs may get into that can endanger their health as well, such as getting into the trash or choking on a hair scrunchy. 
·         Table scraps can also be dangerous for your pup.  Feeding Fido left over dinner can bring about surprises with unknown food allergies, poisonous food, bones that splinter, and upset stomachs (just to name a few things that can go wrong). 
·         Other than items your dog may ingest, you want to make sure he doesn’t over extend himself while playing where he might twist a leg, jump from too high and hurt his back, or fall from any height hurting any number of things.
·         Make sure your backyard and home are secure, where your dog can’t sneak out the back fence, eat his way through the drywall in the garage, or slip through the balcony bars and accidentally step off the balcony. 
·         And lastly, ensure your dog is well trained.  This is another preventative action that can keep your dog from running into the street and getting hit by a car.  If you have a pool, you can train your dog on which way to swim to finds steps out of the pool to avoid him drowning if he fell in.  And since you can’t control your environment when outside of the house, train your dog to leave anything on the floor that you did not give him.  This will ensure he doesn’t pick up a dead animal or strange food rotting under a bush. 

So now that you know the basics to accident prevention, you need to educate yourself so you will know what to do in the event of a medical emergency.

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