Pet first aid is the emergency treatment given to a pet before they can receive veterinary care. It is not a substitute for seeing your vet but knowing how to act safely and correctly in an emergency can prevent your pet’s health deteriorating further, helps ensure their chance of recovery is optimised and safeguards the health of other people and pets.

 How to approach a pet emergency

  • First ensure the safety of yourself and others is prioritised. Keep calm and assess the situation by performing a ‘risk assessment’ before acting. Injured animals are frightened and in pain and even the most docile pet may try to bite
  • Contact your vet. Always have your vet’s phone number to hand and be aware of their out-of-hour provisions. Treatment can usually be provided more quickly if the dog is taken to the surgery, rather than if the vet is called out
  • If there is a risk of biting, put a muzzle on the dog, unless the dog has difficulty breathing. Small dogs may be restrained by wrapping a thick towel around their neck
  • Never give human medications to a dog as many will do more harm than good. Do not offer food or drink in case an anaesthetic is required
  • Make sure your pet is breathing. Do not encourage them to walk if they are limping or unable to stand

Is your pet in need of emergency care?

It can be difficult to decide whether urgent attention is needed. But if your pet is not acting themselves, they are trying to tell us they are not well. Always call your vet and ask for advice even if you do not think it is an emergency.

You should always phone your vet if:

  • Your pet is weak, reluctant to get up or depressed.
  • Your pet has difficulty breathing, or their breathing is noisy or rapid, or if there is continual coughing causing distress.
  • There is repeated vomiting. Diarrhoea is less serious, unless severe, bloody or your pet seems weak or unwell.
  • Your pet appears to be in pain or discomfort.
  • Your pet is trying to urinate or defecate and is unable to. Blockage of the bladder can occur, especially in males, and can be fatal if not treated urgently.
  • Your pet has sudden difficulties with their balance.
  • Your pet is having difficulties during delivery such as straining unproductively or abnormal discharges.

Find out more about our emergency and out-of-hours care service on this page. To find out more about pet first aid, please contact the Aldgate Veterinary Practice reception team.

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Published On: July 11th, 2023 / Categories: Latest News /

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