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Signs Your Pet Needs Emergency Care:

Knowing the signs of an emergency is especially difficult when assessing pets who cannot talk! If your pet shows any of these signs, seek help immediately!

  • Labored breathing
  • Pale gums
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Vomiting blood or vomiting more than once per day
  • Collapse, paralysis or sudden inability to walk or stand
  • Seizures
  • Change in Body Temperature- over 103 degrees F or under 98 degrees F
  • Weak or rapid pulse
  • Known toxin ingestion
  • Trauma resulting in pain or broken bones
  • Heatstroke

Tips to Stabilize Your Pet for Transport:

Pain and fear will make even the gentlest pet unpredictable. A muzzle is an essential part of a Pet First Aid Kit. Dogs may be muzzled using basket muzzles (which can be purchased at any pet store or online), towels, stockings or gauze rolls.  Cats and other small animals may be wrapped in a towel for restraint. If your pet is vomiting, do not use a muzzle as this restricts the ability of your pet to open their mouth.

While transporting an injured pet, keep it confined to reduce the risk of additional injury. Pet carriers work well, or you can use a box or other container that has holes for air flow. For larger dogs, you can use a blanket to act as a stretcher.

If your pet is bleeding, try to elevate the area and apply pressure to the wound.

If your pet requires CPR, put them on their side, hold their mouth closed and blow into his/her nostrils once every three seconds.  Make sure no air escapes either your mouth or the pet’s nose. If your pet has no heartbeat, give three quick compressions to the chest for every breath until your pet resumes breathing on his/her own.

Once in the car, phone ahead to the hospital giving the staff as much information as possible and an approximate arrival time. Most importantly, stay calm and drive safely!

Written By: Tara Corridori, LVT

Edited By: Corrina Parsons, VMD

Information Gathered from AVMA and The Humane Society

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