Emergencies can happen anytime and to any of us. Even worse, there is no telling when one will strike, and when the affected ones are essential family members, such as pets, many people may not know what to do. Luckily, you don’t need to have a veterinarian as a neighbor to get help for your pets. Today you can pick up the phone and or even seek advice from online vet centers. However, there will always be difficulties in online veterinary assessments, mainly because your pet can’t talk to your vet. The assessment will largely depend on your discernment. In this post, we will look at online medical care for your pets, how to recognize an emergency, some first aid tips, and how to prepare your pets for emergencies.
1 I have an emergency, but do I need a vet?
Knowing when to get vet assistance will, in most cases, determine whether your pet will live or not. So when pets start showing symptoms, ensure that you get an expert’s opinion before it develops to something worse that may require a lot of money to treat or even worse, have your pet euthanized. However, animals may appear well and maybe only showing a few subtle signs that there is a problem. You must, therefore, observe your pets keenly at all times. If you notice a change of behavior, including irregular sleeping patterns, low appetite, aggressiveness, or increased irritability, your pet may need emergency care. If you are unsure of the signs, contact an online vet for advice.
2 How online pet care works
An emergency can occur anytime and at any place, and sometime, that place may not have a veterinary clinic nearby or, at that time, the pet clinic may be closed for the night. So what do you do? Today, 24/7 online on-demand pet care clinics can offer you help at any time of the day regardless of your location. Some will offer online chats with a specialist, and you can ask for help for a pet emergency where you can explain your problem or get instructions. Most of these online platforms will also have blog sections where you can get information that may be relevant to your situations. Sometimes, you may even find that the problem was not as serious as it appeared. However, that call may make a difference. So if an emergency occurs and you are not in a position to get to a clinic, call your vet. They may be able to advise you through life-saving steps.
3 Be prepared
If your dog, cat or parrot gets injured, do you know what to do? If you are uncertain, you have some work to do. The best way is to learn how to identify and handle some of the common emergencies beforehand. This is advisable as you may panic during the emergency, and this may even worsen the situation.
4 Keep a first aid kit for your pets
It is a good idea to keep a first aid kit that is made specifically for your pet. Some pet stores sell customized pet emergency kits, and if you can’t find one, you may have to make one yourself. Contact your vet for advice on which supplies are necessary for your pet. Some of the supplies include;
- Water-based lubricant
- Latex or nitrile gloves
- Antiseptic wound cleanser and anti-bacterial wound ointment
- Bandage tape
- Gauze squares
- Scissors, and nail trimmers
Other supplies include eyewash, hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting, not wounds), towels, washcloths, and tweezers. Although some items are similar to those in a human first aid kit, it is a good idea to keep them separate and well labeled.
5 First aid for pets
How you respond to an emergency goes a long way in helping the pet recover. Here are some situations that may require your intervention before going to the vet.
This may be internal or external. If your pet is bleeding from the nose or any other orifice, get it to your vet as soon as possible. However, if it is an external wound that is actively bleeding, place a clean gauze or cloth over the wound and apply moderate pressure over the wound. In case of excessive bleeding, elevate the area if possible. If the gauze or clothing becomes soaked, add another layer until it stops or until you get to the vet’s office. Address all wounds immediately to avoid infections and other complications.
- Insect bites and stings
Dogs and cats are susceptible to insect bites or stings because of their natural curiosity. While one or two bites may not be dangerous to your pet, multiple stings may lead to severe allergic reactions. If your pet is stung or bitten, clean the area and remove the stinger if it is visible. If swelling occurs, you may give your pet diphenhydramine. Call your vet to get the proper dosage.
- Heat strokes
Pets, such as dogs and cats, are prone to overheating. If your pet has been in a warm environment and is in distress, take its temperature. If the temperature is over 104° F, it may be heat exhaustion; above that, it may be heatstroke. Get your pet to a cool area with a lot of cold air circulating, wet its fur with cool water. Do not use freezing water or ice to avoid worsening the problem. Continue checking the temperature to prevent overcooling. See a vet afterward, as there may be internal damage. Also, take time learning what to do if your pet is choking, has been exposed to toxins, or has broken bones. If you are unsure about what to do, call your vet, and they may be able to walk you through processes that may save your pet’s life.