What can you do in the event of a pet emergency? This entry is a continuation from last week’s emergency first aid article. Last week we addressed traumatic injuries, toxins, and seizures.
If you notice your pet’s eye has been dislocated from its socket and the lids can no longer close over the eyeball (known as a proptosis), make sure to keep the eye moist by applying KY jelly or contact lens saline solution before bringing her to your veterinarian. This is an emergency that requires immediate surgery. If your pet has received an irritant in her eye, flush it for 15 minutes with contact lens solution or running water, and monitor closely for any persistent discomfort. Do not remove any foreign bodies that may be impaling the eye. Use an e-collar if you have one available to prevent your pet from traumatizing her eye. Be sure to bring your pet to your veterinarian right away, as the eye is a fragile organ. Severe ocular injuries may require care by a board-certified ophthalmologist.
Signs of heat stroke include excessive fatigue, panting, or collapse after spending time in a hot environment. If your pet is experiencing distress after exercise in hot weather or being confined in a very warm environment such as a car, immediately remove your pet from the hot surroundings to a cool, shaded area. Bring down your pet’s temperature with cool water and place a fan on her, then bring her to your veterinarian. Do not use ice water, as this can cause the superficial vessels in your pet’s body to constrict, thereby retaining heat and delaying cooling.
It is not uncommon for a dog to experience an allergic reaction after, for example, having been stung by a bee or bitten by a spider. When this happens, you may observe your dog’s muzzle and face swelling up, or hives developing over her flanks. Benadryl can be very useful for these scenarios, but make sure to contact your veterinarian for dosages and guidance before administering medications to your pet.
Emergency First Aid: In Summary
- Even before an emergency occurs, keep a list of facilities close to you that provide emergency services, along with directions.
- If possible, it is also a good idea to set aside funds to be available should you ever be in this situation.
- A first aid kit can also be invaluable (see our First Aid blog for recommendations)
- Emergency first aid is important, but when an emergency occurs, the most important thing will be to transport your pet to an emergency facility as soon as possible. Despite how panicked you are, however, drive carefully– crashing your car will not help your pet receive care any sooner!
If you have any doubts as to what constitutes an emergency, do not hesitate to call your veterinarian or nearest emergency facility for guidance. We will do everything we can to help you get the care your pet needs as quickly as possible.