What do you do if your dog chokes or suffers a heart attack? If your cat gets badly burned? There are so many situations where it might be necessary to know the appropriate emergency responses to avoid disaster.
Here are four techniques that anyone living with an animal should know.
1. What to do if your pet goes into cardiac arrest
(CPR shown on a mannequin) Source: 30 Millions d'Amis
Verify first that your animal is unconscious by clapping your hands together right next to his face. If he doesn't react and isn't breathing, immediately call emergency services and remove anything that could inhibit his breathing. Next, start performing CPR.
Lay your him on his side and press down on the heart in rhythm, counting to five. Close his mouth and blow air through his nose. Continue, alternating the breathing and the cardiac massage. Use more or less pressure depending on the size of the animal. Start over until emergency services arrives.
2. What to do if your animal is choking
Source: First Aid For Life
An animal who is choking will likely be panicking. It is recommended that you protect yourself against the possibility of bites or scratches. Open his mouth and use a light to verify that there is nothing stuck in his throat.
If it's the case, use your hand or a utensil to remove the object without hurting him. If you don't see anything, hit him a few times on the back, like you would for a human who has a cough.
If the animal is small, you can pick him up by the back legs and move him back and forth. You can also press on his abdomen, just behind the rib cage.
The Heimlich maneuver
If that doesn't work, you can use the Heimlich maneuver, which is particularly effective for large animals.
If the dog is upright, position your hands on his stomach and form your hands into fists. Face his snout downwards. If your dog is laying down, put one hand on his back and push upwards on his stomach with the other.
Find and remove any object or pieces in the animal's mouth. It's possible that you might have to search relatively far back. Immediately take your furry companion to the vet to make sure there aren't any injuries or internal bleeding. For a video explication, click here.
3. What to do if your animal loses a lot of blood
Source: Le Courrier Picard
First aid for an animal who is bleeding is actually similar to that for a human. It's important to apply pressure to the wound to stop the blood loss.
With a towel or a piece of clothing, make a compress with multiple layers depending on the amount of blood. If the wound is severe, transport the animal in urgence to the closest clinic, keeping the limb elevated. Keep constant pressure on the artery.
4. What to do if your animal is badly burned
Serious burns are large and deep. Immediately apply room temperature water (careful, despite what people often thing, it shouldn't be too cold). Let the water run between 10 and 15 minutes without touching the burnt skin.
Take your animal to the veterinarian because severe burns are often followed by complication like blisters or skin necrosis.
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