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Pet Talk Column: It's National Pet First Aid Awareness Month

Written By Timothy Knight on 4/23/15 | 4/23/15

Welcome to my column dedicated to pets of all shapes and sizes. Here, you will find topics dedicated to enhancing the health and well-being of pets and their owners. I will be including topics in hygiene, safety, training, behavior, breeds and species, funny stories, recipes and tips and tricks. I am a licensed Veterinary Technician and have worked with animals professionally for 17 years now. I’ve seen and helped animals in the clinic setting, emergency room and people’s homes. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with you each week and hope you find something that helps you and your pets out.
National Pet First Aid Awareness Month

In an era when there’s a national day, week, or month for almost everything, it’s understandable that this announcement lacks the pizzazz of an announcement like National ice cream day. To many people, pet first aid isn’t a very interesting topic, until their pet is hit by a car; suddenly choking on a toy; ingests a toxin; or any number of other incidents that can occur. 

Animals are surrounded by constant hazards and accidents can and do happen. The best thing you can do as a pet owner, is be as prepared as possible. An emergency situation can be handled much faster and more appropriately if an owner has resources like a pet first aid kit and a list of important phone numbers. Important numbers that should be kept handy are; your veterinarian, emergency animal clinic, poison control and a friend who is willing to help you in an emergency. The 24hr Animal Poison Control number is (888)-426-4435.  

Just like us, most pet accidents happen in or near the home. Some of the most common accidents are; toxic ingestion, hit by a vehicle, eye injury, fight wounds, birthing problems, wild animal encounters and near drowning. A pet first-aid kit can be easily created by you at home, to keep on hand, so it’s easily accessible in an emergency and when you call animal poison control. The AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) states that 25% more pets would survive if just a single pet first aid measure was applied prior to getting proper veterinary care.

Below are the following items that should be in your kit:
Rubber gloves
Hydrogen peroxide 3% (Make sure it’s within the expiration date) (To induce vomiting)
Liquid hand dish-washing detergent (Dawn, Palmolive)
Teaspoon/tablespoon set (to measure ant. of peroxide.)
Benadryl (diphenhydramine tablets 25mg w/o other ingredients)
Corn syrup
Dosing syringe or turkey baster for giving peroxide
Can of tuna in water or jar baby food (chicken)
Bulk bandage material (gauze roll, telfa pads, bandage tape)
2 Towels (For warmth, protection or bolster)

Remember, before using anything in your kit, please contact your veterinary professional or poison control hotline. Remember: STAY CALM!

Lorraine Fancher, LVT
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