Pets are naturally curious and playful, which can sometimes get them hurt, like when they jump from high places or run into things. But like any other loving caregiver, you can be prepared. By knowing the most common pet emergencies and how to handle them calmly, you can protect your furry friend from harm and ensure they get the best possible care whenever accidents occur. We’ll discuss some of the most common pet emergencies and provide simple steps on how to handle them.
If your pet starts bleeding, you may notice the following signs:
- Excessive blood loss from a wound, nose, mouth, or even in their urine
- Pale gums or weakness in your pet
- Rapid breathing or increased heart rate
What to Do
- Stay calm so you can help your pet effectively.
- Apply direct pressure to the wound using a clean cloth or gauze.
- If the bleeding is from a limb, elevate it above the pet’s heart to slow blood flow.
- Contact your vet immediately. Don’t wait to see if the bleeding stops on its own.
- Don’t give your pet any medication unless the vet tells you to.
If your pet is choking, they might be:
- Gagging and coughing repeatedly
- Struggling to breathe
- Drooling or pawing at their mouth
- Turning blue or gray in the gums or tongue
What to Do
- Stay calm and assess the situation.
- Open your pet’s mouth and check for any visible objects. If you can see and remove the object safely, do so, but be careful not to push it further down the airway.
- If you cannot see the object or your pet’s breathing is severely obstructed, perform the Heimlich maneuver.
- Continue checking your pet’s mouth and airway for any obstructions.
- Call your vet quickly even if your pet seems to be breathing normally because they must be checked by a professional.
Seizures can be scary and confusing, both for pets and their owners. While they can be a symptom of a serious medical condition, there are also many less serious causes. Here’s what you’ll notice if your pet has a seizure:
- Uncontrolled shaking or twitching of the entire body or parts of the body
- Foaming at the mouth or drooling
- Loss of consciousness or awareness
- Stiffening of the limbs or paddling motions with the legs
- Urinating or defecating involuntarily
What to Do
- Remove any objects from your pet’s surroundings that they could injure themselves on during the seizure.
- Time the seizure. Use a stopwatch or timer to track how long the seizure lasts. This information is important for your veterinarian.
- Do not restrain your pet to avoid injuring them or themselves.
- Do not put anything in your pet’s mouth as they could bite down and injure you or themselves.
- Once the seizure has stopped, gently comfort your pet
- Contact your veterinarian immediately
If your pet gets burned, you’ll see these signs:
- Redness and swelling of the skin.
- Blisters forming on the skin.
- Pain when your pet touches or moves the affected area.
- Hair loss in the burned area.
What to Do
- Cool the burn with cold water for 10-15 minutes. You can use a running faucet, a spray bottle, or a clean cloth soaked in cold water.
- Do not apply ice or creams to the burn. This could further damage the skin.
- Cover the burn with a clean, dry cloth. This will help to prevent infection.
- Call your vet immediately.
You can’t always predict when your pet might get sick or hurt, but there are many things you can do to prepare and keep them safe and healthy. Having the best pet insurance can help cover the costs of unexpected veterinary expenses, providing peace of mind and ensuring your pet receives prompt and necessary medical care. Your pet is a cherished member of your family, and their well-being is your top priority.