Planning ahead can help when disaster strikes. Whether or not there is an emergency, following emergency protocol can assist in keeping vacations, drama free.
Planning for Sickness
- Know where the veterinarians are located- In the event that the family pet gets sick, it is best to know where non-emergency veterinarians are. If a smartphone is available, Google Maps or Scout will come in handy.
- Prepare a medical history packet– Include past medical history problems, a list of all medications, primary veterinarian’s phone number, fax number and e-mail, if available. However, do not forget to list any allergies that the dog may have.
- Know where the emergency hospitals are in each city – In case of a dire emergency, know where the emergency veterinarian hospitals are located. Having a GPS enabled phone or an actual GPS within the car, will allow for pre-programming destinations. Excellent resources to help with locating veterinarians and emergency hospitals are: American Animal Hospital Association and American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.
- Have emergency numbers written down – This is different than the medical history records and list. Emergency numbers to have written down are: National Animal Poison Control.
- The local pet shelters in case of a human emergency and backup pet sitter information within the city that the family will be staying
First Aid Kit
Preparing for all kinds of sickness is the best course of action. In any first aid kit for a dog, the following should be included:
- Blanket- to keep warm or to wrap injured limbs
- Leash and muzzle- most doctors and hospitals will not accept an animal without this
- Ears and eye dropper
- Hydrogen peroxide (3% only)- in case of poisoning
- Milk of Magnesia- to absorb poison
- Veterinarian approved adhesive tape- human band aids are not approved
- Sterile non-stick clean strips and gauze
- Backup ID tags
- Food, water and the matching travel dishes
- Toys- most people would not think of this, but for an animal, a soft teddy bear that they have had for years, can make them feel safe
How to Handle Certain Issues?
Seizures are one of the most common signs of eating poison. However, it could also be a symptom of: liver disease, kidney disease, blood sugar issues, anemia, stroke, encephalitis and brain cancer. The ability to understand that a seizure could be life threatening, will help in knowing what to do.
- Keep the dog away from any objects
- Time the seizure
- Keep them warm afterward
- Call the veterinarian
Broken Bones can be devastating to an animal. Therefore, knowing how to treat and act around the pet, can keep the pet calm and from causing further damage.
- Get a muzzle on the pet as soon as possible
- Pets should be on a solid flat surface
- Call the veterinarian or the emergency hospital
- Stabilize the pet before moving them
Remember, to be prepared and to know how to handle situations, this will cut down on the panic and keep the dog calm. Do not hesitate to call a veterinarian in case of an emergency and know where they are located.