April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month sponsored by the American Red Cross. Learning first aid and what to do in an emergency situation with your cat or dog is important for all pet parents, but for those of us with animals that have special needs it is absolutely vital information to know. Test your knowledge about pet first aid by taking the short quiz below to see how you would handle typical emergency situations.
Pet First Aid Quiz:
1. Can you name the 6 most common emergencies that affect dogs and cats?
Answer: Heat stroke, choking, being hit by a car, seizures, falls and poisoning.
2. Which of these emergencies need the attention of a veterinarian?
Answer: All of them.
3. What are the signs of heat stroke in a dog or cat?
Answer: Heavy panting, brick red gums, the inability to calm down or the inability to stand up.
4. What first aid technique could you apply if you come across a dog with heat stroke?
Answer: Cool down the animal by placing them in the shade and run cool water from a garden hose over them. Offer water to drink.
4. What can you do to protect a dog or cat having a seizure from hurting themselves or you?
Answer: Do not touch your pet, but clear the area around them so they cannot injure themselves.
5. Where can you learn pet CPR so you can help a dog or cat that is choking?
Answer: Contact your local Red Cross office or call the American Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS. You can also contact local animal humane societies.
6. If you think your pet has eaten something poisonous should you seek veterinary attention immediately?
7. Should you try to dislodge a foreign object from your dog or cat’s mouth if you think they are choking?
Answer: Only try to remove an object if you can clearly see it. Otherwise contact your veterinarian immediately.
Pet First Aid Kit:
Here are the basic items that every pet first aid kit should include. The kit should be lightweight so you can easily carry it. Pet parents of disabled dogs and cats should also include a copy of the medications their pet currently takes.
- Muzzle or strip of fabric to prevent biting in case the pet is in severe pain. Only apply the muzzle if the injury is not around the pet’s throat or neck and the animal is not vomiting or having trouble breathing.
- Pediatric digital rectal thermometer plus water-based lubricant
- Oral syringe
- Saline eye wash
- Rubber gloves
- Mild soap
- Stretchable gauze wrap a limb or wound / ace bandage
- E- Collar
- Hydrogen Peroxide and cotton balls
- Blunt scissors
- First aid adhesive tape
- Hand sanitizer
Here are two ready-made pet first aid kits for pet owners.