Pet CPR and Other First Aid Techniques
Why pet guardians need to know how to handle basic pet health emergenciesPublished November 28, 2012
Knowing how to administer first aid to fur-family members in an emergency can make a huge difference in the outcome; in fact it could even save a pet’s life. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, 1 out of 4 pets would survive accident or illness if we, as pet owners are familiar with and capable of administering first aid when necessary. When we are totally familiar with basic animal first aid techniques and ready to apply them, we remain a lot calmer which helps to reduce pet stress and anxiety
Since companion animals are considered by most pet people as part of the family, according to the Baltimore Sun, many pet guardians are highly motivated to learn how to handle these emergencies and gain the required skills to take appropriate action.
To help pet guardians learn to take charge in an emergency, in Maryland’s Anne Arundel County, the South County recreation center in Harwood, offers a 21 ½ hour course in Pet First Aid and CPR. The reason given by folks attending these classes is since pets are family; it is incumbent upon them to be able to take the same quality of care to their animal companions as they would provide for family members.
Class participant Nicole Angermier of Harwood who is owned by her Boxer named Diesel, explained why she enrolled in the course said, “"You never know when you might need it."
Class Instructor, Laurie K. Scible is a dog trainer and animal behavior consultant. She said, “"knowing what to do in an emergency is comforting. It’s not long-term care in a situation — just enough so that you can get to the vet. And keep in mind that they don't have 911 to call for pets. We have to be the 911."
Targeted for cats and dogs, the class syllabus includes the use of emergency first aid techniques prior to bringing the pet in to the vet. The course includes how to look for and recognize the signs of heart and respiratory failure, choking, shock, broken bones and bleeding.
The students took turns performing emergency care to CasPerR (CPR is capitalized) and watched pet first aid videos. While none of the participants attending ever experienced a pet emergency, taking the course helped them to feel far more prepared to handle what can often be a frightening situation for both the pet and their guardian.
While Anne Arundel country offers this valuable course to help pet guardians, they may not yet be widely available in all areas. All pet guardians should feel equipped to offer first aid with confidence to their pets. This knowledge not only can save a beloved pet’s life, it also gives pet pawrents great peace of mind. If no classes are available in your area, consider asking your veterinarian or vet tech to offer a CPR/First Aid class for pets.
How do you react when a pet health emergency arises? Share your experience in a comment.