If there is one thing every pet owner dreads, it is an emergency. However, we can handle these situations properly if we know what to do. Being prepared will give us the clarity and calm necessary for such times. Knowing how to respond to these times can make a huge difference in your pet’s life.
The number one thing you need to know in these situations is your primary veterinarian’s emergency number. The second thing you need to know is an after-hours vet’s emergency number. Always have a backup in case your primary vet is unreachable.
How to Manage Emergencies Well
Stay Calm and Assess the Problem
If your pets show any abnormal behavior or meet with an accident, calm both of yourselves down. It will be clearer to see that this is an emergency for injuries such as deep wounds or broken bones. However, if your pet has symptoms and you cannot tell why you must observe them.
Loss of appetite and lethargy are non-emergency symptoms and may go away the next day. If they don’t, check if other symptoms could tell you that this is an emergency. This could be a result of missing dog or cat vaccinations. Such symptoms to watch out for are:
- Difficulty breathing
- Abdominal distention
- Severe vomiting and diarrhea
- Abnormal gum color
Make the Call
Once you feel that this is an emergency, make the call. Be prepared to explain your pet’s situation and to listen. The vet will give you instructions on administering first aid and preparing your pet to travel. The vet will let you know if this is an urgent matter or not.
Calling the vet prior to the trip also will help them prepare the necessary equipment they need. As soon as you walk through their doors, immediate action can be taken. Do not forget to tell them if your pet is under any medication, too.
Give First Aid
Your emergency animal hospital vet can walk you through what to do, such as dressing a wound, tweezing out a bee stinger, or checking if there is something lodged in your pet’s throat. First aid does not necessarily mean that the issue is solved, but it may mean that the situation is managed well enough for travel. Being able to do this may save your pet’s life.
Prepare Your Pet to Travel
If your pet is in pain, they might react negatively to you. For the dogs, calm them down enough to put a muzzle on them. If your pet is a cat, drape a towel on its head to avoid bites. If they will be carried, wrap them in blankets, or make sure that their crates are comfortable.
If your pet ingested anything they aren’t supposed to, like human food or medicines, bring wrappers or labels, so the vet knows what to do. If someone is available to assist you during the trip, do not hesitate to seek help.
Make the Trip
Now that you have done all the best, you can make the trip. Make sure you and your pets are properly restrained. Calmly drive to the vet. If you have done all the steps above, take comfort in the fact that the vets are waiting for you. For emergencies in Edgewater, see here for instructions to reach Animal General on Hudson.
The best defense is still preparedness and prevention. Supervision is the one thing that we can do as much as we can. However, accidents can still happen, and you will be glad to know how to respond. However, for sicknesses, prevention is key. Avoid these surprise visits as much as you can by going on routine checkups faithfully. Whatever happens, though, it is up to you to step up.