I have to admit that I was getting a little sad as I listened to the instructors talk about and demonstrate all the scenarios in which a pet would be in distress. I think what really got me is that the "dummy" dog that we used was clearly a Labrador and he looked so sad.
Some of the things I learned were common sense, but yet things that one might not realize or remember to do. I learned SO much in this class but I'll just list 5 highlights and hopefully some of these might help you to save or better take care of your animal.
1. Make a First Aid Kit just for your pet. Remember to take the kit with you while traveling or if you should need to evacuate. Things that should be in your kit: gauze bandages of varying sizes, adhesive tape, scissors, styptic powder, cotton swabs, tweezers, hydrogen peroxide (3%), Eye wash (you can use saline solution for contact lenses), bottle of water, cold pack, antibiotic ointment, digital thermometer, Dose syringe, Antihistamine tablets (Benadryl), antacid tablet, Electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte (NOT GATORADE or OTHER SPORTS DRINK), Nylon slip leash, towel or blanket, name and number of Emergency Vet and poison control center.
2. Know What is Normal. This may seem like a no brainer but how often do you really inspect your dog when they are at their best? I admit last month when I had to look at Baylee's gums to see how red they were I couldn't compare the color to her normal color because I didn't know what it normally was. Inspect your dog's skin, and fur. Feel for lumps and bumps often (also check for ticks). Check gum color. Make sure eyes aren't hazy or cloudy. Also, check the mucous membrane underneath their eyelids (some are black, some might be pinkish. Know what color your animals should normally be) Check their "normal" temperature which should be between 100-102.5
3. Do you know how to check your pets Heart Rate and Pulse? There are a few spots you can use. 1. The inner thigh (the easiest location) 2. Just below the wrist (just above the middle pad on the underside of either front paw). 3. Just below the ankle (just below the ankle on the top side of either hind paw) 4. At the base of the tail. Below are normal Heart and Pulse Rates:
Puppy (less than a year old)- 120-160 beats per minute.
Small dogs (less than 30 lbs) - 100-140 beats per minute.
Medium/Large dogs (more than 30 lbs) - 60-100 beat per minute.
4. We learned how to do CPR on a dog. (This works on cats as well). Lay the dog on his side. Hold his mouth close and blow 5 breaths into his nose. Check for a pulse. If no pulse give him 5 chest compressions. Since each dog is built differently you should take the time NOW to look up how to do chest compressions for your specific pet . After the first round of breaths and compressions, it changes to 2 breaths and 30 compressions. Did you know that CPR only works 7% of the time on humans and only 3% of the time on animals? That is a sad statistic.
5. Capillary Refill Time (CRT)- Knowing your pet's CRT means observing how soon the gums or inner lip returns to their normal pink color after you press on it with your finger. This is a quick way to determine if your dog's blood circulation is normal. When you push slightly on the pink gums with your finger the gums should turn white from the pressure and then return to pink after 1 or 2 seconds. If the pink color returns in less than 1 second or it take more than 3 seconds for it to return than you should call your vet because your pet's blood circulation is not normal and it is an EMERGENCY!
Some other tips that I learned: If your pet has ingested a poison, you can induce vomiting my giving him hydrogen peroxide (3%). But NEVER do this without your vet's consent. If you need to transport a heavy dog up in your car slide him on an ironing board and then raise it to your car height. There are a LOT of blood vessels in a dog's ear and if it gets hurt it will bleed a lot. Don't be alarmed but it will need bandaged. Flip the ear on top of the dog's head to bandage (make the bandage go around the entire head). If your dog is choking you can do Abdominal Thrusts just like you do on humans. To break up a dog fight, NEVER get between the dogs. Instead, stand behind your dog and pull him out of the fight by his back legs. The other dog should back away.
Like I said, there was just SO much I learned that I couldn't possibly cover it in just one post. If you ever get a chance to go to a class like this, you should do it. Hopefully you will never have to use any of these tips, but at least it makes you more aware!
We are linking up with the gals from the Friday 5!