Top 5 Texan Pet Summer Dangers

Top 5 Texan Pet Summer Dangers

When I ask my students what are the dangers that Texan pets face,  you can all probably guess the number 1 answer I get… the HEAT! But what are some of the other dangers we and our southern neighboring states face with our pets in the summer? Our pets count on us to be able to help them in an emergency and I know you want to be prepared! Would you know what to do for your pet if any of the following emergencies became a reality? Make sure you are trained and current in Pet CPR & First Aid before it’s to late!

11-11-14 2119

5. Traveling with or without pets – If you’re traveling WITH your pets, please make sure they are always restrained in either a kennel or seat belt while in the car. In the event of an accident, you cannot predict where you or your pet will be thrown! Glass lacerations, being thrown from the car or in the car, airbags (they deploy at 200mph!!!) and the worst if you are knocked unconscious and they go into protection mode keeping first responders from getting to you! If you’re leaving your pets in the hands of a trusted caregiver, please make sure you have done your due-diligence and even better, get your pet used to going there for short day trips before you have them board for a longer period. Ask questions, take a tour during non-peak hours, get a referral from friends or family that use a facility or a pet-sitter. And of course, make sure their staff is trained AND current in Pet CPR & First Aid! Traveling can be very stressful for your pets so make sure you take precautions ahead of time to ensure everyone enjoys the trip!

4. Insect Bites and Stings – Spiders, bees, wasps, hornets, ants can all bite and sting us or our pets! It is important to always keep an eye on our pets, their surroundings and monitor the perimeter of our yards if they are left out for any given amount of time, even to just potty! Heartworm disease is another big concern because of the humidity and how prevalent that makes mosquito! It is never cold enough for any of our insects to die off completely, so honestly this is always a year round worry, but even worse in the summer. Please make sure your pets are on a safe heartworm and flea/tick prevention and if you do spend a lot of time outdoors, make sure to enroll in our Pet CPR & First Aid class to get all the pointers in case your pet is stung or bitten and has a severe allergic reaction from the bite or sting.

3. Burns from hot asphalt or concrete on pads – Unfortunately there are many different ways that our pets can experience burns… flames (bonfires, fireplace, or candles), chemical burns, hot water, and electrical burns from chewing on cords. Even worse, the most common burn in Texas’ summers occurs on the paw pads from owners not realizing how hot the ground is when we take our pets on their daily stroll. A good rule of thumb is if you can’t hold the back of your hand to the concrete for at least 7 seconds, it is too hot for them to walk on. Dog walkers are always discouraged (for many reasons) from doing any mid-day walks for their client’s dogs and you should take notice and follow suit. Puppies and kittens are especially susceptible to burns because their paw pads are not usually calloused yet and are easily burned.

rattlesnake

2. Snakebites – Probably one of the scariest emergencies in Texas because we have so many different types of snakes including all 4 of the venomous types! The most common snake and snakebite with our pets is usually a rattlesnake. While there is a vaccine that can help reduce the side effects of the venom and buy you precious time while you rush to the vet, it is only recommended for pets that are higher risk of being bit and should be something you discuss with your veterinarian. Time is of the essence with a snakebite so the most important item in your Pet First Aid Kit for snakebites is your car keys… GO! Snake bites are most common in the muzzle, face and front legs and can swell rapidly and cause severe pain. They are incredibly expensive to treat so it is easiest to always prevent them. Always keep pets on a 6 foot leash when on hikes and walks and if you hike, do search and rescue work, live on land or have seen snakes in your backyard… talk to your veterinarian about the Rattlesnake vaccine or a skilled and experienced trainer that does Snake Aversion Training.

hot dog

1. Heatstroke – Why is heat stroke such a problem for Texan pets? It isn’t just the heat that we have to deal with because it gets hot in other states too! The problem with Texas’ heat vs. other states is the HUMIDITY! Pet owners have no idea how much the humidity on a given day affects our pets! Have you ever heard our Rule of 120? If you take the temperature of the day and add it to the percentage of Humidity… if it exceeds 120, be warned! That’s a big red flag and a risk of Heat Stoke for your pets. Keep time outside limited, if at all, exercise to an absolute minimum and make sure water is plentiful! Always remember the breeds that are most susceptible are all dogs with “smush-face” or in the medical world, what we call brachiocephalic. It’s really important that you know the signs of heat stroke like uncontrollable panting, foaming at the mouth or “bubbles,” lethargy or uncoordinated movements, vomiting, bright red gums and overall weakness. Normal temperature for pets is 100.4 – 102.5 and every pet can vary slightly with their “normal.” Once a temperature goes above 103 degrees it is considered Hyperthermic and needs to be removed from the heat source and allowed to cool down. Causes of heat stroke can be high temperatures, humidity, stress, no ventilation, no water, and overexertion or being overexercised. It is important to cool your pet down slowly with COOL water, not COLD! We teach many secrets and more ways to help cool your pet down and save their life in our Pet CPR & First Aid Seminar! To find out more visit www.DallasPetFirstAid.com!

Our next scheduled PetSaver seminars are scheduled for Sat June 11th (in Houston) or Sat June 18th or Sun July 10th in Dallas! Don’t let your pet become victim to these dangers and make sure you’re prepared to save your pet in an emergency! They are counting on you!

Potato… the cat…

First sign: Vomiting…
Second sign: Not eating…
If I’d waited any longer:
I would be writing his eulogy…

FB_IMG_1450810800164[1]
The Saturday before Christmas Potato was spitting up some water that he’d drank. Saturday evening he had not had any interest in eating which has never happened… ever! Saturday night it was non-stop vomiting so we rushed to the emergency clinic. First thing Sunday morning, the first clinic I called had AT LEAST a 3 hour wait before we could see the doctor so I called my second choice and they said they could get us in much faster! I was anxious to get answers as fast as possible because he was getting worse by the minute. Poor Potato couldn’t even hold his head up, very lethargic and weak, and continued to vomit although I had ceased all water so that it would reduce the chances of vomiting. His skin tent showed incredible dehydration so I knew it was serious… He was still walking but it was extremely slow so we slowly sauntered in to Center of Veterinary Specialty + Emergency Care in Lewisville, TX.

Let me be clear, I don’t live close to Lewisville… at all… but in a pet emergency, I cannot express how important it is to go to a clinic you trust if your pet can safely make the trip. Disclaimer: Any breathing problems  need to go to the nearest emergency clinic along with any emergencies in which the pet is not considered stable! If you have any doubt, please go to the nearest emergency clinic and consider transferring your pet if they are deemed stable and you want to make the trip to a clinic or vet you trust. Even better, make sure you are currently trained in Pet CPR & First Aid so that you know how to assess their stability and what you can do in almost ANY pet emergency on your way to an emergency clinic!
20151220_131424[1]The entire staff was amazing and immediately how sad and pathetic he looked and agreed that although he was stable, he was getting worse by the minute… I was beyond relieved to see a vet I knew walk into the room (who I coincidentally didn’t know worked at this ER) and she and I both knew he was going to need to be admitted. Dr. Crystal Eng is beyond amazing and Potato would not be here without her! We were looking at three possible causes for his acute life-threatening symptoms….

  1. He was suffering from acute pancreatitis… many many causes, but can come on suddenly too without any warning at all.
  2. He ingested something he shouldn’t have….
    1. He was poisoned by something or someone possibly in the back yard without my knowledge… (yes… this really does happen more often than you think!)
    2. He had ingested an object that was now blocking his stomach and/or intestines and wouldn’t allow anything to pass through.

His bloodwork confirmed that his acute pancreatitis so we began treatment for that, gave him pain medication and started him on IV fluids. He wasn’t painful when Dr. Eng pushed all over his abdomen so a foreign body obstruction was further down on our list. He was admitted into their ICU unit for the night and I went to visit him about 6 hours later without much improvement at all. I knew it would take time and he was in the best hands. I couldn’t sleep a wink that night…

The next morning I picked him up to transfer him to my trusted vet clinic. As soon as we arrived, they took one look at him and were immediately concerned… as was I. He unfortunately didn’t look much better that morning (if not actually worse) than he did the day before. His body wasn’t responding to the pancreatitis treatment which meant something ELSE was the culprit. Now… we just had to figure out what…

After much discussion, we opted to go into surgery and perform what’s called an exploratory foreign body surgery to look through his intestines to potentially find a blockage… but what could possibly be stuck in there?

I’m a really paranoid dog owner… my dogs only have limited access to toys and IF anything is torn up… I know about it and I put pieces back together to make sure everything is accounted for! My dog would NEVER have a foreign body blockage… or would he??

20151221_142826[1]

Dr. Rachel Neese, with CityVet Oak Lawn opened him up Monday afternoon and was amazed at how impacted his intestines were… WITH STRING! Cats eat strings… NOT pit bulls! The worst part is that I have NO IDEA where he found this string! I don’t have any string, crafts, rope toys, etc. that he could have chewed up. My best guess is that he found something outside that either blew into the yard or was put there on purpose… very scary possibilities!

She had to go in and do 5 incisions throughout his intestines and 1 incision in his stomach. It was a nerve-wracking 2.5 hour surgery that took 2 doctors and 3 veterinary nurses… The string was tangled up and corrugating his intestines, twisting them up! Every veterinarian agreed… had we not gone in when we did, he would not have made it. They were so thankful that I was willing to take the risk of opening him up, despite the lack-of “obvious” signs that he was blocked. I am so grateful that they went with their gut feeling and recommended it!20151221_203505[1]

He came through anesthesia with flying colors with some nice pain medication and a 12inch incision that he could brag about later to the ladies on the streets! Although the blockage was removed, he still had to beat the pancreatitis! He’s had a long recovery through healing process from all of the incisions, but he’s made it to getting his staples removed!

I was keeping everyone updated during those first few days as he continued his treatment only because he couldn’t seem to get his vomiting under control. He stayed several days in the hospital to continue his IV fluids and is now on a very controlled special diet to help him regain the 8lbs that he lost.

We are both so incredibly grateful to all those that kept him and I in their thoughts and prayers through the last 2 weeks. We are even more grateful to those who donated to this life-saving surgery. Not that I regret one penny, but it was truly the most expensive Christmas gift I have ever given any of my pets to the tune of almost $3,000! And he is worth every penny… he has a lot left to give and an amazing legacy to leave!20151224_143519[1]**If you’d like to make a donation, you can donate on PayPal.com by sending money as Family/Friends and then entering my email Beth@PowerTothePawZ.com. I promise you it goes 100% to his care and the programs he is involved in and the new Kids Safety program that he is beginning in 2016!

Top 7 Holiday Pet Dangers

7. HOLIDAY & TREE DECORATIONS
Tinsel, if ingested can cause intestinal obstructions. Dogs think that you put those decorations (glass balls) on the tree just for them. If broken, the glass can cause injury to the pet. Cats love to climb the tree which can be dangerous. Electrical cords, lights, candles and additional decorations can be attractive to your pet and potentially life threatening if chewed or ingested.

6. CHRISTMAS TREES THEMSELVES
The tree hosts many dangers for your pets. The water in the tree stand may contain fertilizers, depending on the source of the tree which would end up in the water as well as the tree sap. The still water can also be a breeding ground for bacteria, Some people also put aspirin in the water to keep the tree fresh. If the tree water is ingested, it can cause stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea and possibly more serious issues depending on what is in the water.

5. GIFTS

The gifts under the tree can be potential dangers for your pets too. Never put edible treats under the tree, your pet can smell them and could try and eat them along with the packaging which could be toxic, a choking hazard and or cause intestinal problems.

4. GIFT WRAP & RIBBONS
Foil gift wrap and ribbons can be a choking hazard and cause intestinal obstructions if ingested. Keep your pets safe by keeping these items out of their reach.

3. HOLIDAY PLANTS
Although these plants can make your home festive, they can be harmful to your pets. Poinsettias, Holly, Mistletoe Amaryllis and Lilies can be toxic to your pets.

2. FOOD
During the Holidays many people are coming and going. Be sure that your guests know the rules for your pets. No food or treats without your permission. The following foods are harmful to your pets: yeast breads, cookies, candies, nuts, (macadamia nuts can be toxic to dogs), chocolate,
alcohol, fatty foods, meats, bones, and sugar free items.

And the number 1 Holiday Pet Danger… STRESS

Unfortunately during the holiday season, every pet owner experiences some kind of stress whether it be financial, family, traffic and traveling or just stressing about hosting or attending a holiday party. Our pets are so devoted to us and they can be very sensitive to our stress levels. Don’t you wish we could explain to them that it isn’t their fault? Stress in pets may show up in medical conditions like stress vomiting or diarrhea (colitis) or behavioral problems such as chewing or destruction. Not only is this unpleasant for all involved and possible fatal to pets, but it can add emergency vet bills at a time when finances can already be tight. Please take extra time this holiday season to do an extra close Snout-To-Tail™ Assessment, give them plenty of attention and exercise and be sure you’re letting your dogs heal your days ahead to reduce your stress and theirs!

This article was a collaborative effort with permission from
Pet Tech and Dallas Pet CPR & First Aid Education!

 

Not so Happy Halloween… for the pets!

When my students in my seminars are asked about Holiday Dangers no doubt Christmas, Thanksgiving and Fourth of July are always among the top responses! But what about that sneaky, creepy Halloween Holiday? Did you know that calls around Halloween make it the busiest season for Pet Poison Helpline’s Hotline?

Our Top 6 Pet Halloween Dangers & Concerns

6.) Black Dogs & Cats = Crazy Superstitions and Evil People

10435029_10204362448574237_830127981554895377_n
Shelters & Rescues usually have a hold on all black animals, especially black cats during the month of October because they don’t trust that they won’t be used in sacrificial celebrations. Please keep all black animals inside more and supervised when they’re outside to ensure they are not taken by would-be onlookers.

5.) Halloween Decor

PHONE PICS 344
Please be aware of any Halloween decorations that might be especially enticing to puppies or kittens and can cause severe electrical burns once chewed on while being powered. Candles (especially inside pumpkins) can be fascinating to cats and can burn their paws and whiskers easily as well as increase the risk of a Home Emergency if pushed off the counter by the cantankerous cat! Glow Sticks are another common problem, mostly in cats, because they like to bite into them and chew them. Mostly hyper-salivation and mouth discomfort is caused, but do not usually prove to be in toxic ranges.

4.) Doorbell & Revolving Opening Door
Most dogs do not enjoy the doorbell going off when it’s just one person coming to the door… imagine the stress for some pets when it is rang over and over and over and over… You also have a higher chance of dogs and cats escaping past your feet when you increase the number of times the door is opened. You can still do all of this, but take precautions and put your pets in another room or their kennel until Trick or Treaters are done for the evening. And as always, please make sure your pets have proper ID tag and updated microchip for Identification purposes, just in case they do escape!

3.) Candy, Wrappers & Overindulgence

10610892_713502458703900_1772469588373978700_n
Let’s face it… every holiday in America celebrates with candy and chocolate in some form or fashion! Most of you know the obvious in that chocolate is toxic to pets (type, amount of chocolate, and size of pet all play a roll in the how toxic question, but even if it isn’t chocolate, other types of candies can be very dangerous to pets. It’s important to keep all candy, wrappers, raisins & grapes all up and out of the reach of your pets and double checking that kids aren’t putting the pets in harm’s way by leaving the candy around where they shouldn’t. Unless you have taught your dog how to unwrap the candy before they eat it, it is highly likely they will ingest both candy and wrapper which can cause a very dangerous bowel obstruction that could require surgery.

“Why it’s dangerous: It’s hard enough for a human to stop at just one piece of candy, so imagine how difficult it is for a pet. Large ingestions of sugary, high-fat candy can lead to pancreatitis, which may not show up for two to four days after the pet ingests the candy.

What to watch for: Pets that have ingested candy may show signs such as decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, and even kidney failure or organ damage.” — DVM360.com

2.) Kids… or even worse… Kids in costumes!

Fiery LEFT6088
Not every dog likes kids. Not very many like changes. When you put kids, candy and scary costumes that drastically change their appearance, it can REALLY stress your pet out. Take all of this into consideration before deciding what to wear around your dog because even a simple witch hat may spook the most confident dogs!

1.) Costumes – On people or pets = Stress!

Elvis

I can even admit that I love to put my dogs in ridiculous costumes purely for my own amusement, but I do believe Ernie actually enjoys it! Potato has other thoughts on the matter though. There’s a few factors that need to be considered in order to make sure that you are not increasing the risk of an emergency with your pet. First, make sure the costume does not impair their vision, movement or airway. Second, consider the small metallic or beaded pieces that may be attached and accidentally ingested by the pet while you are turned away and he’s taking his chance to chew himself out of the ridiculousness you have put him in! And finally, consider the stress that you are inducing on your pet. While yes, some pets do enjoy it, most tolerate it and I know many that HATE it. It really isn’t worth putting your dog through all of that to win a contest.

My point here is that EVERY holiday or EVERY month has an occasion that may possibly stress you or pets out or pose unusual dangers that might be out of the norm in your household the rest of the year. Please take each month into account and look at the bigger picture and be an advocate for your pet to protect them and protect your wallet from preventable dangers!

155186_457554181269_2274046_n

For more information on Pet CPR & First Aid Seminars to give you advice on how to handle any of the above, please visit us at www.DallasPetFirstAid.com for the most up to date schedule and to save your seat!

For additional Halloween Dangers to consider read Pet Poison Helpline’s Seasonal Article for Halloween!

Top 5 Reasons a Dog Trainer Can Change Your Life!

DOGS CAN GO “BARK TO SCHOOL” TOO!
1. Trainers can build your dog’s confidence and yours!
When you take the steps through a training process and build on the foundation of the same language, your confidence soars and because of that, so does your dogs! It’s a natural side-effect of better communication, consistency and mutual respect for each other’s species.  Confidence is one of the best and longest acting side effects that comes from training sessions.
Do you have a nervous dog? Fearful? Shy? Anxious? When they begin to understand the same words you, their protector, uses to communicate with them are the same words strangers use to communicate with them too… their world becomes a little less scary. Consistency, Respect and Communication all help build confidence and training sessions help build them.

2. In one of the scariest situations a pet owner will ever experience, you will know how to properly respond and so will they! 

So what scary situation am I referring to? That moment that your dog escapes past you or pulls their leash from your hands on a walk to go “say hi” to the neighbor dog, cat or squirrel. Everything seems to dive into slow motion and everything including your beloved pet (although aggravating pet in the moment) falls just out of your reach. Naturally, out of fear of the unimaginable, you panic with every fiber of your being and are most likely to start screaming your pet’s name with the obvious emotion of anger and frustration. You’re angry that they are risking their life – frustrated because you know they are unaware of all the potential dangers – or if we’re honest, angry and frustrated because now they’re making you late!

As hard as it is, don’t scream at them. Why would they want to come back to you when they can tell your mad or angry? Or if they’ve done this before, maybe they have come back before and you yelled at them and pulled on their collar the whole way home… dogs aren’t stupid! They don’t want to repeat that bad experience with you angry. BUT, you can change that almost immediately! Be happy! Get all excited and call their name like you’re having a party! Run AWAY from them and all of a sudden you become the best thing on the street to chase! If they are focused in on something, you have to go extreme and get ahead of them to steer their attention to you! You always want your pet to BE HAPPY coming to you! Do not ever punish your dog for coming to you, despite that YOU think you are punishing them for running away from you 10 minutes before! This goes against everything we instinctively want to do, but no lie, this one tip may save your pet’s life!

3. Obedient pets tend to stay out of harm’s way… plain and simple!

Have you ever thought that that obedience class you took with your dog could save their life?
It absolutely can!

If your dog trusts and understands our quirky forms of communication, it could save them in an emergency. The bond that you build with your dog through obedience training is so important when the unexpected happens because there are circumstances that a dog has to trust you despite their own instincts in order to get them out of danger. Whether it be during a housefire or in the example above with “come” command or if you tell your pet to “Stay,” it might mean life or death for your pet.

4. You can become bilingual! Dog communication is a whole different language and we can make you fluent!

The world of dog language is a fascinating place that I’m always studying. Dogs communicate non-verbally, verbally and even emotionally. Every move they make, even the most minuscule movements can mean something. Ears forward, neutral, backwards… lips, eyes, tail… is their weight shifted forward, balanced, or backwards? The list goes on and on and becomes even more impressive when you add their verbal and emotional repertoire. The more you learn, the more hooked you become! Did you know that yawing, stretching and body shaking can all be signs of stress? They also use those signs to communicate to other dogs or humans around them to let them know that something about that situation is stressing them out.

5. Your relationship with your dog will be taken to a level you have never known before!

This is the best compliment we can receive after a training class! Everyone thinks that they already are close to their dogs when they start training. When you get your dog on their first day, you promise to not only give them the longest life possible, but the BEST life possible! Your relationship with your pet is right behind food and water as the most important thing you can give to your pets for their prime survival. Our dogs are companion pack animals and enjoy being with us despite the major language barrier. Once you start to understand their language and they understand some of ours, the respect rises beyond your expectations and you suddenly enjoy each other’s company on another level!

Your next training session is just a phone call or email away! We offer phone consults, private in-home sessions, and group obedience classes! Visit us at www.PowerToThePawZ.com for all the details and see how we can help you!

If you are interested in our Pet CPR & First Aid Seminars, visit us at www.DallasPetFirstAid.com to find our upcoming seminar schedules!

The Dangers of Heat Stroke in Our Pets

Heat Stroke Awareness

A few weeks ago, Dallas Pet CPR & First Aid Education kicked off the summer with our good friends at Operation Kindness’ 20th Dog Day Afternoon! This is one of our favorite events every year and each year we come across so many pet owners that we can teach! This year didn’t disappoint!

After our Pet CPR demo we came across so many dogs in heat distress and several that we sent immediately to veterinary care. As we always do at outdoor events, we offered free temperature checks on any dog that owners were concerned about. There were countless dogs that we equipped with instant ice packs and recommended air conditioning immediately. Many questions that were asked by those panicking owners and we wanted to answer for all of you….

What are the signs of heat stroke in my pet?

Internal Body Temperature above 103°
Foaming at the Mouth or “Bubbles”
Lethargy/Uncoordinated Movements – Staggering/Weakness
Uncontrollable and Loud Panting
Rapid Heart Beat
Gums & Tongue Initially Bright Red
Vomiting

What causes Heatstroke & How can I prevent heat stroke?

Confined Space
Little Ventilation
No Water/Dehydration
High Humidity!!!
Stress
**Dogs cool themselves by panting – Short-nosed breeds are more susceptible (Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, Mastiffs, St Bernards, Pekinese, etc)

What should I do if I suspect my dog to be overheated?

Restrain as necessary
Bathe or hose with COOL (not cold) water
**COLD causes restriction of blood vessels preventing the cooler blood from traveling throughout the body and cooling too fast can cause the body to go into shock
Place them in a cool ventilated environment if available as soon as possible
Wrap in a damp sheet – Continue to cool pet until they stop panting
Treat for shock
Monitor temperature to ensure it is dropping – Important to know how high their temperature was to begin with
Contact Vet & Transport

Is heatstroke REALLY that serious? I’m only going into the store for a few minutes…

YES! It is fatal to your pet and can happen SO FAST!
Not to mention, pet theft is on the rise and is part of a lot of gang initiations – They will sell pets on Craigslist and Medical Research Facilities… It is NEVER worth the risk…

No, cracking your windows is not enough…
No, turning your A/C on and locking your car with a remote is not good enough – There was a horrible incident where the dogs were jumping around and they hit the heat… and still died of heatstroke..

Take your pets home or even call the store and ask if they will allow your pet this time. Aside from food establishments, a lot of managers will make an exception. They want the sales and they don’t want negative reviews or media. You’d be surprised how many stores allow dogs!

What should I do if I see a pet in a car?

If you’re in Dallas, call 311 and 911 – All other cities call Animal Control AND 911
Walk into the nearest stores and ask the manager to page their customers
(Threaten negative media attention if they refuse)
Do NOT get the dog worked up – If they dog is barking and getting upset, it will exacerbate their temperature

Please understand that although we will never understand why people take the chance to ever leave their pets in their car, we need to make sure you know that you can be charged with criminal destruction of property if you break into someone’s car. I’m saying this because I have too… ;o)

Top 6 Spring Pet First Aid Emergencies on the Trail!

Dallas-Pet-First-Aid-Logo_FINAL_TaglineAs you’ve probably heard, April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month! The founder, Pet Tech, is the first International Training Center dedicated to developing & providing premium CPR, First Aid, & Care programs for pet parents and Pet Care Professionals.

Pet First Aid Awareness Month emphasizes the importance of education and training and being a caring,
conscientious, responsible and loving pet parent and Pet Care Professional during April and all through the year! Our theme for this year’s Pet First Aid Awareness Month 2015 (April 1-30) is “Inform, Educate, Take Action AND…Prevent 1 Million Pet ER Visits!”

Pet First Aid is the immediate care given to a pet that has been injured or suddenly take ill. This includes home care and when necessary veterinary help. Knowing the skills and techniques of pet first aid can mean the difference between life and death; temporary and permanent disability; and expensive veterinarian bills and reasonable home care. It is estimated that 1-out-of-4 more pets could be saved if just one basic skill or technique was applied before receiving veterinary care.

1. Insect Bites, Stings & Allergic Reactions
Can be caused by ants, bees, hornets, wasps, and spiders. Dogs are inquisitive and get into colonies or holes where these insects live. The biggest danger is a severe allergic reaction. Unless you observe the pet being stung or bitten, you may not be immediately aware of what is going on. Your first sign may be incessant licking and scratching and then upon investigation you find localized swelling, redness and pain at the injury site. Actions for Survival include immobilization and reducing the pet’s activity to keep them from spreading the toxin further. Treat symptoms as they present and keep the pet comfortable, which is also code for under control. Before this happens, is the time to consult with your vet on what the proper dosage of antihistamine would be for your pet. Pet Tech recommends that you purchase “Benadryl” (diphenhydramine) in the gel caps in the blister packaging (the generic version of this is fine too). Then tape a safety pin on the back with the dosage for your pet (that you got from your vet) written on the tape too. Then carry that in your pet first aid kit. To administer, use the safety pin to just poke a hole in the gel cap and squeeze proper dosage into pet’s mouth.

lily-white2. Poisonous Plants, Toxins & Parasites
Dogs are inquisitive in nature and will follow their nose wherever it takes them. Some dogs will eat anything once and sometimes twice! So, you have to be careful not to leave your dog unattended. Certain plants can be lethal if ingested. Exposure to or ingestion of contaminated water, poisonous plants, mushrooms; infected animals and parasites can be dangerous for your dog. The signs of poisoning can vary but usually include the following: diarrhea, vomiting, stomach upset, excessive salivation, breathing difficulties, excitability, loss of consciousness and seizures. For this type of situation you need to act quickly because time is your biggest enemy. Your dog can deteriorate quickly to no breathing and no heartbeat. You will also need to identify the following: suspected substance, time exposed and sample of the vomitus or stool, if available.

rattlesnake3. Snakebite
Snakebites are very dirty wounds. Whether the bite is venomous or non-venomous, the pet needs wound care and antibiotic treatment. Signs include 1-2 puncture wounds, severe pain, swelling and bruising. If the snake is venomous, then immediate actions for survival include restraint, muzzling (only if no breathing difficulties), treat for shock and transportation to the nearest animal hospital that has antivenin. If you live in a snake-infested area, then you may want to have a conversation with your vet on treatment for snakebite with antivenin. Prevention is key. Keep dogs on a leash or at a minimum under visual control when out on the trail. You may also want to research snake avoidance training.

hot dog4. Exposure To Extreme Temperatures
Heatstroke can be caused by warm weather with high humidity, over exertion, stress or by pets being in confined spaces with little or no ventilation or water (think car). Dogs cool themselves by panting, passing cooler air over their gums and tongue. Short-nosed breeds (i.e. Pekinese, Boxers, Pugs) are more susceptible to overheating as their “radiator” (mouth and gums) are too small for their body size. Signs of heatstroke include uncontrollable panting, foaming at the mouth, rapid heart rate, vomiting, lethargy, the tongue initially bright red and a capillary refill longer than 2 seconds. Actions for Survival: include
restraining and muzzling, bathing or hosing down with cool water, treating for shock, monitoring the temperature and contacting or transporting to the nearest pet emergency hospital.

Frostnip is a first degree (superficial) cold injury that does not cause tissue damage. Frostbite is a third degree (deep) cold injury causing localized tissue damage. Areas most commonly affected are the ears, paws, scrotum and tail. Cold injuries are caused by extreme and/or prolonged exposure to low temperatures. Signs include swollen, red, painful, hard and/or pale skin. In later stages, the pet may lose skin and hair in the affected area. Prevention is best. Monitor pet and do the Snout-to-Tail
Assessment after each hike to make sure there aren’t any ice crystals or snow in the pads, paws and genitals. Actions for Survival: Frost nip parts should be warmed slowly with wet warm towels. Do not squeeze or rub affected area, as this will be extremely painful for the pet. Frostbite requires immediate attention by a Veterinarian or Emergency Animal Hospital to prevent further pain, ward off infection and to assess possible permanent tissue damage.

small_PFA contents5. Extremity Injuries
Limb injuries can include anything from an abrasion on the paw to a compound fracture to scratches and scrapes on the legs and paws. Most of these injuries are preventable with proper care and handling of your dog. The most common will be injuries form over exertion such as strains, sprains, muscle and tendon tears, swelling, etc. Signs may include limping, favoring one limb over another, obvious pain or limited range and use of movement of extremity. First aid objectives for cuts, lacerations or abrasions are simple wound care and bleeding protocols below. For sprains, strains, fractures or other skeletal injuries you would need to immobilize, reduce activity and make arrangements to transport to the nearest animal hospital or veterinarian.

11-11-14 20786. Wounds & Trauma
Including bites, cuts, lacerations, punctures, falls or blunt force trauma. First aid actions include muzzling, restraint, controlling bleeding and treating for shock. Depending on the severity of the injury, the pet may need veterinary care, including stitches and medication to treat possible infection. X-rays could be warranted if any sudden blunt trauma was involved. Bleeding injuries can be life threatening and require immediate attention. Actions for survival include: restraint and muzzle, elevation if it does not aggravate any injuries, direct pressure, constricting hand/band, bandaging and transporting to the nearest animal hospital or veterinarian. Contact the nearest veterinarian or emergency center for any pre-hospital care and transport immediately.

Hungry for more information and more hands-on skills? Take advantage of our special pricing for our April and May seminars! If you enroll in our April 18th PetSaver™ Seminar and enter PROMO code “APRIL” to get an unheard of $30 OFF! If you are unable to make our April seminar, you can enroll in our Sat May 23rd PetSaver™ Seminar and save $15 OFF if you enter PROMO code “MAY”

Thank you as always, for being a caring, conscientious, responsible and loving pet owner!

April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month

2015_PFAAM_FaceBookBnannerPet Tech, the founder and title sponsor, is proud to announce the 16th annual Pet First Aid Awareness Month, April 1-30, 2015. The goal of Pet First Aid Awareness Month is to increase the awareness of the importance and benefits of learning pet first aid and why every pet parent and Pet Care Professional should be trained and current in the necessary skills and techniques of Pet CPR, First Aid & Care.

Pet First Aid is the immediate care given to a pet that has been injured or suddenly taken ill. This includes
home care and when necessary, veterinary help. Knowing the skills and techniques of pet first aid can mean
the difference between life and death; temporary and permanent disability; and expensive veterinarian bills
and reasonable home care.

This year’s theme is “Inform, Educate, Take Action AND…Prevent 1 Million Pet ER Pet Visits.” An
estimated 92% of all pets will experience some type of severe emergency situation over the course of their
lifetime. The majority of those could be prevented if just one Pet First Aid technique was applied. Pet Parents
aren’t aware of the many dangers that exist for their four legged family members and they need to be trained
and educated.

155186_457554181269_2274046_nPet Tech has hundreds of trained Instructors across the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England and
Singapore ready and waiting to train pet parents. To visit Dallas Pet CPR & First Aid’s Seminar Schedule, click here so that you can register your seat and change your pet’s life forever or visit Pet Tech to find an instructor or a class near you!
Sales & Marketing at (760) 930-0309 or e-mail media@pettech.netsea

Your pet called… He’s got some NEW Resolutions for you!

Your pet called… He’s got some new Resolutions for ya!

Finally, make some resolutions that you can actually keep… requested by your pets!

1. Be Knowledgeable! Take a PetSaver: Pet CPR & First Aid Course – What would you do if something happened to your four-legged best friend? Most initial answers would be simply to take them to the vet, of course! While that is a great answer, what if there were things in your everyday life that you could change to PREVENT the emergencies from ever happening? What if during an emergency, you could increase the survivability of your pet because you knew what to do before you arrived at the vet? What if you were on a hike and you needed to know what to do NOW for your pet because your pet is unconscious in front of your? Our Pet Tech PetSaver™ Seminar is the premier pet first aid training in the world! It is the most complete and comprehensive training in DFW and is taught by a former Emergency Veterinary Technician and Professional Dog Trainer with her LIVE demo dog team. We cover CPR, Rescue Breathing, Choking, Senior Care, Heat/Cold Injuries, Poisoning, Seizures, Insect Bites & Stings, Snakebites, Dental Care, Bleeding & Shock Management, Snout-To-Tail™ Assessment, Pet Vital Signs, Pet First Aid Kit, and Restraint & Muzzling for safety! Enroll today for our next upcoming seminar!

2. Veterinary Check-Ups – Although, your pet may not WANT to go to the doctor, he DOES want to live as long as he can with you! It is important to understand that nothing in our seminars replaces veterinary care. Whether you see a regular veterinarian or an alternative veterinarian, it is vital for your pets to see a professional at least once a year, if not every 6 months to make sure that they are healthy and there are no signs of impending problems. You as their pet parent and advocate play a crucial role in their health, but a licensed veterinarian is an important piece of the puzzle to gain the most longevity and quality of life from your pets!

3. Exercise & Training – He wants to move and he wants structured communication! Our pets thrive on consistency and love to know exactly what to expect in their day and with you! One of my favorite quotes is “You have your work, your entertainment, your friends. You are all your dog has.” Exercise provides physical stimulation, but obedience training provides essential mental stimulation! Just like we as humans need mental challenges, dogs need them too! Especially when they bridge the gap of communication between the species and strengthen our bond and connection to our four-legged family! With physical exercise, we can all admit that it’s good for you so therefore we know it’s good for our pets! It is a great opportunity to make it a fun, bonding experience where you can practice your training and obedience commands. It is important to know your breed and your individual pet along with their needs, wants and stamina! Different breeds of dogs need different levels of exercise and it is important that you pay close attention to what your pet can and can’t do. Dogs and cats both need regular mental and physical exercise just like we do! Our dogs want to please us and don’t always know when it is too much or how to communicate that to us. Unless you have a “cool dog-cat,” your cat most likely will not tolerate a leash or a walk at your pace, so it is best if you trick your cats into exercise with interactive toys.

4. Nutritional Consult – He wants good QUALITY food… but he wants a good food that makes him feel good! He told me he does not care for food with “falling vegetables & meats” in the commercials and a dog happily running through a field is not exactly my gauge on internal health of my pets! The more color in the kibble, the more marketing involved! Dogs do not care about the COLOR of the food!! If you want to give them variety, vary the flavor of the food within the same brand of food! My dogs will have bison one week, salmon another, etc. There is a lot of controversy regarding our pet’s diets so I will say first and foremost, do your research and talk to your veterinarian, especially if your pet has any special needs. It is important to find a good, healthy, natural diet that fits within your budget and lifestyle. I personally and professionally do not recommend anything you can buy at your big chain grocery store (aside from Whole Foods, Sprouts or Natural Grocers, etc) or Wal-Mart. Some pet parents strongly believe in making their pet’s food or feeding a raw diet, but that doesn’t work with everyone’s lifestyle or budget. DogFoodAdvisor.com is a good resource for basic research and there are books out there such as Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats if you’re looking for more natural options. Be on the look out for our Knowing Your Pet’s Health Seminars coming up where we will go over the Top 10 Ingredients You DO NOT Want in Your Pet’s Food!

5. Heartworm/Flea Prevention – Are your pets current on heartworm & flea prevention all year round? Heartworms, Fleas, Ticks and Intestinal Parasites all can wreak havoc on your pet’s health so it is important that you make it a priority to PREVENT these problems each month. Heartworms are endemic here in Texas and are spread by mosquitoes. It is a fatal disease if gone untreated and treating heartworms can be expensive and hard on your pets. There are many different types, each with pros and cons, so it is best if you discuss what is right for your pets with your veterinarian.

6. Current & Updated Microchip & ID Tags – He may get distracted, but he does want to make sure he gets back to you! Make sure that your pets are always micro-chipped and tagged at all times. I have lost count of all of the incidents I have heard of dogs and cats running past their owners out the door or visitors coming over and accidentally letting the animals out. Bottom line, the only surefire protection is to permanently ID your pets with microchips and tags and make sure you update your information once a year or at the time of a move or a phone number change. Put simply, it saves lives. This is such a small and easy thing to do, it would be crushing if you didn’t do this simple task and faced regret when your pet does disappear.

The Bee’s side of “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids!” movie – Dog & Cat First Aid for Insect Bites or Stings

Who played the role of the bee in “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids!” movie, for those that remember it?

It really isn’t fair… we never heard the bee’s side of the story! Now calm down, I’m not a PETA bee enthusiast, but let’s face it, our pets sometimes need to mind their own besswax… :o) Pun Absolutely Intended! They are curious little creatures and love to stick their noses where they sometimes don’t belong!  No, I’m not referring to the “awkward” conveniently placed anatomy sniffs at large dog’s nose levels…  I’m referring to the outside… in nature! In crevices, bushes, colonies or holes… the homes of a insect nests (wasps, bees, hornets, spiders, or ant hill) that probably isn’t that thrilled about being “invaded” by a giant nose surrounded by fur! Ebonys Nose

We all know that all insects can bite or sting, and will, if they feel they are being threatened or invaded. A curious nose of our small pets is a BIG threat to a tiny bee or wasp… and we all know that they play “catch me if you can!” with our naive little children threatening to either cause a minor wound or wreak havoc on our pet’s entire livelihood depending on how sensitive our pets are to their venom! If you don’t physically see the sting or bite happen, it might not be immediately clear as to why your pet may be suffering!

How Serious is an Insect Bite or Sting with my Dog or Cat?

Just like with humans, regardless of your pet’s size, anaphylactic shock, or a severe allergic reaction, can be fatal to your pet if you aren’t prepared to act quickly! Sometimes even acting quickly isn’t enough so it always best to try and prevent insect bites or stings from happening in the first place.

1.) Maintain proper pest control in all areas around your property including personally inspecting all perimeters and trees/bushes for nests and colonies several times each week, maybe more or less depending on the season. Be very cautious when using pest control companies to make sure they use products that are safe around your pets.

**Bees are essential to our environment and it’s important to educate yourself about the benefits bees have in our world. If you do have any colonies or hives forming, we always like to promote having a service come and remove bee colonies safely so that our bees are protected in THE environment and our animals are protected in OUR environment! We want them to live out their little beneficial bee lives… just somewhere safely away from us and our pets! Research humane bee removal services in your area!

Credit to “Poor Chihuahua Owner In Internet Land” for this fantastic picture!!! We hope he got to feeling better quick!

2.) When hiking or walking with your dog, don’t use a retractable leash! There a hundred reasons why I don’t recommend using a retractable leash, (look for another blog on that soon!,) but this (along with snakebites) is one of them! You cannot control your dog 16 feet away from you nor can you tell what they are putting their nose in! If they have proper leash manners within 6 feet of you, you can easily see and divert their attention away from any dangers, while they still enjoy a great walk WITH you!

3.) Keeping your pets indoors significantly (and statistically!) reduces their chances of coming in contact with wildlife dangers like insects! There are MANY other benefits to keeping your pets indoors which will be highlighted in an upcoming blog, so be sure to follow us on the bottom right hand corner of this page!

Oooooooo… Ouch! That Stings! – Signs That Your Dog or Cat Might Be Bitten or Stung

This is hard with pets because a lot of times fur can hide or mask an injury so be sure you check thoroughly!

Pain
Redness
Localized Swelling
Pet may incessantly paw, lick, scratch or bite at the site

Luckily, bites and stings are USUALLY not life threatening, but like humans that find out they are allergic to peanuts or shellfish the hard way, you don’t always know how sensitive they are, until it happens! Always keep over the counter antihistamines on hand on at home in your pet first aid kit and with you at all times when out with your dog on walks or hikes! Contact your veterinarian for specific safe antihistamines and correct dosing guidelines for your pets! Beware that a lot of children’s medications contain Xylitol (a sweetener commonly found also in sugar-free gum) which is very dangerous to pets!

PET TECH TIP!

If a stinger is still visible in an animal’s skin, do not grab the stinger and pull it out! Use the edge of a credit card (or something like that) to unwedge the stinger and guide it out. If you grab or accidentally squeeze the stinger, any venom left in the stinger will be incidentally injected into your pet. Want to find out more? We have more information on Spider Bites, Snakebites, and some great tips on safe antihistamines and a trick to dosing your pet quickly in our PetSaver: Pet CPR, First Aid & Care For Your Pets Seminar!

It doesn’t stop there! We also cover Canine & Feline CPR, Rescue Breathing, Restraint & Muzzling for Safety, Poisoning, Choking, Heat & Cold Injuries, Burns, Dental Care, Caring for your Senior Pet-izen™, Bleeding & Shock Management, Snout-To-Tail™ Assessment, Seizures, Assessing Your Pet’s Vitals, and Pet First Aid Kit Tips!

Find our most up to date schedule and details on our website at www.DallasPetFirstAid.com or visit www.PetTech.net to find an instructor near you!