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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Potato… the cat…

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

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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??

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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