Pet First Aid /CPR

Today, I am in Carlsbad Ca completing (yet another) course.  I am being certified as a Pet First Aid /CPR Instructor.  Typically our pet sitter / dog walker day goes something like this – we roll up into your driveway, meet your happy pup and go off on our adventure and get some good exercise in your neighborhood or nearby park.  Then fresh water, a treat, maybe some rascally love and good bye until next time.  We could be seeing a kitty for string or feather play, lap time, buffet refreshing and cuddles.  Then of course, there are the iguanas, turtles, guinea pigs, rats, chickens, bunnies etc who receive their own special kind of care.  Usually things are pretty straight forward.  HOWEVER, occasionally things don’t go so smoothly.  Sadly, we have walked in on pets in distress, major distress that has required calm quick thinking and appropriate care.  Having taken the pet first aid course has been very helpful.  (I’ll include one story at the end of this note, though I have several.)

Do you know how to assist your pet if they are choking, bleeding, in shock (and for that matter, what causes shock)? Do you know what to do if you suspect a fracture or injured limb? What about signs of poisoning, snake or insect bites? Do you know how to properly muzzle (if necessary) and transport an ill or injured pet? In an emergency – there may not be time to jump onto the Google-machine and figure out what to do. Do you know the where the nearest emergency facility is and is their number on your speed dial? Can you take your pets temperature?

I’ve sat with transitioning pets while waiting for their Pet Parents to come home.  I’ve taken critically ill pets to the vet for Pet Parents while they were away and stayed with the pet while they made their transition.  Being able to provide  comfort and appropriate care in these situations has been invaluable.  Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to learn more about Pet First Aid/CPR/Pet Safety.

One day I arrived at the home of  a sweet senior dog.  A real beauty – red fluffy fur, sweet sweet eyes.  Although she was aging, she still had some spunk.  Yes her walks became shorter and shorter so we’d spend more time brushing and catching up on Dancing With the Stars .  Usually she was on her bed on a shady part of the patio.  Honestly, I heard what I thought was a yipping that sounded like ‘help’ ‘help’.  I rushed to the patio and saw her lying in the sun.  She had fallen and couldn’t get up.  It was a hot day and she was quite fluffy.  I cooled her down and offered water.  I had cared for her for many many years and knew that today was different.  I had been in constant communication (daily) with her Pet Parent and although quite difficult, I had to ‘make the call’.  ‘Mom’ was at work and rushed home.  I stayed with her and brushed her and comforted her and we reminisced.  She waited for her parent to return.

That evening I was on my way to an overnight.  Two brother Golden Retrievers who look very much like the sweet girl I had just left.  One of the brothers has a history of seizures but with great health care and medication the chances of him seizuring were slim to none.  There is an emergency kit handy – just in case.  I was familiar with the medication, procedure and instruments.  I never thought I’d have to use them.  We were out running and roaming in the yard when brother 1 looked a little strange.  He slumped down and yep, started to have a full on seizure.  Brother 2 (litter mate) was right there and although I’m sure he was trying to help, I had to get him back into the house.  I took B2 into the house (being a large property, we had to hustle!) and with the dog gates – I was jumping hurdles, grabbing the emergency kit while in midair  (practically), getting the vet on the phone, and putting medication into the syringe all while zooming out the front door.   Thankfully too, I grabbed the car keys – just in case.  Needless to say,  this was quite alarming.  I had just had a similar looking pup dying in my arms hours earlier.  I was determined to save B1.  Although my heart was racing, I remained calm, stroking the dog, had the vet on speaker – just in case.  The injection required is an anal injection so there is a hose, the syringe, the syringe needle and cap and vial of medication.  In other words, lots of stuff to sort through,  the dog is seizuring – I think you get the picture.  I am happy to report that B1 came through with no problems.  Of course that episode flashes through my mind every time I drive through their gates.  And you bet, every time I or one of the sitters is caring for these guys, the procedure is reviewed thoroughly.  Having a bit of training under our belts was invaluable.

Posted under Updates by admin on Wednesday 15 May 2013 at 1:38 pm