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Pet Sitters Jacksonville Florida  Dr. Alicia Esser Vet's Corner

Dr. "Cool Beans"
Alicia Esser

Kamp Kritter Vet

First Aid for the Pet Owner

Pet Sitting services on Northeast Florida serving Jacksonville, Ortega, Avondale, Murrey Hill and West side JacksonvilleRegardless of the species kept as a pet, all owners should have some basics on hand for minor emergencies and maladies. Here is a list of such handy items, along with some tips on how to use them. You will find that first aid for animals is essentially the same as that for people, and the biggest key is to stay calm and exercise your common sense. When in doubt, call the doctor. That�s what we are here for.

  1. Most importantly, have the following information on hand near the telephone: your regular veterinarian�s phone number, the poison control hotline, the phone number, hours, and location of the nearest emergency clinic.
  2. Basic bandage material such as gauze, gauze pads, bandage tape, and maxi pads (I know it sounds strange but they are perfect to tape over a medium to large wound to keep it clean and absorb blood on the way to the hospital).
  3. Hydrogen peroxide for wound and ear cleaning. This is also given orally when the animal has eaten something it shouldn�t in the last 2 hours. It will make the animal vomit the stuff back up, so it can only be used if the item eaten is not a caustic chemical, and is still in the stomach. The best scenario is to call your regular veterinarian immediately when you find your pet has eaten anything inappropriate. Then he or she can tell you if the peroxide is applicable to your situation and how much to give depending on the species and size of the pet.
  4. Triple antibiotic ointment to be used on minor cuts and scrapes that do not require medical attention.
  5. Pliers, both needle nose and regular. These are good for thorns, stickers, splinters, tick removal, cactus needles and porcupine quills. Do not attempt to remove fishhooks at home, as the barbs may not readily come out and more harm may be caused.
  6. Styptic sticks or powder. The brand name at pet stores is Kwik-Stop. One of the most common minor injuries in dogs is a torn claw that is bleeding and painful. The claw needs to be quickly cut with nail clippers at the tear, and the end packed with the styptic.
  7. Thermometer. This should be a rectal thermometer that is, of course, reserved for pet use only. Ear thermometers for humans are inaccurate in pets. Take your pet�s temperature whenever you are worried they are ill. Often, the stress of a visit to the animal hospital will cause a pet�s temperature to rise and it is hard to tell if they really have a fever. This additional information will help your veterinarian to pinpoint the diagnosis and severity of illness.
  8. Benedryl. Pediatric liquid for small pets, and regular tablets for medium and large dogs. If your pet is having an allergic reaction to a bite or sting, your veterinarian may have you dose the animal at home instead of coming to the hospital. Antihistamines are much more effective if given right away, and may be a significant help in easing respiratory distress if given before traveling to the hospital.
  9. Pet Sitter service in northeast Florida serving Jacksonville, Avondale, Oretega and westside Immodium or Pepto Bismol. Use this as you would for yourself — to ease the discomfort of intestinal cramps and diarrhea caused by eating something inappropriate. You should not use it in all cases of vomiting and diarrhea, as you are only masking the symptoms and not addressing the primary problem. It is also important to let the doctor know if you have given your pet these products, as they change some characteristics of the stool that may influence the diagnosis of the animal�s illness.
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