In Case of Emergency: What to Expect When You Call Us
The information we collect from your pet is vital from the moment you call us at Downey Animal Hospital. These are some of the questions you can expect our staff to ask:
- Is your pet breathing?
- Is he/she conscious?
- Is your pet actively bleeding? If so, from where on their body
- Are they able to move?
- Are there any open wounds or visible broken bones?
- When did the incident happen?
- Is your pet vomiting or do they have diarrhea
- Is there swelling? If so, where is the swelling and how fast is it swelling
If your pet is injured, they should be approached with caution. Dogs may bite in response of pain and fear. Cats should be covered with a blanket before handling them.
Large dogs can be transported on a flat firm surface such as plywood or board, or on a towel as a hammock. Cats, rabbits, small rodents, reptiles and birds should be contained in a sturdy box or carrier. If there is a possibility of a spinal cord injury, pets should be handled very minimally to avoid excess movement and transported on a flat surface, laying on their side.
NOTE: Every emergency case is different and may need further special instructions. Please call us before performing these recommendations so we may accommodate your pet’s particular situation. A physical examination and consultation by the veterinarian will help your pet get the treatment they need as soon as possible. The following are only few of the emergency scenarios that your pet may be involved in.
If your pet is having difficulty breathing:
- Keep him/her as calm as possible
- Use minimal restraint. Do NOT use neck leads
- They should avoid walking and be carried in transport
If your pet is bleeding:
- Apply pressure to the area with a clean cloth
- If the bleeding is coming from the limb, apply pressure and elevate the leg
If your pet has ingested a toxic substance:
- Bring the product or label that lists the ingredients in, if possible
- Do not induce vomiting unless it is advised safe to do so
- Consider the following questions:
- When/what time did your pet ingest the toxin?
- Has your pet vomited on his/her own?
- If external contact has been involved:
- Your pet should be bathed with water and mild soap
- Your pet should not be allowed to groom – cover the body with a towel or place an e-collar, if available
If your pet is seizing:
- Stay calm and reassure him/her
- The seizure should stop in 2-5 minutes
- Move your pet away from objects that may cause physical injury
- NEVER place anything in the mouth or put your hand near the mouth; your pet will bite
- Your pet may have an altered mentation on recovering from the seizure
- Place a small amount of corn syrup to the gums for possible hypoglycemia following the seizure
- If your pet is diabetic and is experiencing a diabetic insulin crisis, offer a meal if he or she is alert
- Bring your pet in to see a veterinarian as soon as possible if the seizure has been longer than 5 minutes. Place small pets in a box or carrier lined with soft blankets. Transport large pets on a blanket.
If your pet has a burn:
- Apply cool water and compress the affected area
If your pet has heatstroke:
- Cool them with wet cool towels, cold packs and wet the feet
- Offer water or crushed ice if your pet is alert
- Maintain your pet in a cool environment, such as a car with air conditioning