First Aid for Pets

First aid can be performed by anyone.  It can be lifesaving and is aimed to reduce pain and suffering in your pet before contacting your vet.

One of the most common things you will have to deal with is bleeding.  Here are some simple pointers to help you deal with this kind of injury.

1/ USE PRESSURE TO STOP BLEEDING

Use a pad of wet cotton wool, a clean piece of fabric, or finger pressure to stop bleeding.  Once pressure is applied, you can then wrap a bandage over the fabric/cotton wool to hold it in place until you get to the vets.

2/ CLEAN WOUNDS WITH TAP WATER OR SALINE

We have a saying at the vets – “dilution is the solution to pollution”.  Either use boiled and cooled water, or saline from an eye bath or first aid kit.  If you are out and about – any water will do.  This is to help prevent the wound getting infected; if we can stop further contamination at this stage it will help aid recovery later on.

3/ COVER THE WOUND WITH A LIGHT DRESSING

This will not only provide some relief, but also help prevent further contamination.  This is especially important for nail injuries as it stops the pet licking the injury which can introduce infection.

4/ MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO SEE YOUR VET

It is important to see your vet after an injury.  The vet will assess whether your pet needs sutures, pain killers, or antibiotics.  Please do not give your pet human medications unless they have been previously prescribed them.  Some human medications such as ibuprofen and paracetamol are lethal to our pets if given to them inappropriately.

5/ PLEASE DO NOT FEED YOU DOG OR CAT AFTER AN INJURY

We may need to sedate your pet to treat the injury, so please don’t give them any food, including treats, before seeing the vet.

If you would like to learn more about how to perform first aid on your pet you may be interested in coming along to our first aid course:

Tuesday 5th June, 11 am - 2 pm at Larkmead Vets, Ilges Lane, Cholsey, Oxon, OX10 9PA
Cost: £30 per person (includes lunch and a First Aid Kit)