Remember that a frightened or pained animal could bite or scratch. Be prepared with a cloth or belt to muzzle a dog (be sure that he can breathe easily) or with a large, thick blanket or towel to restrain a small animal. Have a family member or neighbor assist in the transport.
Stay calm since pets can sense and react to our stress.
Bleeding: For bleeding wounds, apply direct pressure with a thick cloth. If blood soaks through, apply additional cloths (do not remove the original dressing). If the pet is bleeding from the rectum, mouth or other orifice, no home aid is recommended. In all cases, transport to hospital immediately.
Choking: Be very careful when attempting to clear airway. Pets will often bite when panicked. The Heimlich Maneuver may work if an item is lodged in windpipe. (Note: coughing and gagging are often confused with choking–a pet which is truly choking will move little or no air at all, and the gum color will be gray or bluish. A pet who experiences periodic episodes of “choking” may be gagging.) Transport to hospital immediately.
Difficulty in Labor (Dystocia): Pregnant pets in labor for more than 2 hours, or actively straining to produce a puppy or kitten for more that 20 minutes with no results, may be experiencing dystocia. Call your veterinarian and prepare to transport. Bring the mother and all puppies/kittens with you to the veterinarian. If possible, keep the family together in a box. If the mother is too large or restless to transport with her young, use a heat source (such as hot water-filled milk jugs) to keep the puppies or kittens warm. Transport to hospital immediately.
Seizure: Make sure that the pet cannot hurt himself. DO NOT attempt to place anything in his mouth. Bundle the pet in a blanket, and get help to transport the pet in case further seizures occur. Transport to hospital immediately.
Nonproductive Vomiting or Retching: This is the most common sign of a life-threatening condition called “gastric dilitation and volvulus,” or “torsion,” especially in large breed dogs. There is no home aid. Transport to hospital immediately.
Toxin Ingestion: Call us at (865) 219-2439 immediately after you realize your pet has ingested something it shouldn’t have. DO NOT induce vomiting unless instructed to do so. Some toxins are fatal over time, so immediate treatment is crucial even if your pet does not appear sick. Bring the label of the ingested substance with you if possible. Household items like plants, antifreeze, rat bait, chocolate, raisins and more can be potentially fatal if not treated immediately.