First Aid For Dogs Interview with Bill Coughlin

Bill Coughlin runs the website www.dog-first-aid-101.com.

I had the opportunity to talk with Bill about first aid for dogs and what we need think about before disaster strikes. So, take a moment. Read Bill's well thought out tips and prepare an emergency kit for your pet.

Q.What do you think is the most impt. thing for a pet owner to do in a pet emergency?

A.As with humans you need to stay calm and be prepared. Planning and preparing for your dog’s emergency are like writing your will — they’re not something many of us want to do, or even consider. But just like a will, you do need to take them on, for your dog’s sake. You’ll feel better knowing that you can keep your dog alive and reduce her suffering during any emergency situation.

Q.If your dog gets in a scuffle at the dog park or on the street and has been bitten or badly scratched by another dog, what should you do until you can get your dog to the vet?

A.Of course don’t panic stay calm. If you don’t have your first aid kit with you-- wrap the dog in a towel and get to your vet. Your vet will need to know about the other dog so try and get a name and phone number of the other owner because your vet will want to know it the other dog has had his shots.

Q. How do you know if you should induce vomiting in your dog? You just saw your dog swallow something that could make her sick. Do you induce vomiting right away?

A. No. The first action you should take is to call your vet or emergency vet clinic for advice.Why? Vomiting will not help in some situations. In others, vomiting could harm her even more.

Q. How should you handle your dog if she falls and breaks a bone?

A. If it’s a simple fracture of a limb, immobilize the limb by wrapping a section of newspaper or a magazine around the limb and taping it together. This makeshift splint is all you’ll need to reduce the damage the break may cause if left unsupported. A broken bone requires the help of a professional. The only necessary dog first aid for fractures is immobilization of the break before transporting your dog to the vet or clinic as quickly as possible. Don’t waste time getting it perfect. As long as the limb is immobilized, your treatment is done.

Q. What is the most essential thing for a person to have on hand in his or her medicine cabinet in case of a pet emergency?

A. Well you need to make or buy a First Aid Kit. Some of the necessary tools for your dog first aid supplies include the following.
·

  • Needle and thread, or a skin stapler
  • ·
  • Razor blade (paper wrapped for protection)
  • ·
  • Small blunt end scissors
  • ·
  • Tweezers
  • ·
  • Hemostat forceps
  • ·
  • Rectal thermometer made specifically for dogs
  • ·
  • Tongue depressors or ice cream sticks (can also be used as splints)
  • ·
  • Oral syringe (3 cc) for administering liquid oral medicines, or for getting an ear drying solution into your dog’s ears
  • ·
  • Eye dropper (instead of the syringe)
  • ·
  • Oral syringe (10 cc) for cleaning and flushing wounds
  • ·
  • Safety pins in several sizes
  • ·
  • Small empty containers for pain pills and medications
  • ·
  • Rubber gloves
  • ·
  • Instant ice compress
  • ·
  • Tourniquet
  • ·
  • Splints
  • ·
  • Washcloth
  • ·
  • Nail trimmers
  • I have had dogs all of my life from Pugs to Irish Setters and like people they all have different personalities and needs so remember: “A dog is the only thing on this earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”

    Great! Thanks Bill! You can find more information about dog first aid by visiting Bill Coughlin’s website. Dog First Aid 101