Do you know what to do when your dog is having a pet medical emergency?
A pet medical emergency is a scary situation that will catch you off guard, making you feel utterly helpless, especially if you don’t know what to do.
As a dog parent, I know that every second counts when my dog’s life may be at risk.
After learning what to do and the right actions to take, you will know precisely how to handle things when met with a dog emergency.
This blog is all about the five critical steps during a pet medical emergency every dog parent should know to take.
Critical Steps During a Pet Medical Emergency
1. DON’T Lose Your Sh!t During a Pet Medical Emergency.
If you’re freaking out and losing it, you will make your dog freak out and panic, which will only make matters that much worse. With everything going on, the adrenaline rush will get the best of you without a doubt, but you must try to do everything in your power to remain calm for your dog’s sake.
Dogs pick up on the vibes our emotions are giving off, so if you’re losing you’re cool and in a state of panic, your dog will start picking up what you’re putting down and react accordingly. The extra stress your dog is feeling could hurt their current state and set off additional medical issues, like going into shock, cardiac problems, or several other dog emergencies symptoms.
When you find yourself dealing with a pet medical emergency, take a huge breath and try to keep it together as best as possible because your dog needs you to.
2. Stop and Secure the Area During a Pet Medical Emergency.
Before you take one step toward your dog, take a beat and see if the area around your dog is safe to approach or if any physical threats need to be removed before safely administering any help. Carefully move anything out of the way that can cause further injury to your dog or cause you harm, like chewed/exposed electrical wires, aggressive animals, broken glass, etc.
Your first instinct might be to just rush over to help render emergency pet medical assistance, which is normal and logical, but you also need to consider your safety. You will not be good to your dog if you get hurt. You will waste valuable time because you need to get help for yourself, which can further put your dog’s life in danger.
Act fast but be mindful of your surroundings to get your dog help safely.
3. Evaluate Your Dog’s Condition During a Pet Medical Emergency.
It’s go time! Now you need to jump into action to help during a pet medical emergency, but not so fast; you need to assess your dog’s condition and dog emergencies symptoms before you start moving and grooving.
- Is your dog alert? Conscious/Responsive
- Check ABCs (Airway, Breathing, Circulation) and Vitals (Pulse, Heart Rate)
- IMPORTANT NOTE: If your dog is unresponsive, has no pulse, and not breathing, start CPR RIGHT NOW!!!
- Control and compress any wounds that are bleeding. Wrap or bandage up the wounds if you are able to, taking caution not to hurt or cause additional discomfort to your dog.
- Carefully and gently splint any broken bones, or bones you may suspect might be broken, as best as you can before attempting to move your dog. Once again, take extra caution when moving your dog to avoid additional pain or making any injuries worse.
4. Call the Nearest Pet Emergency Center.
Try to call the nearest pet emergency hospital as soon as possible without compromising your dog’s safety or any pet first aid you may have rendered. If you are lucky enough to have someone with you, have them call the vet so you can tend to your dog. Have the nearest pet emergency clinic contact information already programmed into your phone to avoid wasting any time trying to Google “Emergency Vet Near Me”.
Give the staff as much information as possible to instruct you or the caller on what to do next. Details are essential for the vet staff, like what happened, symptoms, vitals, injuries, etc. These details help them better help you when they can’t be right there next to you.
You’re going to be overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions, magnified by like 1000 if it’s a life-threatening dog emergency, but try to stay calm so you can think, pay close attention, and follow instructions given to you.
5. Get Your Dog to the Nearest Pet Emergency Hospital.
No matter what, drive your dog to the nearest pet emergency hospital for a complete evaluation or further medical treatment. Depending on the emergency, your dog may need more medical treatment than pet first aid can provide, like stitches, cast for broken bones, surgery, etc.
A veterinary exam could also catch any injuries or pet medical issues not easily seen or noticed.
Even if your dog seems okay, let a veterinarian make that judgment call to avoid a more severe or dangerous dog emergency developing later.
A pet medical emergency can happen at any given moment, day or night, no matter where you are.
Now you know the five critical steps to take during a pet medical emergency and the correct actions to take beforehand to increase your dog’s chance of survival while making you a more responsible dog parent too.