What to do in Case of an Emergency
When emergencies happen, you can do a lot before professional help is available. First take a deep breath, think and observe, then remember:
- A – AIRWAY – Is your pet breathing? If not you can start mouth to nose resuscitation.
- B – BREATHING – If you think something is in the throat or mouth – DO NOT REACH FOR IT – you could get bitten – use an animal adopted Heimlich maneuver.
- C – CARDIAC – Is the heart beating? Place your ear or hand on the chest, if there is no heartbeat use chest compressions similar to C.P.R. only using the side of the chest.
If there is bleeding, apply direct pressure or a compression bandage over the injured/bleeding site. If this does not stop the bleeding, a tourniquet can be applied but extreme care must be taken to apply it above the site of bleeding, and it must not be left on for more than 10 minutes. If there is a damaged limb, particularly if a fracture is suspected, try to apply a modified splint using a rolled newspaper or magazine.
Transporting an injured animal can be done safely by laying it on a flat surface, such as a large piece of cloth or wood, with its head elevated throughout the transport. Relieving excess stimuli that can aggravate the stress of the trauma can be done by covering the animal’s head with a light cloth, but make sure the cloth does not hamper the animal’s ability to breath.
Always have pet emergency numbers posted near the telephone and use them for advice to help your pet. Most large cities have animal hospitals with emergency centres specifically prepared to provide critical care. In our area, we have three:
Mississauga Oakville Veterinary Emergency Hospital
2285 Bristol Circle
Oakville, Ontario, L0H 6P8
Veterinary Emergency Hospital of West Toronto
150 Norseman Street
Toronto, Ontario, M8Z 2R4
Toronto Veterinary Emergency Clinic
920 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3C7