What should you do if you and your pet are faced with a veterinary emergency?
- Prepare ahead of time
If you can prepare prior to an emergency, you'll be way ahead if an emergency arises. Have a list of local emergency clinics phone numbers near your phone or on your mobile phone (contact list). A list of emergency hospitals will be given at the end of the article along with their phone numbers and links to their locations.
- Quickly assess your pet?
Were they outside or inside? Was there trauma involved (hit by a car), choking or poisoning? Were they just chewing on something indoors, and you found them unresponsive on the floor?
Please note: Galt’s local veterinary hospitals, such as Country Oaks Veterinary Hospital, have capabilities for some emergencies, but if the doctor is busy with several other patients, or in surgery, or perhaps away from the office, the emergency is better off going to a facility to handle the emergency. So it is best to call first.
Try and keep calm. Remember your ABCs.
Is your pet breathing (A for airway)?
If your pet isn't breathing, could they have something stuck in their throat? Check and “sweep” with your fingers the back of the throat. Always be careful to not get bitten. If you do find something, and you can’t pull it out through the mouth, try pushing from behind the jaw and try to dislodge it from the airway.
Is she/he bleeding (B for bleeding)?
Wrap the injury with a thick bandage (if you have one) or a towel and tape, just to get them to the hospital. If you can't wrap it and have some help, have someone hold a bandage or towel to the injury.
The final letter C, as you know stands for circulatory
and refers to whether or not the heart is beating. But, discussing and performing CPR is a bit beyond the scope of this article, but you can breath (gently so as not to injure the lungs) into your pets nose while holding the muzzle closed. If you would like further information regarding CPR, see the Handbook link below.
If you pet is conscious realize THEY MAY BITE IF SCARED OR IN PAIN, SO USE CAUTION!
You can use something (such as shoe lace, bandage material) to muzzle your pet if necessary. This may sound horrible, but you can't transport your pet to the emergency facility if you are severely injured.
Small pets can be wrapped in a large towel or blanket with hands secreted under folds of the material. Larger pets, can be placed on a board or large blanket and moved to your vehicle. Only move your pet when needed, and as carefully as possible to prevent further injuring them.
TRANSPORT YOUR PET TO THE EMERGENCY FACILITY
Call ahead to make sure the clinic is ready for you.
Below is a list of emergency veterinary clinics in the area with their hours and locations. I hope you never have to bring your pet in for an emergency, but preparing for the worst is often the best prevention.
PET FIRST AID
All Creatures Veterinary Emergency
(Evening and weekend hours)
Phone: (209) 472-7387
Address: 7707 West Lane Suite A Stockton, CA 95210
Hours: Monday thru Friday 6:00 pm - 8:00 am
Saturday 12:00 pm thru Sunday (until 8:00 am Monday)