If you see a pet emergency, remember the most important thing is to stay calm! Assess the situation and the risks involved to you, other people, and other animals. Be aware that hurt animals often react instinctually and pain or fear may cause even a extremely nice animal to bite. Make sure to approach the pet from the side in order to not trigger any aggressive behaviour. Speak in a soft, calm voice in order to help soothe any stress or anxiety. Use a thick blanket or towel to hold your pet instead of your hand to avoid injury to yourself. Also, never muzzle an animal that is having a breathing problem.
Here are some signs to look out for and the appropriate immediate action
Bleeding: If the blood is pooling or spurting, you can assume it is serious and they need to see the vet right away. Estimate how much blood was lost and wrap the area. Do not try to clean the site, because the clot will dislodge and the bleeding will start again. For minor bleeding, apply pressure to the wound with a clean towel or gauze for 15 minutes and bleeding should subside.
Wounds: For a minor wound, apply a water soluble lubricant jelly and cut fur around the wound. Flush with saline solution or water until all the debris is removed. When the wound is clean apply some antibacterial soap and wash off with water. Even minor wounds should be checked by the veterinarian in case antibiotics need to be prescribed. Puncture wounds around the joints, abdomen, neck, or chest require immediate attention and cannot be treated just at home.
Poison: First consult with the vet or poison control (1-855-764-766) before you induce vomiting. For dogs (only) feed about 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide and wait for 10 minutes. If no vomiting has occurred after 10 minutes, you can repeat this procedure up to 2 more times. If acids alkalis, or gasoline has been ingested do NOT induce vomiting and contact an emergency clinic right away!
Insect Stings or Bites: If the pet is breathing normally, apply ice in a towel to the swollen area. Call the vet hospital for the correct dosage of Benadryl® to give your pet. Wait an hour and if the swelling is the same or worse, contact the veterinarian right away.
Hypothermia/Heat Stroke: Look for panting, vomiting, weakness and elevated body temperature. Immerse your pet in cool water (not too cold) until their body temperature returns to about 40 degrees. Follow up with the veterinarian to avoid complications or shock.
Choking: Taking care not to get bitten, open your animal’s mouth to see if any foreign object is present. You can use a roll of tape to keep the mouth open while you check it’s throat. If the pet’s airway is not blocked do not attempt to dislodge the item – take to the vet right away! If the airway is blocked use a flat spoon to try and get the object loose. Perform the equivalent of the Heimlich Maneuver by placing your arms around the pet’s belly and push just behind the ribcage with a forward, upward motion. If the airway blockage is caused by fluid, then tilt your pets head lower then it’s chest for 5-10 seconds and wipe extra drained fluid off with a towel.
Of course the best way to avoid an emergency situation is to prevent it from happening in the first place! Roaming animals are at risk for more major injuries. Keep anything poisonous or any choking hazards out of reach of your pets. Have the number of your veterinarian (604-929-1863), the closest emergency clinic, and the poison control center on hand in case you need them. Prevention and accident proofing are the best measures you can take to keep your pet out of trouble!
This information primarily came from swvetclinic.com and petmd.com