Medical emergencies are always stressful, no matter who is involved. Whether it is yourself or a loved one, your immediate reaction will be to get help as quickly as possible and make sure that you all remain as calm as you can as to not exacerbate issues. Whilst you may be able to communicate this to another person, what happens when it is your pet that needs help?
For many pet owners, their pets are a part of the family and if the worst occurs, it can be as painful as losing someone close to them. This is why if you suspect that your pet is in need of medical attention as soon as possible, you are likely going to be extremely stressed, frantic and upset. However, pets are sentient animals and can pick up on these emotions, so if they get stressed too this can worsen their condition. Therefore, it is imperative that you try to keep your pet as calm and comfortable as possible until you receive medical help.
With this in mind, we have collated together some tips to keeping both you and your pet calm during an emergency.
Contact emergency vets in your area
First and foremost, if your pet has any of the following signs then it needs to see an emergency out of hours vet:
Open wounds or broken bones
Stopped breathing or unconscious
Repeated vomiting or vomiting blood
Seizure symptoms or having a seizure
Sudden collapse or difficulty breathing
Bleeding from mouth, nose or eyes
Poisoning symptoms from eating something toxic
Extreme pain like whining and shaking
Hard and swollen abdomen
Usually, your veterinary practise will have an emergency vet or out of hours number you can call, however, if you are not based at home or in your local area, then you can take your pet to any open practise if it is an emergency. Simply googling emergency vets in your area and ringing the receptionist, then explaining your pets symptoms will mean that they will prepare to take in your pet when you arrive. Though this may incur extra costs to begin with, you may be able to claim it back on insurance.
Having the problem handled quickly can give you peace of mind that someone will see your pet soon and be able to treat them.
Whilst you are waiting for medical attention, it is important that you keep yourself and your pet hydrated and well fed. Though in the moment you may not be thinking of anything else other than having your pet seen to – it is important that you make sure that your pet drinks some water. For instance, if they are vomiting, have open wounds, or are suffering from a parasitic or bacterial illness it is likely that they are losing fluid which keeping them hydrated can avoid.
Try and encourage your pet to drink some water by placing a bowl of water next to them in the car or by feeding them water yourself. Remember you should drink water too, a lack of hydration can exacerbate stress, by giving you headaches and making you feel sick. What’s more, water can help clear your mind and help you to think quickly.
Like hydration, it is always important to make sure yourself and your pets are fed too. If they are rejecting their food, try feeding them plain rice in small quantities as this won’t irritate their stomach. For yourself, keep on-the-go snacks handy like a packet of nuts, fruit and cereal bars.
It is likely that your pet will be feeling stressed if they are unwell or if they have been in a serious accident, and it is important to keep them calm during an emergency as stress can make issues worse. Keep them calm and still, by laying them down on or wrapping them in their favourite blanket and surrounding them with their favourite toys for comfort. Make sure to stroke your pet if it is whining as them being near to you can help drop their cortisol levels and stop them from panicking. If they have been in a serious accident and they have broken bones or open wounds, avoid touching these or cuddling them as they will be in plenty of pain and can make the issues worse.
Keeping your pet calm can be a challenge, especially as they cannot understand why they are in pain or ill. Speak to them in a soothing voice as though they may not be able to understand what you are saying, your euphonious tones will let them know that everything is going to be okay and that they are reassured. If you are driving, playing soothing music could also help keep them calm. Infact, there are many playlists that are designed specifically for pets.
Depending on the severity of your pet’s illness, light exercise may benefit your pet and help keep them calm. Try taking them on a short walk around the block as this can help them keep mobile and also gives them a chance to release their bladder if they need too. What’s more, getting outside and doing some light exercise can help take your mind off of the situation and keep you calm.
When we are stressed, we are more likely to forget and lose things. Whether it is your car keys or driving license, these small but crucial items can make us more stressed and, in turn, make it harder for us to find them! You may find that before you take your pet to the vet you need to have important documents to hand like vet insurance, copy of medicines and past prescriptions, and crucial vet letters, especially if you are going to an emergency vet that isn’t your local practise.
With this in mind, make sure to keep a copy of important documents like these in your car or in a filing system. This way, you can easily access and take them to the vet.
For future emergencies and check ups, or for when you need to ring the vet urgently, you can save time by keeping your local vets number stored in your phone. This means that you can quickly call them, without having to worry about if your phone has data to google their practise and then find their number. Not only can this save time, but this can reduce your stress levels too.
Whether you are searching for ‘animal endoscopy near me’, or you think your beloved animal would benefit from a pet MRI, here at Abbey Vet Centre, we can help. We pride ourselves on being a trustworthy, personable and efficient veterinary clinic that can keep your pet comfortable whilst they are being treated. From kittens to puppies, rabbits and guinea pigs, our team are trained in a range of small animal illnesses, helping them get back to their mischievous playful selves in no time!
We have a range of excellent facilities and new technologies on site, including x rays, MRI scanner, ultrasound, bronchoscopy, endoscopy, electrocardiography and laboratory equipment. With this, we can quickly find a diagnosis and treatment of your pet’s malady, give you peace of mind.
What’s more, we offer our own pet healthcare plans, a cost effective way you can afford treatment when your pet becomes ill in the future. To find out more about our wonderful veterinary clinic, simply contact us today.