Basic Pet First Aid: What You Need To Know

Have you ever been worried that your pet may be suffering, but feel as though you lack the proper knowledge to help ease their pain? While it’s always best to seek advice or treatment from a professional veterinarian, there are some basic first aid tips that all pet owners should know. In this week’s article, we’ve put together a checklist for some ways that you may temporarily alleviate pain your pet may be experiencing.

 

Cuts and scrapes

If your pet is bleeding, make sure to first control the bleeding by placing pressure over the wound for 3 minutes. If the wound is open, apply a bandage to the area if you aren’t able to get to a vet right away. Check whether the injury is near the chest; this area is incredibly sensitive and may cause extreme pain for your pet. If a bone is poking out, head to the vet immediately- this may indicate a fracture or broken bone.

 

Burns

Burns can be caused by dry heat sources such as corrosive chemicals, radiation and extreme cold as well as by moist heat, like wax, water and hot oil. Regardless of the trigger, burn damage will occur immediately on the surface of the skin, as well as potentially through to deeper layers of the skin. At home, ensure that you immediately attend to the affected area with a cool, moist compress or running water for a minimum of 5 minutes. On the way to the vet, wrap your pet in a blanket to keep them warm, and continue to hold the cool compress to the burn.

 

Temperature changes

In order to warm your pet up, wrap your furry friend in a thick blanket or jumper. Consider adding a heat pack to the mix, but ensure that its initial temperature is not too hot. Check your pet’s temperate routinely to prevent them from overheating. To cool your pet down, wrapping your pet in a cool, wet towel. As always, continue to check your pet’s temperature, and once they reach 39 degrees Celsius, remove the cool towel and dry them, as you don’t want their temperature to drop below this.

 

While we don’t encourage DIY care when it comes to our beloved pets, first aid tactics can help ease any pain your pet may be experiencing on the way to the vet, and prevent secondary injury. Vets On Parker are a friendly, local team of veterinary experts that want the best for your furry companions. For any queries, get in touch by calling 03 9850 1355 today.

How To Care For Your Pet When You Go On A Holiday

Everyone loves going away on a holiday. But as a pet owner, there are some extra arrangements you need to make to ensure your pet remains happy and healthy while you’re away. There are lots of different options available to look after your pet and in this week’s blog, we’ll be discussing a few of these options as well as giving you a few pointers on how to prepare your pet for their vacation.

 

Care Options

Boarding Kennels and Catteries

Boarding kennels and catteries are specifically created for looking after pets when their pet owner is away. Booking your pet into a boarding kennel or cattery can provide peace of mind as you know your pet is being taken care of by professionals in a safe, specially designed environment. However, it’s important to do your research and find a reputable kennel or cattery where you can be sure your pet will be properly cared for, receive plenty of attention and receive daily exercise. If your pet has specific medical or dietary needs, it’s also a good idea to find a kennel or cattery with staff that have experience caring for special needs animals, or better still, a kennel or cattery that is attached with a veterinary practice. That way if your pet does require medical assistance, help isn’t too far away.

Vets on Parker, offer cat boarding services where your pet will be taken care of in a safe, clean and caring environment. We’d love to take care of your cat over the Christmas holidays but you’ll have to book quickly as places are very limited at this time of year. Get in touch with us today on (03) 9850 1355.

Pet Sitter Care

The other choice, which might be better suited to you is to have a private pet sitter come to your house or have your pet board with them. This can be a good option if you have an old or anxiety prone pet as they get to stay in their own environment and don’t have to deal with the stress of being somewhere unfamiliar. If you do decide to go down this route, make sure to discuss and then implement appropriate processes with the pet sitter and vet if something unexpected happens. This should include: which vet to take your pet to, how the vet can contact you (the pet owner) to discuss their condition and receive consent for any required treatments, as well as how payment for the treatment will work.

Preparing your pet for their holiday

Microchip your pet and update their details

Before you leave, it’s crucial that your pet is microchipped and all their details are up to date. This will be incredibly helpful if something unforeseen (like an escape) happens while your pet is in your sitter’s care.

Make sure your pet is vaccinated and wormed

Most boarding kennels and catteries require that their guests have up to date vaccinations and are both wormed and flea treated. This prevents the spread of disease and helps ensure your pet remains healthy for the duration of their holiday.

Provide your pet sitter with clear instructions

Communication is key to ensuring your pet is well-looked after. Make sure you give your sitter contact details while away as well as treatment authorisation information, payment arrangements, your pet’s microchip number and the contact details of your vet. It is also essential that you notify your vet of your pet’s care arrangements.

Paralysis tick and flea treatment

If you happen to be taking your pet outside of Melbourne on interstate, it’s important you treat them for paralysis tick and fleas as these parasites are a lot more common outside of urban areas.

 

Paralysis ticks are in Melbourne

Along with all the benefits of living in the most liveable city in the world, not having to worry about the paralysis tick was an added bonus.

Unfortunately, thanks to climate change, they have arrived on our doorstep.

I don’t want to be an alarmist and worry pet owners unnecessarily, the risk is still very low and even lower if you and your pet don’t venture much past our neat nature strips and dog parks.

However, for peace of mind, please follow the tips below and speak to your trusted vet if you have any questions.

Tick tips:

  • Keep your pet’s hair short
  • Ticks hang out in long grass. Keep your pooch out! (snakes hang there too)
  • Check your pet’s coat regularly – ticks need to be attached for 2-3 days before they inject their poison
  • Added tick prevention – 100% necessary for those pet owners travelling with their pet either north (towards the Murray) or east of Melbourne (towards Gippsland)
  1. The Bravecto chew will protect your dog for 4 months from the paralysis tick. It can be used safely in conjunction with most other parasite preventions (Advocate, Sentinel etc.)
  2. Cats – unfortunately, there is only ONE product available. Frontline plus Spray – needs to be applied every 3 weeks.
  3. Other tick preventions – Advantix, Nexgard, Serasto collars – may be recommended.

Preparing your pets for summer

The warmer months provide a great opportunity for us to get out into the sunshine with our pets! With the heat comes a few potential dangers – here are some of the more common things to be mindful of over the summer months:

Heatstroke is a common problem seen in both dogs and cats during summer and is very serious. A few simple tips can go a long way to help prevent it:

Never leave your pet unattended in a parked car. Temperatures in a car can rise to dangerous levels and can rapidly reach more than double the outside temperature even on mild days. Tinting, parking in the shade, or leaving the windows open do not help to reduce the inside temperature significantly.

If you find your dog panting heavily, doesn’t obey normal commands, has warm, dry skin and a rapid heart beat, he may be suffering from heatstroke. Other signs include vomiting, anxiety and high fever. Try to cool them off with cool water, cold packs and a cooler environment; and of course see a vet as soon as possible.

Avoid walking or exercising your dog at the park in the middle of the day. Apart from the outside air termperature, another good test for this is to take a few steps on the footath in your bare feet – if it’s too hot for you, it is too hot for them!

Senior pets and arthritic animals sometimes can’t get themselves out of their hot kennel. Kennels should always be kept in a shaded area with plenty of airflow around it.

Keep them cool – keep inside if possible, frozen pet treats, ice blocks, paddling pools are all great ideas on those really hot days.

Is your four-legged friend a Pug, Bull dog, Mastiff, or Chow Chow? Dogs with short muzzles like the breeds just mentioned are even more susceptible to over heating, so as their owners, you need to be even more careful.

Night frights with New Pups

The first few days with a new pup can be a nightmare and particularly trying to get the little hair-ball to sleep through the night.

Getting some sleep

How do you do it? Do you ‘tough love’ the pup and force it to stay in the laundry or outside or do you ‘spoil the pup’ and let it sleep inside, knowing that’s not what you really want?

Let’s look at it from the pup’s perspective. All it has known is its mum, its litter mates and the people who tenderly bred the little wriggler.

As total strangers, you whisk the pup away from the comfort of its litter and throw it into hostile territory – and you expect it to be happy???

Spoil the pup and let it sleep inside!!! Worry not, as you can always get it to sleep outside later.

The first nights

The first priority is to get the pup acquainted with its new home and your new routines but, above all, to make it settled and happy. That’s why you let it sleep inside.

Human company is the important ingredient, so let the pup sleep in your bedroom for the first few nights.

Perhaps you can put the pup in a cage or crate beside your bed. Maybe you can barricade it into a corner of your bedroom or perhaps you can borrow a baby’s play pen to house the pup at night.

The pup will settle more quickly if it eats a meal just before bed and has a comfortable basket or box to sleep in.

Use the ‘Sock-it-to-em’ principle. Mimic its mum’s heartbeat by placing a ticking clock (not easy to get nowadays) in its box and then make it a ‘virtual litter mate’. Get one of your smelly socks. Fill a second sock with a cup of raw rice that you have heated to a safe temperature in the microwave. Place it and several other old socks inside the smelly one and leave this virtual pup with your little buddy to mimic a litter mate. Make sure the rice-sock is not too hot and is seated deep inside the virtual pup.

Alternatively, you can purchase plush toys that have a beating, ticking heart for your pup to snuggle up to.

Conditioning to its night-time abode

Having weathered the first few nights, now we need to move the pooch to its permanent night-time abode. This we do progressively and with a smattering of science to help the process.

Say you want the pup to sleep in your laundry at night. The first task is to make the pup love the laundry. Let’s make the laundry into its ‘Den’.

To do this, associate all the pup’s peak joys in life with the laundry. For instance, feed the pup in the laundry. As you will be feeding it four times a day, that gives the hair-ball plenty of practice to learn to love the laundry.

Better still, feed the pup in unusual ways. Try hiding some food inside a toilet roll core or under an empty plant pot so the pup has to steam-clean his little brain working out how to get to the food.

While it is eating, lock the pup inside the laundry with its food so that the joy of the food is linked with being confined. Once this happy association has started, try putting the pup in the laundry for longer times during the day but don’t expect too much at the start.

If it is noisy, use the ‘Progressive Praise Technique’ to control the noise. At the very first squeak, tap the closed door of the laundry and instruct your pup to be QUIET, but don’t be too gruff.

This should ‘buy’ you five seconds of silence. Praise the pup through the closed door and that should buy you a longer quiet time of, say, 15 seconds. Now reward this longer time with more praise by opening the door and giving the pup a brief cuddle. Close the door once more and if the pup is quiet for a further 15 seconds, then let it out as a reward.

As the pup learns, make the confinement times longer. In no time at all, you should be able to put the pup in the laundry overnight.

Pheromone fun

Next, use the settling science of furry pheromones to help. The Dog Appeasing Pheromone is available from your vet and is a wonderful way of helping a pup to acclimatise to a new home.

The Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP) is a synthetic equivalent of the pheromones released from the pup’s mum. These pheromones bond the pup to the mum when the pup is only seven days old and the effect follows into adult life. The DAP is a convenient plug-in diffuser. Place it in a power-point where the pup sleeps and the pup should bond to that area quickly.

Don’t forget to have your pup checked by your vet to ensure he or she is fit and healthy. You can also get the latest advice on worming, vaccination schedules, flea and tick treatments and join a puppy pre-school class as soon as the first vaccination is given. Here you will learn the tools to set your pup up for a happy, harmonious life with your family.

Is your house Pet Safe?

Young puppies and kittens can be very mischievous and inquisitive. Before you bring home your new pet you should make sure your house is as safe as possible.

1. Store any household poisons, such as cleaning agents and detergents, where your pet will not be able to access them.

2. When using rat or mouse baits, cockroach traps or snail baits, make sure they are placed in areas that are inaccessible to your animals.

3. Some indoor plants can be poisonous to your pet and should be kept out of reach or in a room you can close off. Your vet can give you a complete list.

4. Store any insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers in a secure area. When using any of these products in your garden, make sure your pet is safely inside until the area dries and always read the instructions first.

5. Car products, such as oil, anti-freeze and petrol can be deadly to your pet. Keep them out of reach.

6. Medications should be stored safely in a locked cupboard. Human medications, such as painkillers and cold medicines, should never be given to your pet and can be potentially lethal even in small doses.

7. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs and cats. Never leave unattended or offer as a treat. Also keep cigarettes, coffee and alcohol away from your pets, and make sure your garbage is safe from being rifled through. Spoiled foods, plastic bags or sharp objects can be dangerous.

8. Check the placement of objects such as lamps and any electrical appliances that can be pulled over or off a high place onto your pet. Puppies and kittens love to play with anything hanging, like dangling cords and fringes from tablecloths. They also like to chew, so check any electrical cords that may be fayed and could shock your pet.

9. Puppies and kittens may get tangled or hang themselves in cords hanging from blinds. Cut them short or keep them tightly wrapped up.

10. Keep breakable objects out of harms way and small objects that can be swallowed, especially by puppies.