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In Celebration of Love your Pets Day

By Deborah Mandell, VMD
Member, American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council

Pop Quiz*

1. Your dog tipped over a bottle of antifreeze in the garage and is standing in a puddle of liquid. Is there anything to worry about?
2. Your cat jumps onto the counter, knocks over the Valentine’s Day roses and lands in the broken glass. Her paw starts bleeding. What do you do?
3. Your dog won’t stop licking his paws after playing in the snow. What should you do?

Hi! I’m Dr. Deborah Mandell. I helped develop the new American Red Cross Pet First Aid App, and also the Dog and Cat First Aid guides and Pet First Aid course.

Loving your furry friends means knowing what to do in an emergency. Today is Love Your Pet Day. I’m celebrating with Sonewmana (we call her Mana), Polly and Ranger (Power Ranger Gio, the brown ranger!) and it’s the perfect time to make sure you know how to recognize and handle a pet emergency.

Whether it’s a common injury or contact with a pet-poisonous substance, the American Red Cross Pet First Aid course will give you key first aid guidance and need-to-know information. The course is available in some areas and allows owners to practice treating a cardiac or breathing emergency.

The Red Cross Pet First Aid app is a great go-to source for important pet care information too. The app walks you through more than 25 common emergency medical situations for cats and dogs and includes how to perform CPR with the newest guidelines and how to care for choking. It covers how to include your pet in your emergency and disaster preparedness planning and is loaded with useful information on routine pet care, too.

You can get the app in the Apple iTunes or Google Play Store or go to the Red Cross mobile apps page.

Don’t let Love Your Pet Day go by without making sure your love includes pet first aid.

Photo - Dr. Mandell Dogs

*Answers
1. Antifreeze can be deadly if your dog licked it. Take your dog to a veterinarian immediately. An antidote can be started if caught early, if not, antifreeze can be fatal.
2. Remove any embedded objects. Clean the wound with a warm water/Epson salt solution. Apply gauze and direct pressure until bleeding stops. If blood soaks through the first gauze, place another gauze on top, do not remove first gauze. You can place a light bandage on the paw and take your cat to the vet.
3. Puppy’s paws might be irritated from ice balls or de-icing chemicals. Gently wash his paws, including in between the toes, with warm water. Check for any cuts or wounds. Always clean your dog’s paws when he comes inside. Use pet friendly salt or de-icing products.

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