If you have pets, it’s always best to be prepared. Regular checks will help you spot if something’s not right. Plus, would you know what to do in an emergency?
Posted: 29 April 2020
If your much-loved pet suddenly became unwell or suffered an injury, would you know what to do? What symptoms should you look out for that suggest the situation is serious? When should you call the vet?
With small animals, regular checks are really important. Burgess in-house vet, Dr Suzanne Moyes, advises: “Unlike dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets, small pets don’t require a yearly vaccination. This means that many are never taken to the vets for check-ups. That’s why it’s really important to give your small pets a weekly health check yourself. As with all healthcare issues, prevention is better than cure – and spotting problems early can make all the difference to your pets enjoying a speedy recovery or becoming very ill.”
She continues: “Even the smallest thing that’s out of the ordinary – whether that’s not rushing out to receive fresh food straightaway, their poo looking smaller than usual, or quiet, hunched behaviour – these are signs that something’s not right. If you’re concerned, act quickly and consult your vet.”
You should contact your vet immediately if your pet:
Please note, that due to coronavirus restrictions, veterinary practices are abiding by set protocols, in line with national guidelines from the British Veterinary Association and the Government. Urgent cases and emergencies will still be treated – but check with your local practice about the procedures they have in place to keep people, as well as animals, safe.
HEATSTROKE IN PETS
While both people and animals enjoy spending time in the sunshine, it’s important to remember that our pets can quickly overheat in hot weather. Dogs and cats only have a few sweat glands around their noses and in their feet and so rely on panting to cool themselves down. Small pets – such as rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets – don’t sweat and can’t pant, and so find life even more difficult. For chinchillas, who have no ability to dissipate heat, heatstroke can result in fatal seizures. It’s up to us humans to take extra care of our pets in hot weather, providing them with a cool, well-ventilated and shaded environment, with constant access to fresh drinking water. If you think your pet has heatstroke, treat it as an emergency. You’ll need to gradually lower their body temperature so they can recover.
Find out more about the signs of heatstroke and what action you should take here >>
A pet first aid kit should contain what you need to give simple first aid for small injuries at home. Even if you can treat your pet with your first aid kit, you should call your vet for professional advice as soon as possible.
You can stock up on first aid supplies at the PDSA pet store
For more expert advice, you can download a free PDSA Pet First Aid Guide, which covers everything from heatstroke and traffic accidents to how to perform CPR.
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Sources: pdsa.org.uk, bluecross.org.uk