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Emergency! Emergency! Or is it?

Sometimes, the unexpected happens. Sometimes, it is hard to know what to do. Sometimes, we are worried that it is not serious enough. Sometimes, we don't realise how serious it is. Sometimes, Dr. Google is good. Sometimes, Dr. Google is very bad.

Last year, our young cat started tremoring as you can see in the video. I had just put a spot on flea treatment on her. I couldn't understand why she was like this. Dr. Google told me that it shouldn't be like this. So it must have been something else. But what?

I started to panic. We rushed her to our local vet. The vet asked what I used and I replied Advantage for cats. She pressed me on this and I was adamant. They washed her thoroughly, shaved her lush coat where you could see the spot on had seeped. Put her on medication and fluids. They just could not understand why she reacted this way. We had to leave her there and it wasn't looking good.

After a few hours, when they said they had been in back and forth contact with the Bayer people (who make Advantage) they were 100% sure I had administered the Advantage Dog Flea and Tick spot on by mistake. No, I don't even use spot on treatment for the dog. I use Chews. No, that couldn't be, I told them. I took the vial out of the the cat package. It was the last one and oh no, I cleaned out the pet drawer a couple of weeks before....I remembered that there was the empty cat flea box and a loose vial. I didn't look at the vial...just popped it back into the box. I felt sick. A couple of years before, we took Finn up to Queensland with us on holiday. I remembered that I HAD bought the Flea and Tick spot on. It was true, I had administered the dog spot on to the cat. It was for a very large dog too and she was a small cat - around 3.5 kilos. How horrible I felt. But at least we knew.

Cats can't absorb permethrin which is why she was so ill. She had to be transferred to the emergency vet for overnight monitoring and was put on a drip. She was eventually ok and has had no lasting effects. Imagine how bad I felt? It was a lesson in many things - to be aware of what you are putting on your animals, to be diligent. This is her now, nothing to show for her ordeal thank goodness.

Some tips

  • Have your Vet's details handy. In your phone and on the fridge.

  • Have the details of the local AEC on Wickham Rd, Highett in your phone as well.

  • Call the Vet, explain the situation and get instructions.

Here's an excerpt from the ASPCA on signs of an Emergency

"....when a medical emergency befalls our furry friends, pet parents may find it difficult to make rational decisions, especially if something occurs during the middle of the night. That’s why it’s crucial to have an emergency plan in place—before you need it.

Signs Your Pet May Need Emergency Care

Your dog may need emergency care because of severe trauma—caused by an accident or fall—choking, heatstroke, an insect sting, household poisoning or other life-threatening situation.

Here are some signs that emergency care is needed:

Pale gums

Rapid breathing

Weak or rapid pulse

Change in body temperature

Difficulty standing

Apparent paralysis

Loss of consciousness

SeizuresExcessive bleeding

Next Steps:

Pets who are severely injured may act aggressively toward their pet parents, so it’s important to first protect yourself from injury.

For dogs:

Approach your dog slowly and calmly; kneel down and say his name. If the dog shows aggression, call for help. If he’s passive, fashion a makeshift stretcher and gently lift him onto it. Take care to support his neck and back in case he’s suffered any spinal injuries.

For cats:

Gently place a blanket or towel over the cat’s head to prevent biting; then slowly lift the cat and place her in an open-topped carrier or box. Take care to support the cat’s head and avoid twisting her neck in case she’s suffered a spinal injury.

Once you feel confident and safe transporting your pet, immediately bring him to an emergency care facility. Ask a friend or family member to call the clinic so the staff knows to expect you and your pet.

First Aid Treatments to Perform At Home:

Most emergencies require immediate veterinary care, but first aid methods may help you stabilise your pet for transportation.

If your pet is suffering from external bleeding due to trauma, try elevating and applying pressure to the wound.

If your pet is choking, place your fingers in his mouth to see if you can remove the blockage.If you’re unable to remove the foreign object, perform a modified Heimlich maneouver by giving a sharp rap to his chest, which should dislodge the object.

Performing CPR on your pet

CPR may be necessary if your pet remains unconscious after you have removed the choking object. First check to see if he’s breathing. If not, place him on his side and perform artificial respiration by extending his head and neck, holding his jaws closed and blowing into his nostrils once every three seconds. (Ensure no air escapes between your mouth and the pet’s nose.) If you don’t feel a heartbeat, incorporate cardiac massage while administering artificial respiration—three quick, firm chest compressions for every respiration—until your dog resumes breathing on his own.

Emergencies are scary. Stressful. Try and be calm and controlled. It will help your dog and it will help those that are around you.

Do you have any tips that could be added here? If so, please comment below.

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