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Pet First Aid

APRIL IS PET FIRST AID AWARENESS MONTH and the American Red Cross offers tips to the millions of pet owners as a way to keep their animals safe and healthy, especially as warm weather approaches.
 

Many Red Cross chapters across the country offer Pet First Aid courses. The Red Cross has also developed Dog First Aid and Cat First Aid Guides with DVDs to help you care for your pet. From basic responsibilities like spaying/neutering and giving medications, to performing CPR and preparing for disasters, these guides provide the information pet owners need to keep their pets healthy and safe. Call 1-800-REDCROSS to find out about classes being offered in the Omaha metro area.
 

One of the most common problems pets face in the warmer weather is heat stroke. This is because they are not yet acclimated to the warm temperatures. Some signs of heat stroke include heavy panting and being unable to calm down, even when lying down. The pet’s gum color may be brick red, their pulse rate may be fast, or they may not be able to get up. If someone suspects their pet has heat stroke, take the pet’s temperature rectally. If the temperature is above 105 degrees Fahrenheit, cool the animal down. The easiest way to do this is by using the water hose. Stop cooling the animal when the temperature reaches 103 degrees. Bring the pet to the veterinarian immediately as heat stroke can lead to severe organ dysfunction and damage.
 

At this time of year, windows and doors in the home are more likely to be open. Pet owners should know that animals may try to get outside which increases the risk of trauma from jumping or falling from windows or being hit by vehicles. Some plants and flowers can be hazardous. For instance, many lilies are very poisonous to cats.
 

FROM THE AMERICAN RED CROSS
 

IMPORTANT NOTES FOR ENSURING PET SAFETY:
• GIVE PETS PLENTY OF EXERCISE

• MAKE SURE PETS HAVE PLENTY OF FRESH, COOL WATER

• MAKE SURE PETS GET REGULAR YEARLY CHECKUPS WITH THEIR VETERINARIAN, AND ARE UP TO DATE ON VACCINES, ESPECIALLY RABIES

• GET PETS SPAYED OR NEUTERED

• KEEP DOGS ON LEASHES OUTSIDE – ANOTHER ANIMAL MAY BE TOO MUCH TEMPTATION

• KNOW HOW TO PERFORM CPR AND PROVIDE BASIC FIRST AID UNTIL VETERINARY CARE IS AVAILABLE

• DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE PETS IN EMERGENCY PLANS AS WELL

• PLAN TO TAKE PETS ALONG IF ORDERED TO EVACUATE.

ASSEMBLE A PORTABLE KIT WITH EMERGENCY SUPPLIES FOR PETS:
• LEASHES, HARNESSES AND/OR CARRIERS

• FOOD, DRINKING WATER, BOWLS, MANUAL CAN OPENER

• MEDICATIONS AND COPIES OF MEDICAL RECORDS

• CURRENT PHOTOS OF THE PETS

TO LEARN MORE VISIT WWW.REDCROSS.ORG.