EMERGENCY PET CARE

337.856.8080

836 Chemin Metairie Road, Youngsville, LA 70592

EMERGENCY PET CARE

 

All About Pet Emergencies

Pet emergency care can be terrifying, and unfortunately, Acadian Ambulance does not transport pets.  It’s a great idea to become familiar with pet emergency care procedures for dogs and cats in the event of a pet care emergency.  These procedures ARE NOT a replacement for professional veterinary care.  They are dog and cat first aid tips to aid you as you transport your pet to Loftin Veterinary Hospital or the nearest animal hospital.

Dog First Aid

What is first aid?

More Info

First aid is initial treatment given in a medical emergency. Its purpose is to:

  • preserve life
  • reduce pain and discomfort
  • minimize any risk of permanent disability or disfigurement

In an emergency, what should I do first?

More Info

1.  Keep calm and assess the scene for any additional threats to you or your pet. This is important for everyone’s safety.

2.  Keep your dog warm (except in the case of heat stroke), as quiet as possible, and keep movement to a minimum, especially if there is possible trauma, broken limbs, or any neurological symptoms.

3.  Contact Loftin Veterinary Hospital ay 337-856-8080, inform us of the situation and get specific first aid advice.

4.  To safely move or transport an injured dog, get somebody to help you. For a small dog, put him into his carrier (remove the top for easy and safe access to the carrier; DO NOT push an injured dog through the small door or opening), or use a suitable container such as a strong cardboard box. For a larger dog, use a makeshift stretcher made out of some rigid material such as an appropriate sized, sturdy piece of wood. Carefully maneuver your dog onto a blanket or coat so that he can be gently moved to the carrier, box, or stretcher.

5.  Get to Loftin Veterinary Hospital or Lafayette Animal Emergency Clinic (after hours) as soon as possible.

 

What are some tips on restraining or calming an injured dog?

More Info

The majority of injured animals will be panicked and/or disoriented.

“The stress of an emergency can cause an otherwise friendly animal to act aggressively.”

The stress of an emergency can cause an otherwise friendly animal to act aggressively. Although most panicky dogs will respond to a calm, soothing voice, use caution when approaching or touching any injured animal. It is important to ensure the safety of all rescue personnel that are attempting to assist with an injured animal. Some of the types of restraint that can ensure the safety of both dog and humans include:

  • Muzzling. You can create a muzzle out of a leash, belt, sock, rope, or strap. Loop the cord around the dog’s muzzle and tighten it to prevent the animal from biting. Dogs have only one muscle to open their jaw so once the jaw is closed, it is relatively easy to hold it safely shut. Animals can breathe through their nostrils unless the nose is injured or obstructed.
  • Wrapping. You can wrap the body of an unmanageable pet in a blanket or towel. Be sure to keep the head exposed and do not constrict the trachea.
  • Immobilizing: If you are suspicious of spinal injury, lay the animal on a board and secure it on the board with straps or cords. Pay special attention to immobilizing the head and neck.

What is shock?

More Info

Shock is a complex systemic or whole body reaction to a number of emergency situations. These include severe trauma, hemorrhage or sudden loss of blood, heart failure, and other causes of decreased circulation (e.g., severe and sudden allergic reaction and heat stroke). A life-threatening fall in blood pressure is a dangerous part of shock.

“Systemic shock may cause irreversible injury to body cells, and it can be fatal.”

If not treated quickly and effectively, systemic shock may cause irreversible injury to body cells, and it can be fatal.

Clinical signs of systemic shock include rapid breathing and elevated heart rate with pale mucous membranes: gums, lips, or under the eyelids. The feet or ears may feel cold and your dog may vomit and shiver. As shock progresses most pets become quiet and unresponsive.

 

 

What should I do if my dog is showing signs of shock?

More Info

Keep the dog as quiet as possible and try to conserve heat by covering it with blankets, towels, or even newspapers. Follow the A, B, C’s of first aid:

A         Airway
B         Breathing
C         Cardiac function

Airway. Anything that obstructs the airway prevents oxygen from entering the lungs. Do your best to clear the mouth and throat of any obstruction such as vomit, saliva, or foreign bodies such as grass, sticks, or balls. Be careful – your dog may bite you in panic.

Breathing. If the dog is unconscious and does not appear to be breathing, try gently pumping the chest with the palm of your hand, at the same time feeling just behind the elbow to detect a heartbeat or pulse. If this is unsuccessful, give the dog rescue breathing (see below). Be careful – injured pets may bite you out of fear. If you are unsure about the health or vaccination status of the injured pet, avoid contact with bodily fluids and blood.

Cardiac function. If you are unable to detect a heartbeat or pulse, or if appears weak and slow, try pressing on the chest with your palm and elevate the lower half of the body to promote blood flow to the brain. Follow the steps below, under CPR.

 

 

 

How do I perform rescue breathing for a dog?

More Info

When you encounter an unresponsive dog, the first step is to ensure that there is an open airway.

1.  Carefully pull the tongue out of the mouth.

2.  Extend the head and neck so that they are in a straight line. DO NOT overextend the neck in animals that have obvious head and neck trauma.

3.  Carefully clear the mouth of any debris that may be obstructing breathing.

4.  Place your hand over the animal’s muzzle while holding the mouth shut and extending the neck. For small dogs, you can sometimes improvise with a styrofoam cup or other similar item, by placing the opening over the dog’s face and poking a large hole in the bottom for you to breathe through. Ensure a relatively tight seal around the muzzle.

5.  Blowing into the nostrils, give 2-3 breaths and watch for a rise in the chest. If you do not see a rise in the chest, reposition the neck or search for airway obstruction.

6.  If you believe there is an airway obstruction that you cannot see, turn the dog upside down, with the back against your chest. Give 5 sharp thrusts to the abdomen to try and expel any object (this maneuver can be difficult to do in large dogs and you will need assistance).

7.  For rescue breathing, provide 20 breaths per minute.

8.  If the dog fails to breathe on his own, you may attempt an acupressure maneuver. Press firmly with your fingernail or other hard object in the space just beneath the nose on the upper lip (nasal philtrum). Maintain the pressure for 10-30 seconds.

 

 

 

 

 

What if the dog requires CPR?

More Info

After you have established an airway and begun rescue breathing, if there are still no obvious signs of life you should attempt chest compressions.

1.  Make sure there is no major bleeding. If there is bleeding, have an assistant manage the bleeding (see below) while you perform CPR.

2.  If possible, lay the dog on his right side.

3.  Feel for a heartbeat or femoral pulse. The femoral pulse is located inside the leg in the groin region. Dogs do not have a readily palpable carotid (neck) pulse.

4.  Bend the left forearm and note the location where the elbow touches the chest. This is close to the middle of the rib cage.

5.  Placing one hand on each side of the chest in the middle of the rib cage, vigorously compress the chest 100-120 times per minute. For small dogs (under 10 pounds), use one hand to compress the chest from both sides by putting your fingers on one side and your thumb on the other side of the chest. The rate should be about 30 compressions for every 2 breaths.

6.  Try to compress the chest wall at least 30-50%. This is about 1″ (2 cm) in small dogs and 2-3″ (5-8 cm) in larger dogs.

 

 

 

 

 

What is the specific first aid for some of the more common emergencies?

More Info

Blood loss. Once you have followed A, B, C above, if the bleeding is severe, try to stop it. If bleeding is from a cut pad or paw, apply a dressing using a piece of absorbent bandage or clothing. If the bleeding persists and is soaking through the bandage, do not waste any more time, and get to your veterinarian, since this is a medical emergency. Most bleeding wounds will require medical or surgical treatment. If the wounds are treated within four hours, they can often be sutured. Deep cuts treated after four hours have increased risk of infection and complication, and require more extensive surgery.

Burns and scalds. Cool the burned area with cold water as quickly as possible. Cover the burned area with damp towels. If the injury is due to a caustic substance, rinse with cold water for 15 minutes and contact your veterinarian for further advice. Animals that have been exposed to heat or smoke from a fire should be offered water as soon as the situation is stable.

Eye injuries. Injuries to the eye are always very painful and can threaten the eyesight. If a foreign body (grass awn, stick, hair, etc.) can be seen, it may be possible to remove it by gently rinsing the eye with eyewash or contact lens saline solution (be sure to check that there are no other ingredients and it is ONLY saline solution). Do not allow the dog to rub the eye, either with its paws or against the furniture or carpet. Seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.

Seizures. Seizures can be due to many causes. These include eclampsia (milk fever in a nursing mother), toxicities, and epilepsy. If due to eclampsia, remove the puppies from the mother immediately. All dogs that are seizuring or have had a recent seizure should be kept in a dark, quiet, confined area until medical help can be sought. DO NOT reach into your dog’s mouth; they will not swallow their tongue, but you will get bit. Contact your veterinarian immediately.

Heat stroke. This most commonly occurs in hot weather when dogs are left in cars without adequate ventilation. Body temperature rises dramatically. Initial clinical signs include excessive panting and obvious distress, but can quickly progress to coma and death. Reduce the pet’s body temperature as quickly as possible using cool water and keep the dog wet during transport to the veterinarian. Keep the car windows open, as evaporation will help reduce body temperature. Avoid using ice or ice water because this may drop the temperature too quickly and cause additional complications.

 

 

 

 

 

Is there anything else I should know?

Is there anything else I should know?

After being involved in an emergency or accident, it is important that you take your dog for a veterinary examination as soon as possible, even if he appears to have recovered fully.

Cat First Aid

What is first aid?

More Info

First aid is initial treatment given in a medical emergency. Its purpose is to:

  • preserve life
  • reduce pain and discomfort
  • minimize any risk of permanent disability or disfigurement

In an emergency, what should I do first?

More Info

1.  Keep calm and assess the scene for any additional threats to you or your pet. This is important for everyone’s safety.

2.  Keep your cat warm (except in heat stroke), as quiet as possible, and keep movement to a minimum, especially if there is possible trauma, broken limbs, or any neurological symptoms.

3.  Contact Loftin Veterinary Hospital at 337-856-8080, inform us of the situation and get specific first aid advice.

4.  To safely move or transport an injured cat, use a suitable container such as a strong cardboard box or a cat carrier (remove the top for easy and safe access to the carrier; DO NOT push an injured cat through the small door or opening). Place a blanket or thick towel over the patient.

5.  Get to the Loftin Veterinary Hospital as soon as possible.

 

Are there any restraint tips that might be useful?

More Info

The majority of animals you will encounter will be panicked, disoriented, or injured. The stress of an emergency can cause an otherwise friendly animal to act aggressively. Although most panicky animals respond to a calm, soothing voice, use caution when approaching or touching any injured animal.

“The stress of an emergency can cause an otherwise friendly animal to act aggressively.”

Muzzles can be difficult to put onto a cat, due to the shape of most cats’ faces. There are specific muzzles designed for use in cats, but they are rarely handy when an emergency strikes. You can drape a towel over the cat’s head to provide some measure of protection.

You can wrap the body of a frightened or unmanageable cat in a blanket or towel. Do not constrict the trachea or airway. If possible, leave the head exposed, unless the cat is very aggressive. Use caution if you are suspicious of a fractured bone or spinal injury.

If you are suspicious of a spinal injury lay the cat in a large box.

 

What is shock?

More Info

Shock has many definitions. It is a complex systemic or whole body reaction to a number of situations. These include severe trauma, hemorrhage or sudden blood loss, heart failure, and other causes of decreased circulation (e.g., severe and sudden allergic reaction and heat stroke). A life-threatening fall in blood pressure is a dangerous part of shock.

“Systemic shock may cause irreversible injury to body cells, and it can be fatal.”

If not treated quickly and effectively, systemic shock may cause irreversible injury to body cells, and it can be fatal.

Signs of shock include rapid breathing which may be noisy, rapid heart rate with a weak pulse, pale  mucous membranes (gums, lips, under eyelids), severe depression (listlessness), and cool extremities (limbs and ears). The cat may vomit.

 

What should I do if my cat is showing signs of shock?

More Info

Keep the cat as quiet as possible and try to conserve heat by covering it with blankets, towels, or even newspapers. Follow the A, B, Cs of first aid:

A          Airway

B         Breathing

C         Cardiac function

Airway. Anything that obstructs the airway prevents oxygen entering the lungs. Do your best to clear the mouth and throat of any obstruction such as vomit, saliva, or other foreign material. Be careful – your pet may bite you in panic.

Breathing. If the cat is unconscious and does not appear to be breathing, try gently pumping the chest with the palm of your hand, at the same time feeling just behind the elbow to detect a heartbeat or pulse. If this is unsuccessful, give the pet rescue breathing (see below). Be careful – injured pets may bite you out of fear. If you are unsure about the health or vaccination status of the injured pet, avoid contact with bodily fluids and blood.

Cardiac function. If you are unable to detect a heartbeat or pulse, or if appears weak and slow, try pressing on the chest with your palm and elevate the lower half of the body to promote blood flow to the brain. Follow the steps below, under CPR.

 

How do I perform rescue breathing for my cat?

More Info

When you encounter an unresponsive cat, the first step is to ensure that there is an open airway.

1.  Carefully pull the tongue out of the mouth.

2.  Extend the head and neck so that they are in a straight line. DO NOT overextend the neck in animals that have obvious head and neck trauma.

3.  Carefully clear the mouth of any debris that may be obstructing breathing.

4.  Place your hand over the cat’s muzzle while holding the mouth shut and extend the neck. For cats, you can sometimes improvise with a styrofoam cup or other similar shaped object, by putting the opening over the cat’s face and poking a large hole in the bottom for you to breathe through. Ensure a relatively tight seal around the muzzle.

5.  Blowing into the nostrils, give 2-3 breaths and watch for a rise in the chest. If you do not see a rise in the chest, reposition the neck or search for airway obstruction.

6.  If you believe there is an airway obstruction that you cannot see, turn the cat upside down, with the back against your chest. Give 5 sharp thrusts to the rib cage to try and expel any object.

7.  For rescue breathing, provide 20 breaths per minute.

8.  If the cat fails to breathe on its own, you may attempt an acupressure maneuver. Press firmly with your fingernail or other hard object in the space between the nostrils and the upper lip (nasal philtrum). Do this for 10-30 seconds.

What if my cat requires CPR?

More Info

After you have established an airway and begun rescue breathing, if there are still no obvious signs of life you should attempt chest compressions.

1.  Make sure there is no major bleeding. If there is bleeding, have an assistant manage the bleeding (see below) while you perform CPR.

2.  If possible, lay the cat on her right side.

3.  Feel for a heartbeat or femoral pulse. The femoral pulse is located inside the leg in the groin region. Cats do not have a readily palpable carotid (neck) pulse.

4.  Bend the left forearm and note the location where the elbow touches the chest. This is close to the middle of the rib cage.

5.  Use one hand to compress the chest from both sides by putting your fingers on one side and your thumb on the other side of the chest. Compress the chest 100-120 times per minute. The rate should be about 30 compressions for every 2 breaths.

6.  Try to compress the chest wall at least 30-50%. This is about 1″ (2 cm) in the average cat.

What is the specific first aid for some of the more common emergencies?

More Info

Blood loss. Once you have followed A, B, C above, if the bleeding is severe, try to stop it. If bleeding is from a cut pad or paw, apply a dressing using a piece of absorbent bandage or clothing. If the bleeding persists and is soaking through the bandage, do not waste any more time and get to Loftin Veterinary Hospital, since this is a medical emergency. Most bleeding wounds will require medical or surgical treatment. If the wounds are treated within four hours, they can often be sutured. Deep cuts treated after four hours have increased risk of infection and complication, and require more extensive surgery.

Burns and scalds. Cool the burned area with cold water as quickly as possible. Cover the burned area with damp towels. If the injury is due to a caustic substance, rinse with cold water for 15 minutes and contact your veterinarian for further advice. Animals that have been exposed to heat or smoke from a fire should be offered water as soon as the situation is stable.

Eye injuries. Injuries to the eye are always very painful and can threaten the eyesight. If a foreign body (grass awn, hair, piece of a claw, etc.) can be seen, it may be possible to remove it by gently rinsing the eye with eye wash or contact lens saline solution (be sure to check that there are no other ingredients and it is ONLY saline solution). Do not allow the cat to scratch or rub the eye. Seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.

Is there anything else I should know?

More Info

After being involved in an emergency or accident, it is important that you take your cat for a veterinary examination as soon as possible, even if she appears to have recovered fully.

What About After-Hours Emergencies?

Oh No!  It’s midnight and your dog is sick!  What do you do?  Don’t panic because the Lafayette area has excellent emergency veterinary care.  We wag our tails for Lafayette Animal Emergency Clinic. If fact, we forward all calls to this clinic after normal business hours. We will receive a full report the morning after your visit.  Some of our awesome veterinary technicians moonlight with Lafayette Animal Emergency Clinic, so don’t be surprised if you see them during your visit.

Lafayette Animal Emergency Clinic contact:

206 Winchester Dr.

Lafayette, LA 70506

Learn more about Lafayette Animal Emergency Clinic

What About A Lost or Found Pet?

We’ve all seen the heartbreaking Facebook posts for lost and found pets.  What would you do if your pet escaped from your backyard, or you found a lost dog?  Loftin Veterinary is here to help!  We have been very successful in finding pet’s lost humans when we post on our Facebook page, so please message us  or call us.  We will post the information ASAP.  If you find a dog or cat, we are happy to scan for a microchip at no charge.  

Injured and Abandoned Wildlife

 

Help! I found and injured bird!

More Info

With the constant growth of Youngsville, Lafayette, and Broussard, our communities feel more and more like big cities.  We are often caught by surprise when we encounter wildlife, and it can be quite confusing when we encounter injured wildlife.  The following links are provided by Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries and are designed as guides to help you help injured or abandoned wildlife in the Lafayette area.

Help! I found and injured bird!

Help! I found an injured mammal!

More Info

With the constant growth of Youngsville, Lafayette, and Broussard, our communities feel more and more like big cities.  We are often caught by surprise when we encounter wildlife, and it can be quite confusing when we encounter injured wildlife.  The following links are provided by Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries and are designed as guides to help you help injured or abandoned wildlife in the Lafayette area.

Help!  I found an injured mammal!

 

 

Other Services

Spays and Neuters

Wellness and Vaccinations

dental care

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Best Veterinary services in Acadiana!” Adam H.

Facebook Review

“We love this place! Gypsy and Astro get plenty attention when we are there and they definitely LOVE THAT!” Ree R.

Facebook Review

COME.

Proudly serving the pets and people of Youngsville, Lafayette, and Broussard since 1997

Loftin Veterinary Hospital

Loftin Veterinary Hospital
836 Chemin Metairie Rd, Youngsville, LA 70592, USA
Direction

STAY.

337.856.8080