Pet Loves

Posted on: May 28, 2008

ELVNP4230058, originally uploaded by mooimadeit.

Awwww, cross species looooove. This is our little Elliott and Villenelle here.

Fitzroy Vet put on a free pet first aid seminar tonight, and I went along. I used to bring my furry ones to them when I was living in Brunswick, but now we’re all the way on the other side of town and they don’t appreciate a long car trip. However, Fitzroy Vet do put out a free monthly e-newsletter with lots of handy information on how to look after your pets, and that’s how I found out about the seminar tonight. Actually they are running another one next week so if you’re in Melbourne and interested to go, I highly recommend it. They are also selling pet first aid kits and they’re only $10 each so I got 2 – 1 for the house and 1 for the car.

Some of the topics they covered were dealing with:
– animals injured in car accidents
– heatstroke
– pet seizures
– bloat (gastric dilation and volvulus)
– toxins – poisoning from plants, food, chemicals, human medication
– wounds and fractures
– shock
– eye problems
– respiratory problems

Some key things I took away from the night I’d like to share with you:
SAFETY FIRST if you’re wanting to help an animal that’s been hit by a car – make sure you’re not going to get run over yourself. And approach very cautiously because the animal will be frightened and even your own animal can lash out and attack you because it doesn’t understand you’re trying to help. It just knows it’s in pain!
KEEP CALM! Animals will pick up on your emotions so try and not freak out, it won’t help anyone
GET THEM TO THE VET ASAP the quicker you get them to the vet the better AND remember – if you get them to the vet sooner rather than later, it’s also going to end up costing you a lot less. If you’re not sure CALL THEM. For eg, your cat gets in a cat fight, it has a bite from another cat. If you bring your cat in straight away, they can clean it up, look at it, give you some antibiotics so it doesn’t get infected and it doesn’t get worse. If you LEAVE IT for a few days though, starts getting smelly, it could have developed into an infected abscess that needs to be surgically removed and that will mean BIG BUCKS! And also unnecessary pain and discomfort for your pet.

Things you may not be aware are harmful for your pets:
*panadol, nurofen, any human medication – animals are not small, furry, 4 legged humans. Their bodies are different and can not process these things and you might unwittingly kill them
*LILLIES! Lillies are really bad for cats. So if you are putting some in a vase at home make sure it’s out of reach of your cats. Even stepping on the dropped stamen from the lillies can be not good for them. Especially because they are so fastidiously clean and always licking themselves. There was even a story about a cat who was really ill and eventually it was worked out that the cat had drunk the water at the bottom of a vase that some lillies had been in.
*chemical residue in showers/ bathrooms – make sure you really rinse it off well if you have a cat or keep the bathroom door closed because cats like drinking fresh water and will often lick the water at the bottom of the bath/ shower because it’s fresh
*grapes and raisins – really bad for dogs! some dogs seem fine with it, but there’s enough research evidence out there that it can have disastrous effects on some dogs, and you don’t want that to be yours
*chocolate – cats and dogs just can’t process the stuff in chocolate, but more people seem to be aware of this now
*onion – can have an awful reaction in some dogs and can cause a reaction which makes their blood cells start breaking down. Like with grapes and raisins, doesn’t happen to all dogs, but you don’t want this to happen to your buddy

Our experience
We have 3 pets – 1 dog Elliott, our 3 year old ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Timmy our spunky 5 year old white and ginger moggie cat, and Villenelle our big boofy black and white ‘kitler’ gypsy girl moggie cat. So I thought it important that I go along. Elliott got into a pretty scary situation when he was a puppy. He got adventurous and dug under the half a metre we ran out of chicken wire to dog proof, went to visit the big dogs behind our house and seeing he was an intruder, they attacked him! Luckily his first instinct was to play dead, and when he didn’t come in for dinner Alex went looking for him and found him lying on the ground behind the fence and got him. I rushed home and he was in deep shock, not moving, not even blinking the dirt that was ground in his eye. Alex had put him in front of the heater to try and keep him warm because he had gone cold with shock and we rang ahead to the vet and rushed there. It was the best thing to do in the situation. Luckily he didn’t have any major broken limbs, just some under skin grazing around his neck where they had grabbed him and he was a bit swollen. The key I have learnt from that experience and what was reinforced tonight is that it’s crucial you call ahead and get your pet to the vet ASAP! Time is of the essence and calling ahead allows the nurses to get everything required ready to go – fluids, oxygen etc.. And it really can be a matter of life and death for your pet.


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