Healthy pets have…
Pink gums, pink inside
of lips, pink tongue, pink insides of eyelids and rapid capillary
refill action in these areas.
Clean-smelling ears and
skin and a full hair coat.
indication of proper hydration—and their eyes are clear and bright.
Checking these areas first
in addition to observing behaviour will give you clues as to what
is happening with your animal.
Outright collapse is an obvious sign your pet is suffering some
type of ailment. Weakness, disorientation or confusion are further signs.
Take the following steps:
Check pulse, pupils,
breathing and temperature.
respiration and/or CPR as needed.
Always handle your
pet as if he may have a broken bone or have some other serious
Treat for shock.
There are basically two kinds of convulsions: the single
brief convulsion which lasts for a minute or so and doesn't recur
for at least 24 hours, or repeated, continuous convulsions that are
serious emergencies and need veterinary attention immediately.
When a pet is having convulsions,
you should gently restrain him so that he doesn't injure himself.
Don't put your hand(s) on or near a dog's or cat's mouth. The objective
is to prevent the animal from further injury while avoiding injury
yourself. Once you've restrained your pet, get him to the veterinarian's
as soon as possible.
This often occurs if a pet is kept shut up in a house or car
without shade, ventilation or water. It can also happen as a result of
over excitement or stress.
Signs of a heatstroke
In order to treat
Remove the animal
from the hot spot and into a cool or shady area.
Soak the animal with
cool water or immerse in a bath, gently massaging legs and body
until you reach the vet or the animal's temperature returns to
normal. Be sure not to chill the animal.
Give artificial respiration
Gently dry the animal
with a towel. If he's conscious, give him small amounts of water.
Shock is a term used loosely and often incorrectly. On both
human and animal terms, it is much more serious than the slight feeling
of malaise that occurs after a minor accident or fright which is often
called "shock." Signs of shock include:
pale mouth, lips and
cool skin and legs
rapid, but weak pulse
(may be over 140 beats per minute)
rapid respiration (over
40 breaths per minute)
If any or all of the signs
for shock occur after an accident or prolonged illness, treat for shock as
shown below and call the vet immediately.
Keep airways open,
giving artificial respiration or CPR as necessary. Bandage or splint
any fracture or extensive wound.
Wrap the animal in a
thick cloth or towel to conserve body heat. If the animal is
unconscious, keep her head as low as, or lower than, the rest of her
Gently massage legs and
muscles to maintain circulation unless you suspect that bones may be
fractured or broken. Keep the animal calm and warm.
Get to the veterinary
clinic promptly. Time is vital, especially for the intravenous
introduction of fluid in severe cases.
When Immediate Help
is Not Available
Here are some steps to take if you're a long way from a
veterinary hospital or clinic:
If the animal is
conscious, give fluids orally. Administer a small amount (this will
depend on his size) of tepid water mixed with sugar every 30 minutes
for two to three hours.
anything by mouth if the animal is unconscious, convulsing or
Take his pulse and
breathing rate every thirty minutes and record them.
Note any blood in the
urine or elsewhere and report these details to the vet.