What to do in an emergency:

1

Stay calm, think and also calm the animal down.  Animals can sense your panic.  Be careful as a fearful or painful animal can bite, especially after trauma.

2

If there is a lot of haemorrhage, apply some pressure with a towel.  Allow for breathing.

3

It is always good to call ahead (021-6740034) and warn us that you are on the way with a serious emergency.  Drive carefully.

4

In case of seizures, never put your hand into the animal’s mouth.  If it is on a hard surface move a cushion underneath.  Time the event.  If it lasts longer than about 3 minutes, seek veterinary help.

5

If heat exhaustion is suspected, cool the animal down with water.  Cooling down is of utmost importance.  Seek urgent veterinary care.

6

If poisoning is suspected bring the poison container along to allow the emergency clinician to identify the toxin and correct treatment.

7

Snake bites: Puff Adder and Cobra bites are common and need urgent veterinary care. Cobra bites are extremely serious as it will paralyse breathing. If possible, try identify the snake or take a photo, but do not try to kill the snake for identification purposes. The CAMC is one of a few practices that usually has snake anti-venom available 24hrs a day.

8

If possible, cats are best transported in cat baskets.

Prepare for and prevent emergencies

1

Make sure your pet cannot escape from your premises, especially during periods where fireworks may be heard or during thunderstorms.

2

Always ensure your pet has a microchip and an identification collar.  The microchip cannot be lost and is a reliable means of identification to help us reunite you.

3

Have our telephone number as well as the number of your regular veterinarian near your phone and programmed on your mobile phone.

4

Consider pet medical aid insurance.  Emergencies and illness can be costly and unexpected.  Medical insurance can go a very long way towards carrying these costs on your behalf.  Contact us for details of pet health insurance companies.  Remember that many home-owners’ insurance policies will also include cover of accidental injuries of pets.  Check your policy documentation.

5

Avoid the use of poisons around the house or make sure they are absolutely not accessible to pets, e.g. rat poison or snail pellets, antifreeze, chocolate, avocado, grapes and raisins.

6

If your dog is off of a lead when out for a walk, ensure that he or she does not approach other dogs who are on a lead – they are usually on a lead for a reason.

Conditions that should be considered emergencies:

  • Trauma (car accidents, falling, fractures, etc.)
  • Haemorrhage
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Collapse, paralysis or unconsciousness
  • Seizures
  • Marked lethargy or lack of appetite
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Coughing
  • Snake bites
  • Allergic reactions
  • Bloat or distension of the abdomen
  • Ingestion of tablets or poisons
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Bite wounds
  • Pale or blue tongue or gums
  • Coughing or open mouthed breathing especially in cats
  • Acute severe limping or lameness
  • Pain
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