What do you do when your pet is sick?


Two Sundays ago, my dog Sanford wasn’t acting like himself. He was lethargic and vomited a few times. I wasn’t overly concerned at first. That changed several hours later when his condition worsened.

Because I took an American Red Cross pet first aid and CPR class last year I was able to recognize the signs of dehydration and also to realize when the situation had gotten to the point where he needed to see a vet right away.

After a series of X-rays and tests in the wee hours of Monday morning, we learned he had eaten something that caused an obstruction in his intestines. He required immediate emergency surgery and by 10 a.m. that morning, my 14 pound furry baby was draped, anesthetized and undergoing major abdominal surgery. A few days and two dozen or so metal staples later, Sanford was on his way to recovery. Oh and yes he did have to wear “that cone thing” on his head afterward but…he didn’t seem to mind.

A recent story on on WBBM 780 about online dog licenses says that Chicago is home to 500,000 dogs so there’s at least that many dog lovers here-likely more because some homes have more than one pet parent. Yet I don’t think that many of us have taken the time to take a class or read a book about to care for our furry family member in the event of an emergency. Have you?

Our web site sells books on cat and dog first aid and CPR as well as classes you can take. The class is great and the pet manikins are fun to learn on. They are used to show you the proper techniques to do things like splint injured limbs and perform CPR on your pet. The manikins you practice with in the class look like big stuffed animals but their lungs rise and fall when you blow into their snouts.

Here’s a video from the Daily Herald about how to perform pet CPR.

I have one more recommendation for all those pet lovers out there; look into pet insurance, see what’s out there and consider your options. Caring for your four legged best friend can be expensive. April is National Pet First Aid month; learn what to put in a pet first aid kit and more here.

Has your pet had an emergency? Tell us about it. Did you know what to do and most importantly was your pet OK?

Martha Carlos is admittedly a little obsessed with her pup, but then again what dog lover isn’t?

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