SPECIAL OFFER: - Limited Time Only!
(The ad below will not display on your printed page)

How to Handle Pet Health Emergencies

Just like kids, dogs and cats are prone to accidents. "It's so important not to panic when your pet is hurt," says Ines de Pablo, chief officer of Wag'N Enterprises, specialists in pet emergency management. "Having the right tools on hand and enough knowledge about how to help before you can get to the vet is crucial." Our guide shows you how to prevent incidents and be prepared if and when a problem strikes.

By Caren Oppenheim

Track Your Pet's Health

De Pablo suggests performing a health assessment on a weekly basis so you can catch a small issue before it becomes something major. Keep your pet safe by doing the following:

injured pets
Enlarge Image
John Ueland

Pet First Aid 101

Learning standard first-aid skills means you'll be able to help your pet when a crisis arises. Here are the essentials.

injured pets
Enlarge Image
John Ueland

Pet First-Aid Kit Essentials
injured pets
Enlarge Image
John Ueland

Buy: The Skinny Mayday Pet First Aid Kit, wagn4u.com, $19. For every kit purchased, $1 will be donated to the Morris Animal Foundation's Canine Cancer Campaign.

Conditions That Require Immediate Medical Attention
injured pets
Enlarge Image
John Ueland

Ines de Pablo, chief officer of Wag'N Enterprises, lists the following situations as those requiring emergency veterinary care:

Head, chest, or abdomen trauma

A prolonged or first seizure

Arterial bleeding


Animal, chemical, and environmental poisoning


Respiratory distress

A sudden inability to walk



Smoke inhalation

Nose bleeds


Spinal cord and neck injuries


Blunt trauma from a car accident

Heat stroke



A protruding eye injury

A loss of pulse after administering CPR

Choking scenarios

Bloody urine or stool

Facial swelling


Originally published in the July 2010 issue of Family Circle magazine.