In a previous Bali Advertiser article we discussed how pet owners can be best prepared for a natural or manmade disaster (see ‘Disaster Preparedness for your Pets’ in the online archive). In part 2 of this theme we discuss how pet owners can optimize their preparedness for common veterinary emergencies by keeping a dedicated ‘Pet First Aid Kit’ at home, which can not only save money on vet visits but also in some cases save a life.
Situations where a ‘Pet First Aid Kit’ can be useful:
- Oral Poisoning
- Hot spots
- Snake bites
- Allergic reactions
- Bleeding nails/ears
Poisoning is one of the most common emergencies treated at Sunset Vet. Although the term ‘poisoning’ can refer to the ingestion of any toxin – owner’s medications, chocolate, slug repellent etc, in Bali the most frequent type encountered is malicious poisoning as perpetrated by the RW (dog meat) restaurants. The modus operandi of the RW dog catchers is to leave poisoned meatballs on the street or in public areas, and then return later to collect the dead or dying dogs. If you see your dog eat a suspicious piece of bait:
- Remove your pet from the source of poison
- Induce vomiting if poison was ingested within the hour. Draw H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) 3% out of a bottle using the syringe. The dose is 1 ml of H2O2 per 1 kg of body weight. Remove the syringe and administer the liquid orally into your dog’s mouth. Walk your dog after administration (when possible). Wait for reaction within 10-15 minutes. If your dog weighs more than 45 kg, give 45 ml.
PS: Never induce vomiting if your dog: is unable to swallow, having seizures, or already vomiting. Never induce vomiting in cats.
- Once the dog has already vomited, or if the dog has still not vomited 20 minutes after swallowing the hydrogen peroxide, proceed to give the activated charcoal. Small dog/cat: 20 tablets. Large dog: 40 tablets. If tablet administration is not possible, crush the tablets in a bowl using the back of a spoon, mix with water, and administer using a syringe.
- Take your animal to the nearest veterinarian immediately
- Observe for any symptoms during transport such as hypersalivation, tremors, convulsions, unconsciousness, bleeding, breathing difficulties
A cut is best dealt with by your local vet, who will be able to advise you whether any stitches are required or not. However it is useful to have materials to hand to temporarily stop the bleeding and also to protect the wound to stop it getting traumatized further, or bacteria entering the wound.
- Clean the wounded area from debris with running water (if any)
- Clean the wound with chlorhexidine. This pink soap is the most common antiseptic used in veterinary clinics. It needs to be diluted first by water, and dabbed onto a piece of cotton wool.
- Cover the area with hydrophile gauge. If the wound is superficial, apply povidone iodine
- If the wound is on the limb, wrap some ‘softband’ lightly above the gauge. Thereafter wrap some ‘vetwrap’ on top of the softband. Do not apply too much pressure as it may cause swelling and blood flow obstruction
- Take your animal to the nearest veterinarian immediately
Bali has numerous species of snakes but only a handful are considered highly venomous; the Javanese Spitting Cobra, the King Cobra, the Green Pit Viper and the Banded Krait. The most common injury to dogs is from spitting cobras, which are common in Bali particularly in areas where there is a lot of garbage, as they are attracted there by the rodents. There is only one type of antivenom available in Bali known as a polyvalent antivenom as it covers the venom of 3 of the aforementioned species, all but the King Cobra. The antivenom is expensive though so if you know for certain that the species of snake was not a venomous one, then your vet will choose not to give the antivenom as this avoids the small chance of an anaphylactic reaction to the antivenom itself.
- Take a photo of the snake / note the special features of the snake if possible
- Hold the area bitten higher than the rest of the body. Keep your dog calm.
- Give antihistamine tablets with the following dose:
- 0-3 kg : 1/3 tablet
- 3-5 kg : ½ tablet
- 6-10 kg : 1 tablet
- 11-15 kg : 1 ½ tablets
- 16-20 kg : 2 tablets
- 20-25 kg : 2 ½ tablets
- 25-30 kg : 3 tablets
- Take regular body temperature readings
- Take your animal to the nearest veterinarian immediately. Your dog needs IV fluids and possibly anti-venom, and pain relief.
- Observe for any symptoms during transport such as hypersalivation, tremors, convulsions, unconsciousness, breathing difficulties
In case of spitting cobra venom
Spitting cobras usually spit venom to the face making the eyes very vulnerable.
- Clean the eyes with the sterile water in your Pet First Aid Kit
- Take your animal to the nearest veterinarian for IV fluids immediately
Allergic Reactions (Insect bites/stings, food sensitivities)
- Symptoms to observe for: panting, hives, sudden onset swelling, itchiness
- Give antihistamine tablets (dose as written above in snake bite section)
- Take your pet to the nearest veterinarian for observation as he/she is in risk of shock.
Bleeding when cutting the nails
If you accidentally clipped your dogs nail too short causing it to bleed, apply ‘PK crystals’ immediately to stop the bleeding. It is normal for the crystal to turn pink/purple when in contact with water.
Sunset Vet offers ready-made pet first aid kits from their Kuta and Ubud clinics for approximately Rp.400k, alternatively you can make your own using the following items:
– Thermometer x1
– Hydrophile gauge x8
– Softband x1
– Vetwrap x1
– Cotton wool x1
– Gloves x8
– Syringe 10 ml x1
– Sterile water x1
– Chlorhexidine soap x1
– Alcohol 70% x1
– Povidone iodine x1
– H2O2 3% x1
– Antihistamine tablets x20
– Activated charcoal x1
– PK crystals x1
– Tick remover x1
Sunset Vet offers veterinary services via their Kuta (24hr) and Ubud (8am-10pm) clinics. For further information or to make an appointment call them on 03619348915 (Kuta) or 0361975296 (Ubud), or visit www.sunsetvetbali.com or www.facebook.com/sunsetvetbali or Instagram: sunset_vet_bali
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