Pet first aid training proves to be a life-saver

Pet first aid training proves to be a life-saver

Would you know what to do if your pet collapsed?

A report in the Nottingham Post shows how first aid skills aren't just for human emergencies.

The newspaper says that a professional dog walker and her daughter recently helped to save the life of a dog by using 'mouth-to-snout' resuscitation.

Karen Hodge had recently completed a PDSA Pet First Aid course, which had been organised by the charity Notts and Yorkshire Boxer Rescue, where she volunteers.

Her new skills were put to the test in dramatic fashion during a woodland walk with Travis, an eight-year-old Boxer, when he seemed to slip and tumble down a hill.

"He lost control of his bowels, and then I saw he'd stopped breathing and his eyes were glazing over. At that point I knew something was seriously wrong, and I needed to act immediately," Karen explained.

To save the dog's life, Karen started CPR with heart compressions and short, quick breaths through the nostrils.

"I never thought I'd be using the skills so soon, but something just took over -- I went into automatic and knew exactly what to do," Karen said.

Travis came round after a few minutes and Karen and her 19-year-old daughter Emily rushed him to the nearest vet. On the way there the dog stopped breathing again and Emily was able to resuscitate him under instruction from her mum.

Once at the vets, Travis needed to be resuscitated for a third time by veterinary staff. They stabilised him, and recommended a referral to a specialist cardiologist.

The dog has now been diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy and is on long-term medication for his condition. However, his vet has warned that his heart could stop again at any time.

His owners are now planning to attend a PDSA Pet First Aid course, so they can learn the same life-saving skills that Karen did.

The courses, which can be booked online for a £5 booking fee, cover various topics including heatstroke, poisoning, seizures, choking and resuscitation.

For more information, visit the PDSA Pet First Aid Course page.

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