Push the panic button at the slightest change in your pet’s behaviour and call the vet? Or wait and watch? How much waiting can you do? What if it proves fatal? These are questions that run through every pet owner’s mind. For answers, attend this forthcoming workshop by Preethi, a vet nurse, called “Let’s talk dogs”
Swati Nayak, a first-time pet parent to an 18-month-old Labrador named Pepsi, experienced her first pet emergency after over a year of adoption. Pepsi, otherwise a calm and docile dog, started whining continuously, lost his appetite and his nose began dripping. Alarmed by the situation, Swati rang up her vet, only to realize that he was travelling. While she explained Pepsi’s other symptoms over the phone, there was no way she could have known Pepsi’s body temperature.
“I had a thermometer, but I did not know how to use it. While I explained other symptoms to my vet, he could not prescribe a medicine without this vital information,” recalls Swati, who was left with no option but to wait for her vet till the next day. While this story had a happy ending, experts feel when medical emergencies befall pets, most often, pet parents find it difficult to act and take rational decisions.
Some emergencies are obvious. If your pet stops breathing or is bleeding profusely, you will reach out to your vet immediately. But what would you do if your pet shows lethargic body language? How would you react if a late-night stroll with your four-legged friend turned into a snake-bite accident? Should you be alarmed if your dog had a fall with no apparent injury? How do you revive your pet if she starts choking on her treat?
If you are unsure about these questions, Preethi Narayan, a vet paramedic, is all set to help you through an upcoming seminar. “Let’s talk dogs,” a two-hour workshop by Preethi in association with Wag-ville, a pet services, animal interaction and animal assisted therapy center in Bengaluru, on May 5, will train you on pet medical emergencies and how to react in such situations.
“The workshop is about what to look out for, how to identify and deal with a medical emergency. It will help pet parents understand if they need to wait or reach out to their vets immediately. Many pet owners do not know how to respond, and they panic. This workshop will give them some confidence in managing their pets,” says Subhadra Cherukuri, co-founder, Wag-ville.
According to Preethi, the workshop will help pet parents understand preventive healthcare and identify emergency symptoms in their pets. “Understanding how your dog is feeling is important. A dog might get up immediately after a fall or an accident and start walking. But there is always a possibility of internal injuries and your pet might now show apparent symptoms immediately. We want to educate pet parents on how soon they should reach their vets,” says Preethi.
The next time your beloved pet shows distress signals, looks uncomfortable or refuses food, reach out to your vet immediately. According to Preethi, in most cases, pet parents play the wait and watch game which might prove fatal. Experts say, being animals, pets have high tolerance levels. So by the time your dog shows a visible symptom, it is likely to be more advanced than you think.
“I have worked as a veterinary nurse for seven years, and we see this regularly. By the time people come in, a simple thing like gastroenteritis would have reached the critical phase. Bloat is yet another medical emergency that leaves you with very little time to save the dog. In case of bloat, the stomach twists. The dog becomes uncomfortable with hanging head, starts to walk around, unable to sit. Bloat is treatable if the pet is brought to us in time. The workshop will try to change pet parents’ ‘wait and watch’ attitude,” says Preethi.
While a couple of loose motions alone should not be a buzzer, any other stress signal accompanying loose motions should trigger the alarm. “If the dog is eating right and looking happy, a couple of loose motions should not be considered an emergency. But if the dog is lethargic along with loose motion or vomiting, you should not wait. Pet parents should identify everything about their pets. You should be watching your dog all the time and be able to observe and spot changes in behaviour or mood,” says Preethi.
The workshop will also educate pet parents about the importance of building trust in your veterinarian. “It is vital to stand by your vet’s diagnosis and his treatment. Remember that treating animals is more difficult than treating humans. Vets are forced to rely on experience, observation and instinct to diagnose an issue. It is a lot tougher. Unfortunately, we live in an environment where vets and their abilities are constantly questioned,” says Preethi.
The workshop will be conducted from 9 am to 11 am and has limited seats. Contact (WhatsApp) 9449929024 to book a spot.