As a certified Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Automated External Defibrillator (CPR and AED) instructor for humans, but as a pet owner and lover, I have always been curious about how lifesaving works for our furry companions. Couple this curiosity with a few health scares from my very own fur baby, it did not take me long to decide on signing up for the PetSaver CPR, First Aid & Care programme.
Our instructor, Ralph, a Pet Tech CPR & First Aid Instructor from Fido Pawpose, was effable from the start. As soon as I walked through the door with my family, he was there to greet us personally.
The class was kept small for easier communication and more space for each of us to move and workaround. After a 15-minute introduction of the programme, we were all set and ready to get started.
The programme commenced with a theory lesson on the essential must-knows. Taking us through the various ways of better discerning the changeable and non-changeable factors that contribute to the well-being of our pets, our instructor gave an engaging and interactive lecture on emergencies and how best to tackle them when the situation calls for it.
The next part was the fun one – practicals! Besides learning about the different kinds of muzzles to use on both dogs and cats, we were also taught how to muzzle our dogs (using toy dogs), which is dependent “on the situation, the size and behaviour of the pet, the injury and if you are alone or if you have help”.
Then we got to carry out the correct actions and perform the right CPR and breathing techniques on pets small and large, or barrel-chested. Our instructor made us emulate different versions of approaching a pet: From making your presence known, to giving them the help they require, all within a reasonable amount of time.
As confidence and steadiness are important factors when handling pets in dire situations, we had to demonstrate the techniques learnt in front of the whole class.
All’s Well That End’s Well
After the many rounds of practice, it was time for us to figure out to do in different scenarios eg: when faced with a situation at home, or the dog park.
From Choking Management, Blood Loss Protocols, Shock Management, and even Seizures, we not only got to learn and practice how and what we should do, but also what we should NOT do, one of them being not putting our fingers or hands into our pet’s mouth and trying to hold them.
Even if your pet is the sweetest, most gentle creature you have ever known in your life, their teeth and claws can still hurt you during such times of discomfort. The programme ended off with a short question and answer session. Any doubts or unclarified queries were carefully and rectified by Ralph. We were also advised and taught how to prepare a simple First Aid Kit for our pets for emergencies.
While it was only within a day, all of us came out of the course feeling more enabled to help our animal friends when they are in need. A certificate of completion was awarded to each of us at the end of the course, which also bestowed upon us a two-year license to carry out the lifesaving methods we have learnt on our furry friends when the situation calls for it.
A Word Of Caution
Things to take note of:
* Be clearly and consistently aware of your pet’s age, nature and health issues.
* When approaching an injured pet, always alert them of your presence first.
* Make sure First Aid, CPR and/or Rescue Breathing is carried out accordingly.
* Do not, in any circumstance, put your hand or fingers into the mouth of the pet.
* Be calm and steady in such times of distress. This will lead to clearness of mind and better decision making.
* If possible, keep a well-stocked pet first aid kit in case of emergencies.
* Seek expert help and advice if the condition of your pet is too dire.