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Preparing for a Pet’s Medical Emergency

Audio

Aired 5/6/09

What should people do to prepare for a possible medical emergency with their pet? We speak to a pair of local veterinarians about the most common pet-related medical emergencies, and what people can do to improve their pet's chances of survival after a snake bite, car accident, and heat stroke.

Maureen Cavanaugh: Pets, in general, don't need a lot of fussing around. Unlike other members of the family, their needs are simple: food, water, a little exercise, a nice belly rub and they're good to go.

But when a pet suddenly gets sick, or has an accident - it can put a stop to everything else going on in your life. What do you do? Who do you call?

What if you're out on a trail or traveling with you pet? Can you do anything like first aid to help your cat or dog survive a fall, or a traffic accident, or a snake bite? And, how do you know when the ailment or injury is serious enough to need immediate treatment?

Guests

Dr. Katy Allen, local veterinarian, and owner of Canterbury Tails Veterinary Services.

Dr. Trevor Garb, local veterinarian and associate director of the Pet Emergency and Specialty Center in San Diego.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Tammy Carpowich'

Tammy Carpowich, KPBS Staff | May 6, 2009 at 2:42 p.m. ― 5 years, 7 months ago

This is an interesting question... I'm not sure I know much more about how to save a person than I do a pet. The closest I've come to giving first aid is watching it on TV.

But as a pet owner, I think we have an obligation to keep our pets safe and cared for. If you pay attention to your pets, you should know when to take them to the vet. It's no different than having very young children. Just because they don't have words, it doesn't mean they don't communicate with you in other ways.

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