Emergencies Out of Opening Hours
Out of normal opening hours we always have one of our vets and nurses on duty. If you phone any of our phone numbers, your call will be routed directly to the vet at home or the nurse in the Hospital. They will be able to help you with emergency advice, or will be able to see you and your pet if necessary. We do ask all clients to go to our Ringwood Hospital at night time. Click for a map.
Please do not just turn up – phone first, as our nurses have been instructed not to open the doors at night unless the vet is with them (for security reasons).
Our charges are greater for out of hours calls, so please ask for an estimate.
First Aid Advice
It is difficult to cover all of the accidents that your pet may, in theory, come across, but here are a few. Remember that these are not meant to be complete, and we would always suggest that you bring your pet in for us to check.
You will have noticed that most of the advice entails bringing the animal to the surgery fairly quickly after the event. This is the only way we can be sure that no complications have occurred.
|Bee sting||Bathe the affected area with a solution of bicarbonate of soda or soap. If the sting is in the mouth or on the face then bring the pet into the surgery immediately.|
|Wasp sting||Bathe the affected area with a solution of vinegar. If the sting is in the mouth or on the face then bring the pet into the surgery immediately.|
|Snake bite||Bring to the surgery immediately. Do not give antihistamines and stop all exercise.|
|Small wounds||Clean the wound with water or saline solution. Control bleeding with pressure if necessary. Bring to the surgery for evaluation.|
|Bleeding||Control bleeding with a bandage which is tied firmly or by keeping your fingers on the area for at least five minutes. A clean handkerchief or tea towel can be used. Bring to the surgery immediately.|
|Scalds/burns||Cool affected area IMMEDIATELY with water and/or ice. Continue cooling for at least 10 minutes. Remove hot fat with kitchen paper then use cold water/detergent mix. Cling film can be applied over the burn to keep it moist and clean but NO other dressings should be used. Chemical burns should be rinsed with copious amounts of water immediately. Bring to the surgery after the initial cooling.|
|Heat stroke||Start cooling with ice/water immediately and bring to the surgery.|
|Blocked airway||Try to remove the foreign material if possible. (Watch out for being bitten) Use the Heimlich manoeuvre to dislodge balls etc. (See footnote for Heimlich manoeuvre technique). Bring to the surgery IMMEDIATELY.|
|Road Traffic Accident||Bring to the surgery straight away.|
|Fractured bones||Keep injured limb as still as possible. Bring to the surgery straight away. Do not try to splint.|
|Paralysis||Bring to the surgery straight away. Avoid twisting or jarring the spine in case of spinal injury. Use a towel or sheet as a stretcher. Let your pet find a comfortable position.|
|Unconsciousness||Ensure airway is OK and animal is breathing. (But watch out for being bitten!) Bring to the surgery straight away.|
|Convulsions and fits||Keep animal in a dark, quiet room. Remain with him to prevent injury but do not touch or talk to him as this may make the situation worse. Make a note of the time the convulsions start. Speak to a vet over the phone immediately for further advice.|
|Electrocution||Switch off electricity supply. If not possible then move animal away from supply by using a dry wooden object e.g. broom handle. Bring to surgery straight away.|
|Insulin overdose||Give oral glucose solution, e.g. Hypostop, honey or sugar water as long as animal is conscious and swallowing. Sugar solutions can also be smeared on the gums. Bring to surgery as soon as possible.|
|Poisoning||Treatment depends on specific poison. DO NOT advise making the animal vomit unless you know the specific poison. Bring a sample and/or the packet with the animal to the surgery straight away.|
Using the Heimlich Manoeuvre in Pets
The animal should be held in a head down position so that the foreign body will fall from the mouth once dislodged. Small dogs and cats can be suspended by their hind legs; larger dogs may need to be suspended from a table edge or over a fence. Once in position a sharp punch should be administered to the abdominal wall, just behind the sternum and angled towards the animal’s head. This should result in a cough that dislodges the foreign body. If this proves useless then both hands can be placed either side of the animal’s chest and a sharp compression of the chest can be delivered. This procedure can be repeated up to 4 times.