How to Deal with a Sick or Injured Pet

Keeping your pet well-nourished and cared for can cut down on the necessity to visit the vet, but if the worst should happen, you need to know how to deal with it.

Keeping your pets healthy is just as important as looking after your own health. A well cared for pet will have a better life and live longer, and it will also cost you less in vet’s bills during its lifetime.

When you get a new pet visit a vet and have your new family member examined to make sure it is healthy. If you already have a pet and haven’t done this, it’s not to late to do it now.

First of all you need to find a good vet who charges reasonable fees. Friends and neighbours can often recommend someone locally, animal shelters and breeders can often be helpful here. If you have to choose from the telephone book it’s a good idea to visit the clinic and see if it is suitable in terms of where it is, service level, costs, etc.

When you visit the vet with your pet take safety precautions because behaviour can change when your cat, or dog (or other pet) picks up the scent of other animals. Animals can become highly stressed, afraid sometimes aggressive.

Dogs should be on a leash and cats and rabbits carried in a basket with lid, or a special cage. Very small pets can be carried in cardboard boxes with small air holes made in the top. Make sure that you know what you are going to say to the vet. Get it clearly in your mind. It’s amazing how quickly you can get confused when you are stressed and upset about a sick pet.

Cats and dogs will need to be vaccinated against various animal diseases and you may also need advice on getting your pet neutered if you don’t want to breed the animal.

Handling an animal that is sick, or in pain, takes special care. Be calm and move slowly. Speak softly to reassure because you pet may become aggressive and afraid. Wrap small animals in a blanket to protect yourself and them.

How to Give a Cat a Pill

  1. Tilt the cat’s head back and the mouth will drop open. Hold the pill in your other had between finger and thumb.
  2. Drop the pill into the open mouth. Gently hold the mouth closed and blow into the cat’s face.

Giving your pet medication is not always easy. Hiding pills in strong smelling food often works for dogs but often fails for cats. Try salmon paste or meat spread for a cat but even that may fail as cats are notorious for refusing to swallow pills.

If all else fails wrap the cat in a blanket with its head sticking out of the top. Get someone to help you here as that makes it faster and you are less likely to stress the animal, or end up scratched to pieces. Aim to throw the pill as close to the back of the cats tongue as you can. Don’t used your finger to push it in, or you will end up seriously hurt. Once the pill is in the cat’s mouth, hold the mouth closed and blow gently into your cat’s face until it swallows. This usually works but watch out for the clever cat that keeps the pill in the side of its mouth and spits it out once you walk away.

How to Give a Dog a Pill

  1. Put your hand over dog’s muzzle and open the mouth with your other hand.
  2. Place the tablet at the back of the throat and close the mouth.
  3. Rub the throat gently until the dog swallows. Praise your pet and make a fuss of him for swallowing the pill.

On a day to day basis, watch your pet’s behaviour and note any changes. If you are at all worried about your animal visit a vet as son as you can. That way you keep your animal healthy and active for longer and taking care of general health means that problems are less likely later in life. Just the same as you.

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User Comments
  1. valli

    On January 6, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Useful information with well explained pictures.

  2. Judy Sheldon-Walker

    On January 6, 2008 at 8:03 am

    Thanks for the good tips for our babies.

  3. Dee Huff

    On January 6, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Great advice, Louie. When my daughter’s dog needed antibiotics we tried hiding the pills in lumps of cheese, but it backfired, and he became very suspicious of any treats we gave him for a long time after that.

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