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Pet owners keen to learn first aid in Worcestershire

Amy Holloway

For a second year running, our Pet First Aid Event was fully booked days before the event was due to be held, proving that this subject is still as popular as ever with local pet owners.

The evening was presented again by Emily Ashdown, an experienced RVN (Registered Veterinary Nurse), pet physiotherapist and first aid trainer. Over 130 people attended the event at St John’s CE Middle Academy in Bromsgrove on June 4th and we did manage to squeeze everyone in on our waiting list.

This event was aimed predominantly at dog and cat owners, as with most rabbit and small furry pet emergencies, it’s best to get them to a vet immediately.

During the event, Emily covered a number of common cat and dog health emergency situations including cuts, choking, poisons, seizures, heat stroke, stings, road traffic accidents, and GDV (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus Syndrome) in dogs. She explained the symptoms to look out for and what you can do to the animal in the first instance before you are able to get to a vet.

Emily Ashdown gave a fist aid talk to over 100 local pet owners

One of the most important things to remember, Emily explained, is to put your safety first so that you are able to help the animal and not be in danger yourself. Injured animals can be scared and unpredictable, and stepping into a road to assist can be extremely dangerous.

Emily also did some demonstrations on a very lifelike toy dog, showing how to perform CPR, feel a pulse and put the three different layers of bandaging on effectively and safely, without cutting off the circulation.

Emily Ashdown demonstrates how to apply three layers of bandage to a toy dog

Knowing what’s normal for your pet

Knowing your pet’s normal health and vital signs is really important so that you can tell what is not normal for them when they are feeling unwell. Emily encouraged everyone to go home and check the following vital signs:

  • Heart/Pulse Rate = beats per minute
  • Respiratory Rate = full rise & fall of chest breaths per minute
  • Mucous Membrane Colour = gums & insides of eyelids
  • Capillary Refill Time (CRT) = blood flow, seen on gums
  • Temperature = measured rectally
  • Mentation = level of consciousness and alertness

Learn more about how to measure each of the above >

Mrs Norton who attended the event had this to say: “Really useful information, I would highly recommend every pet owner to attend a session like this. Emily is extremely knowledgeable and explains things clearly and concisely”.

Many pet owners said they’d be interested in attending a more in-depth, paid-for first aid course with Emily in the future, where they could get more hands-on training in the subject. This is something we’re currently looking into so watch this space!

Pet First Aid Kits proved very popular again too, with 20 sold before the event had even begun, and more ordered afterwards. Sold at £15, 50% of all sales is being donated to our two chosen ‘super dog’ charities – Therapy Dogs Nationwide and Medical Detection Dogs. At the time of publishing this post, just over £200 had been raised.

Jackie Medler with therapy dog Merryn, Vet Hayley McKenzie, Harrison and Bounce the Medical Detection Dog
L to R: Jackie Medler with Merryn – a Therapy Dogs Nationwide dog, Vet Hayley McKenzie, Harrison with his Medical Detection Dog, Bounce.

If you have any concerns over your pet’s health or if you find yourself in an emergency situation with them, always call your vet for advice. At Clent Hills, our Out of Hours Pet Care service operates outside of our normal opening hours 24/7, simply call 01527 889810 for assistance. More info >

You might also want to check our Online Symptom Checker, now with a Poison Checker, to get quick advice on if your pet needs to see a pet straight away.

Main photo: Emily Ashdown (centre) with some of the guests

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