Veterinarian Column: Pet Emergencies [Emergency Treatments You Can Do at Home]

by Alice's Dog & Catスタッフ

In the event of an emergency such as an injury, ingestion, heat stroke, or cardiopulmonary arrest when your pet is injured at home, it is important to know what first aid methods you can use at home until you head to the veterinary hospital. In this article, we will explain first aid that you can do at home in case of a pet emergency.

1. In case of an emergency such as your pet being injured, ingested by mistake, or having poor breathing conditions, first check the pet's condition.

・Respiration status, presence or absence of consciousness, presence or absence of bleeding

2. Next, contact the veterinary hospital.

・Register the phone numbers of your pet's family, overnight veterinary clinic, and the closest veterinary hospital to your mobile phone or landline in advance.

・Also, it is a good idea to find out how to get to each hospital and the means of transportation. If you don't have your own car, it's a good idea to register your taxi contact information in advance.

・Follow any instructions from your veterinarian.

◎ Bleeding from nails

The most common causes of bleeding at home are deep nails caused by nail clipping or accidents such as broken nails. Bleeding from the nail can usually be stopped by applying pressure to stop the bleeding, but if the bleeding does not stop or the nail is broken, please consult a veterinarian as treatment may be necessary.

Treatment: Check the bleeding area and apply pressure with a towel to stop the bleeding.

◎ Bleeding due to trauma

Treatment: If the wound is dirty, wash it with water, and if it is bleeding, apply pressure with a towel to stop the bleeding. If there is heavy bleeding, tie a towel or bandage tightly around the area closer to the heart than the wound.

(Animals' teeth and nails that are injured in fights are full of bacteria, so even if the injury appears to be mild, it may turn into suppuration later on. Even if the injury is minor, take it to the vet just to be sure.)

◎ Burns

When cooking in the kitchen, there have been accidents where pets were at their feet and the pet got splashed with oil.

Treatment: Immediately cool the affected area with running water. If you don't like water, place a towel wrapped in ice to cool it down. Cool the affected area and go to the vet.

◎ Accidental ingestion/drinking

Some foreign objects or accidentally ingested objects can be dangerous if induced to vomit. There are methods to induce vomiting using oxydol or saline, but it is often difficult to give these to pets at home, and there is a risk of aspiration, so we do not recommend them.

Treatment: There are ways to induce vomiting at home, but it is safer to have your pet treated at a veterinary hospital. Check what and how much your dog has eaten, and if you find any, bring it with you and take it to the vet immediately. If time passes, foreign objects may flow into the intestines and require open surgery, and poisonous substances may be absorbed, so it is best to visit the hospital immediately without checking on the situation.

If you are suffocating due to a foreign object getting stuck in your body

If your pet is suffocating, you need to treat it immediately.

Treatment: If the foreign object is visible when you open your mouth, remove it by hand. If part of the string is sticking out of the mouth, it is dangerous to pull it forcibly. Take your dog to the animal hospital immediately.

If your pet is trying to vomit but can't.

For medium-sized and large-sized dogs: When your pet is about to vomit, tap the area between the shoulder blades with your palm spread out several times to see if any foreign matter comes out.

Cats/Small Dogs → When your pet is about to vomit, spread your palms out from both sides and apply pressure to the chest in the direction the pet is trying to vomit.

Another method is to place your fist on the upper abdomen and apply pressure diagonally upward when your pet starts vomiting, but this method is not suitable for small dogs.

If it is not possible to remove the foreign object, take the animal to a veterinary hospital immediately. Also, if a foreign object is removed, be sure to have your pet examined at a veterinary hospital.

◎ Heatstroke

Heat stroke can occur even when it's not summer due to a hot and humid environment. If you feel your body is hot and your breathing is poor, move to a cooler room and cool your body with a wet towel. It is effective to cool down the neck, armpits, and groin areas, which have large blood vessels. Using ice to cool your body has the opposite effect, as it constricts your blood vessels and traps heat in your body. Let's take him to the veterinary clinic while keeping his body cool.

◎ Cardiopulmonary arrest


  • If your pet is limp and unconscious, place your pet on its right side.
  • Check breathing. Is your chest moving up and down? Are you breathing when you put your hand on the tip of your nose? Can you hear breathing sounds when you put your ear close to the tip of your nose?
  • Check heartbeat. Touch the position of the heart and the artery in the inner thigh with your fingertips to check if it is beating. It's a good idea to get used to each beat by touching it on a regular basis.
  • Heart massage: When you bend your front legs, your elbow will hit your chest, which is where your heart is.

Intertwine your fingers around your heart and interlace your hands to perform a heart massage. The number of compressions is 100 to 120 times per minute. Massage the chest of a small dog by 3 to 4 centimeters, and for large dogs by 5 to 6 centimeters. Check for pulse after 1 minute and repeat if there is no response.

  • Artificial respiration: For cats and small dogs, hold the cat's nose and mouth and blow in air. For medium/large dogs: Hold the dog's nose in its mouth and blow air into it. The standard is to compress the heart 5 times per artificial respiration.

*Recent thinking suggests that opening the airway and performing cardiac massage as soon as possible, rather than artificial respiration, and continuing it without interruption will improve the resuscitation rate.

Alice's Dog & Cat Veterinarian Column Pet Emergencies, Home First Aid

In the event of cardiopulmonary arrest, it is important to immediately contact a veterinary hospital and perform cardiac massage at the same time, and if no response is seen, it is important to continue this even when moving to the veterinary hospital.

During an emergency, you won't have time to search the internet, so it's important to remember emergency knowledge just in case. If in doubt, call the veterinarian hospital and follow the veterinarian's instructions.

Don't forget to register the number of your local veterinary hospital and emergency/night veterinary hospital in your cell phone.