YORKTOWN N.Y. -- Knowing how to react when your pet faces an emergency could be all the difference.
Guiding Eyes for the Blind in Yorktown hosted a pet first aid and emergency care course for dogs and cats on Thursday.
Veterinarians at Guiding Eyes covered animal emergencies including how to create a first-aid kit, apply a muzzle and stop blood loss. George, one of Guiding Eyes' dogs, acted as a volunteer.
The more than 100 patrons who attended learned to identify common toxins, identify injuries from the heat or cold and about CPR and artificial respiration.
"Often people don't know whether they need to take their pet to the emergency room or not," said Michelle Brier, director of marketing for Guiding Eyes, said.
Dr. Jody Sandler, director of veterinary services for Guiding Eyes, said this will give pet owners guidance when their pet is in need.
"When their pet is in need, people immediately head off to the emergency room, even if it's not necessary," Sandler is. "They could've waited or at least taken their pet the next day."
Visits to the vet can take a lot of time and be expensive, Sandler said.
Sandler said a common mistake pet owners make is giving their pets Advil or other human medication.
"That is a really bad thing," Sandler said. "Dogs cannot handle human medication."
Dr. Heidi Hungerbuhler said pet owners need to learn the difference between an emergency and a prefer-gency that an often be treated at home.
Prefer-genies include ear infections, gastroenteritis or bleeding skin while an emergency would be difficulty breathing, bleeding or a dog collapsing.
With gastroenteritis, it is important to not give a dog food or water, Hungerbuhler said.
In a true emergency, Hungerbuhler said to call for help and use caution when approaching a hurt animal since they me disoriented and bite.
When it comes to artificial respiration, pet owners should look for objects obstructing their airway and apply 10 breaths a minute.
Hungerbuhler said CPR on dogs and cats rates of survival to discharge are only seven percent compared to 20 percent in humans.
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