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Animal first aid

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Abstract

First aid is defined as the immediate treatment of injured animals or those suffering from sudden illness, with a view to preventing worsening of disease or death. Although veterinary nurses do not have greater legal powers than lay people, in situations requiring first aid they will have far greater knowledge of anatomy and physiology, and of the specific emergency first aid techniques required. In practice, nurses may be faced with emergency situations requiring evaluation and stabilization until the arrival of the veterinary surgeon. This chapter is designed to give information on the Definition of the term first aid and its limitations; Reasons for patient evaluation; Obtaining good case history and what should be included; Emergency procedures that may be performed to maintain life; Basic resuscitation techniques; and Emergency procedures for common first aid situations.

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Figures

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8.3 Maintain body temperature to prevent shock from becoming established.
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8.4 Lifting a medium-sized dog: the safe-lift technique, protecting the handler’s spine.
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8.5 Two people lifting a dog. Each handler should keep their back straight for safety during lifting.
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8.6 Lifting a giant breed of dog requires at least three people.
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8.7 Placing an animal in the recovery position. The tongue should now be drawn forward and the collar removed.
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8.10 Checking the colour of mucous membranes and capillary refill time.
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8.13 With the animal in recovery position, place hands over ribs, behind shoulder bone, and compress the chest.
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8.16 To inhibit bleeding, press a pad of swabs on the affected area.
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8.17 Examining the eye for signs of tissue swelling.

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