I have been teaching pet first aid for several years now.
One area I notice that attendees really want to know about is how to manage if a pet has a fit.
It’s one of those true emergencies when there certainly isn’t time to open a book or search the internet. So just in case, should it ever happen to your pet, here is my advice about what to do
A fit can vary a great deal in its appearance and severity. It can be a momentary absence of awareness, or a full on collapse with extreme muscle twitching and the pet’s body becoming fully stretched out, with saliva frothing and loss of bowel and bladder control.
The vast majority of fits last only minutes. Then there is a period of recovery taking up to thirty minutes.
- Don’t panic.
- Take the time.
- Look for risks to the fitting animal? Could it fall or knock something over as it moves?
- Darken the room, and turn off any music or machines.
- Check the time again. If it’s already been two minutes, and the muscular movements are not slowing down and becoming less intense, call the vets. There is always someone on duty whatever the time of day or night.
- Avoid touching or trying to move your pet. Talk softly to them in a monotone.
Within three minutes the fit will either be visibly over, or you will be talking to a veterinary professional.
Stay with your pet, in a cool, dark, quiet place. Slowly, they will regain their wits and their strength. Let them choose when to get up.
As long as no further fitting occurs, do not rush to the vet at this point, Instead, let them relax all day, with no excitement, and minimal exercise, but report in to the vets.
A trained person responds best in an emergency.
If you would like to be pet first aid trained, our next short course for pet owners is on the evening of Monday 30th September. Our next more in depth course for canine professionals and dog owners is on Monday 21st October.