Guest blog by Rachel Bean
Have you ever thought about what you would do if your dog had an accident in the home or out on a walk, had a cut paw or was accidentally poisoned? What would you do before you arrived at the vet’s?
Do you want to be better prepared?
It is becoming increasingly popular to gain First Aid knowledge and it will give a dog owner or dog carer the skills to save a life, relieve pain and suffering and prevent any deterioration of the dog’s condition. Anyone can carry out First Aid to an animal as long as it is within the boundaries and limitations of The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 and is limited to the above aims only. On the other hand, it is illegal to treat someone else’s dog for a medical condition for example, if you are not a Veterinary Surgeon.
Canine First Aid training will cover subjects from bleeding, shock, road traffic accidents, hyperthermia, stings, seizures, CPR and bandaging.
There a many learning opportunities to choose from and it may be difficult to choose the correct learning platform. A good guide to choosing a course that is going to be of most use and teach you fully:
- Choose a tutor that works in Veterinary Practice and/or is a Registered Veterinary Professional with The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. They have real- life and frontline experience of emergency situations and can draw on this to educate you to the best level. Be careful of Human First Aid led Courses, they may not have the experience of such emergencies to tutor to the required level or answer obscure questions.
- Choose a course run in a small group. This maximises interaction and learning. Large groups and PowerPoint presentations reduce that personal feel and discussion based learning.
- Choose a course that uses real dogs for the practical bandaging as this gives you experience of a dog moving and you learn the anatomical points on the dog to aid successful bandaging. You will also get to experience what a real pulse feels like.
- Be wary of courses that advertise that you will be a qualified First Aider after the course, this is usually a self certification and not with a governing body. Human First Aid companies often advertise that it is a recognised course but generally is recognised by a human first aid governing body not a pet related or veterinary one.
Rachel Bean is a Qualified Veterinary Nurse and has worked in Veterinary Practice for 18 years. She is a listed and Registered Veterinary Nurse with The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Rachel is also the consultant behaviourist at the Northwest newest and largest Canine Hydrotherapy Centre, K9 Swim. She won Pet Health Counsellor of the Year in 2004 and has a certificate in Companion Animal Behaviour issued by The British Veterinary Nursing Association.
Find Rachel’s Canine First Aid workshop at Enjoy Your Dog on our Events page!