There is a wave of interest in pet cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) among kennel workers, pet daycare personnel, dog trainers, groomers, and pet owners. Though the effort to learn the methods to bring a pet back from the brink of disaster is laudable, I feel it is much more important for pet owners and caregivers to learn to recognize the signs which indicate an animal may be getting into medical trouble.
Recognition of the clinical signs associated with impending severe illness will allow the caregiver or owner the time to seek professional medical care long before CPR is needed. The successful outcome of cases that involved CPR at a major university veterinary hospital (the animals were in the hospital at the time of CPR) was about 11%. The chances of a successful outcome in the real work are surely to be more dismal. Knowing what to look for and rapid assessment of key physical parameters are much more likely to save a pet than resuscitation. It’s nice to know animal CPR, but it’s better to be prepared.
The staff at Colvin Run Veterinary Clinic conducts a Pet First-Aid and Emergency Preparedness Course for interested pet owners on a recurring basis. There is no charge for the course but reservations are required as space is limited. The instructor, Dr. Kim Schiller, is a board certified specialist in canine/feline practice and has over 13 years of emergency/critical care experience. For information regarding dates and locations of the course, call Colvin Run Veterinary Clinic at 703-759-4500 or visit www.colvinrunvetclinic.com.