Submitted by: Maile George, GDB Alumni Association and Co-chair of the Outreach Subcommittee
As responsible GDB graduates, we do everything we can to keep our guide dogs fit and healthy. We take them to the vet, groom them, provide flea and heartworm prevention, feed them an appropriate diet, care for their gums and teeth, trim their nails, clean their ears, provide plenty of fresh water, exercise with them, and love and play with them! Another aspect of caring for our guide dogs is being prepared to deal with a medical emergency. During the March Speaker Series call, we learned why it's important for us to remain calm and confident during an emergency medical situation.
The call was led by Peggy Rew, Nevada's only American Red Cross Dog & Cat Basic First Aid & CPR Instructor. Peggy taught us about the supplies we should have on hand in our homes, in our backpacks and/or in our office drawers. We also got tips on wound treatment, hypothermia/frostbite, heat stroke/heat exhaustion, seizures and shock, bee stings, snake bites, dog and wild animal bites, burns, poisoning, choking, CPR, broken bones, drowning, calming techniques, nausea, diarrhea, and sap, ice ball, tar and gum removal.
Other recommendations for GDB graduates:
- Enroll in a canine First Aid class taught by a Red Cross certified CPR and First Aid instructor
- Assemble a canine medical kit- preferably one for the home and one to keep with us as we go about our daily activities. Become familiar with how to use each item contained in the kits
- Download the American Red Cross “Pet First Aid” app
- Establish a credit card specifically for use in the event of a guide dog medical emergency. This is important if the emergency occurs on a weekend or holiday, or before or after regular office hours at GDB – the times when authorization numbers cannot be issued
- Learn how to check vital signs
- Keep handy an accessible list of telephone numbers for a local cab company, your dog's veterinarian, a local 24-hour emergency pet hospital, and the toll-free animal poison control center