Pa. ó An injured dog will bite, even if it is your
there was one takeaway at the first-aid class for K-9
police officers held at Gladwyne Fire Company recently
it was this: Donít take risks when a dogís teeth are
inches from your face.
have some deeply wired behaviors," said Jon
Detweiler, an emergency medical technician who was
instructing about 15 officers on how to recognize and
respond to medical emergencies involving their
four-legged partners. "Please be ready for
officers and their companions from Montgomery and
Delaware Counties gathered for the three-hour class and
practice sessions. An afternoon class for paramedics,
emergency medical technicians, and nurses addressed
issues the group might encounter when responding to
emergencies involving working canines, each valued as
high as $50,000. The classes were sponsored by Narberth
of what the professionals learned about canine injuries
due to car accidents, heatstroke, and penetrating trauma
would be useful for owners of household pets as well,
said Scott Kramer, a paramedic with Narberth Ambulance.
anybody can do in an emergency situation will help save
a life," said Sharon Minninger, a veterinarian who
was teaching the class. She and Detweiler own Telford
working dogs with a strong drive to work, it is
important their police partners know when to give them a
break so they donít overheat.
or heatstroke can happen any time, said Detweiler.
"This is huge. This is 100 percent
also an issue for household pets.
had a dog die this week," she said about a case at
her veterinary practice. The family pet was accidentally
left outside in the sun all day without water.
"They start with a higher body temperature than us.
It doesnít take long to get to a high level."
canít tell by just feeling a dog if its temperature is
elevated. Those ear thermometers are built for humans
and useless in pets because of their anatomy.
look for symptoms such as altered behavior. A pet may
collapse or vomit as well. Placing ice bags under the
petís armpits, covering them with a wet towel, cooling
the pads of their feet with alcohol swabs, or placing
them in a pool or stream will help bring down high body
temperature, she said.
class included CPR instruction, recognizing signs and
symptoms that would signal a medical crisis, basic first
aid, and emergency planning for transportation and
hospital treatment before it is needed.
seminar hit home for Whitemarsh Police Officer Matt
Stadulis, who was there with his service dog, Nika, a
3-year-old Belgian Malinois trained as a patrol and
explosives dog. A few years ago Stadulisí first canine
partner, Brock, suffered a seizure at a training class,
didnít know what to do," Stadulis said. First aid
had not been a part of the comprehensive training
officers go through with their canine partners, he said.
now retired at age 9, was rushed to Matthew J. Ryan
Veterinary Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania
and treated for mild heatstroke. He fully recovered, the
first-aid class "gives you the confidence to know
what to do," said Stadulis.
AN EMERGENCY PLAN FOR YOUR PETS
Know where the nearest 24-hour emergency veterinary
clinic is located. Have the phone number handy.
Be able to recognize abnormal behaviors for your pet.
Know the basic signs of overheating, poison exposure,
Have a separate pet first-aid kit with basic supplies.
Injured dogs will bite. Donít assume your dog wonít
become aggressive, and donít take unnecessary risks.
Practice fire drills with your pets so they are familiar
with the sound of the alarm and will know what to
Be mindful of small toys that pets can choke on.
TO INCLUDE IN A PET FIRST AID KIT
A canine first aid book
Sterile 4-by-4 gauze and 5-by-9 ABD pads, a highly
4-by-4 yards of bulk roll gauze
Stainless steel shears
4 ounce bottle of eye wash
Instant cold pack and mylar emergency blanket
Burn gel with lidocaine
ASPCA has a 24-hour Animal Poison Control Center that
operates year round. The number is 888-426-4435.