Cars present a deep-rooted danger to people and pets alike. Hundreds of thousands of cats and dogs are hurt or even killed in numerous road accidents every year. Proper restraining does help to prevent such accidents and save lives. But what should one do in the unfortunate event that your pet somehow got loose and got involved in either a minor or fatal accident? If you’re not so sure about the actions to take, consult with Naqvi Injury Attorneys to learn about all the necessary steps you need to take shortly after.
Steps to take if your pet is involved in an accident
Say you are driving with your pet and your car gets in a road accident. Alternatively, you could be taking your pet for a walk and it somehow gets loose and later gets hit by a car. As soon as you suspect that your pet is hurt, you should check it to access the extent of the injury.
Step 1: Assess the damage
Considering that pets tend to escape from the scene to try and get away from the potentially risky environment they perceive themselves to be in, it’s advisable that you restrain it. After you have already restrained the pet, move it to a safe place, and check if it has suffered a serious injury.
If you notice that the pet cannot move that’s a sign that it has suffered a spinal injury. The injured pet requires immediate medical attention.
Call a vet and explain the situation. If a vet can’t be sent to the scene of the accident, they should at least send someone to pick you up and take the pet to the clinic.
Step II: Wait for help
Certain injuries may require to be attended to urgently. As you wait, administer some first aid to your pet depending on how badly hurt it is. For example:
- If the pet is bleeding profusely, use something soft like a towel to minimize the bleeding. You should also create a makeshift tourniquet if necessary using a shoelace or belt. This will keep it stable as you wait.
- If your pet is in shock, try positioning it on its side with the tongue extending outwards to keep the airways open. Common signs to look out for are a faint heartbeat, pale blue gums, extreme weakness, and rapid breathing.
- If your pet has any broken bones, stabilize them with a rigid object such as a stick and try as much as possible to prevent it from moving.
- If the pet has a sharp object such as glass stuck in the skin, it’s highly advisable that you refrain from removing the object. If the glass has penetrated a major blood vessel, the pet could bleed to death.
In addition to the symptoms listed above, here are other signs that you should look out for include:
- Dark-colored urine/stool or difficulty going to the toilet
- Change in demeanor
A lot of the internal injuries such as bruising of the lungs or diaphragmatic tears or ruptures are quite hard to notice. If these injuries are left untreated, they worsen over time, and eventually, the pet succumbs.
Step III: Seek Treatment
Don’t question whatever treatment the professionals that arrive on the scene say is necessary. Most of them are well trained in keeping pets safe in such situations.
After treatment, keenly observe your pet when you go back home with it, and don’t hesitate to contact the vet if you have any concerns.
How can one prevent such accidents?
A few measures can mean the difference between life and death for your pet. Here are some of the ways in which you can prevent accidents involving your pets:
- Make sure that your dog is on a leash every time you’re out taking walks
- Make sure that the back and front yard are securely fenced so that the pet doesn’t wander off into the street
- De-sex your pet to discourage the urge to wander in search of a mate
- Keep pets locked indoors at night
- Ensure that your pets are supervised at all times especially if you live in a busy street
- When traveling, either in a car or plane, make sure that your pet is secured in position using a harness
- Actively report any lost and found pets that you see wandering around. This way they’ll be safely returned to their owner as soon as possible
Pets do not show pain as we do – they sometimes tend to hide pain or any form of discomfort as a defense mechanism. That’s why you should seek veterinary treatment immediately you suspect that your pet is hurt. He/she will perform a physical examination to check for any signs of internal injury. It’s still a good idea to have your pet looked at even if it’s not showing any obvious signs of injury.