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First Aid: Is your up to scratch?

December 31st, 2019

For many of us our dog is our most loyal companion. Period.

As dog owners we’re fully responsible for our dogs well-being, however, many owners would struggle to help their dog in an accident or emergency. Just like us, our dogs are susceptive to serious health conditions like strokes, poisoning, heart attacks, broken bones or organ failure and the question is… would you know what to do?

It’s very important to know how to deal with situations like this, so taking a first aid course should be at the top of your list of things to do.

Since moving to the UK I’ve taken numerous first aid courses. As a dog groomer and a boarding kennel owner, I have to take a pet and human first aid course every 3 years. Have I ever had to apply what I learnt? Thankfully, only to manage small incidents, like minor bleedings.

I came a cross a lovely lady named Sophie Bell about a year ago. Sophie is a vet and she also teaches animal first aid courses. When I spoke to Sophie at the BIGA grooming competition in December, we had a little chat about her courses and it went something like this 🙂.

Jitka: Tell us something about yourself and the courses you offer.

Sophie: I’ve been a vet for 10 years. I work mainly in emergency and critical care but also have a love for all things natural too. My courses cover a lot of in-depth information and help pet owners as well as pet professionals.

We talk about health conditions such as diarrhoea and kennel cough and some home remedies that can really help. We look at how to clinically examine your dog and what subtle signs to look for when they’re in pain. There is a practical bandaging element and a chance to try CPR on my state-of-the-art manikin. We discuss different approaches to neutering, vaccinating and deworming and the options available to you. Then we cover the major emergencies such as gastric torsion, pyometra, seizures and ingestion of toxins – how to spot early signs and what you can do. There’s a section on wounds, bleeding and shock and traumatic incidences such as a road traffic accidents. There is an awful lot of information but everyone finds it very useful and they feel empowered once they’ve completed it.

Jitka: You also do a very popular online course?

Sophie: I offer an online version of the course which makes the courses more accessible. It is video based so very visual with a chance for you to test your knowledge and print notes to form your own handbook. Being prepared and understanding your pet is vital to ensure your don’t miss major issues, also being better equipped with information means you can chat to your vet and potentially save on a vet visit if they deem it unnecessary

Jitka: We’re talking mainly about dogs. But what about other small pets?

Sophie: The course focuses on dogs but there is a mention of cats and other small furries. The cat version of the course is being released next year alongside other pet related health courses.

Jitka: As a vet do you see many cases where a dog owner could help his/ her dogs but because of a lack of first aid couldn’t?

Sophie: I see a number of cases where I wish owners had taken a course as they could have saved their pet. One common problem is when pets have a fit. People are unaware of the protocol they should follow to safeguard their pets life.

One huge issue is the heat a pet generates during a seizure. Owners are unaware of this and fail to cool their pet down which can lead to multi-organ failure especially brain damage. That’s why everyone should take these courses as you never know when a pet may fall ill.

I’m happy to report that Sophie is coming to Vita Canis Style to Rescue on the 26th April 2020, as one of our speakers. 

If you don’t want to wait, check Sophie’s online courses here.

Jitka xx  


What People Say...

Used you’re Calming Floral  Spray yesterday was so impressed with it . I had a dog in my salon that has dryer seizures and gets anxious. I sprayed it around her and was remarkable the difference in her behaviour. It actually worked so well I had to check dog was okay she was very relaxed snoozing I’ve tried other remedy’s with no real effect shall be sticking with your calming spray from now on 😍
Lisa Addison