This article deals with general issues when traveling with pets and finding a new vet after a move.
For Pet Owners
Usually, we don't like to think of emergencies - they happen to someone else, right? Not always. Even the 'best' pet owners can experience an emergency situation. The more prepared you are, the better your pet's chances will be for a healthy outcome.
Finding a Local Veterinarian and Travel Tips
If you travel with your pet or have just moved to a new location, do you know where a veterinarian's office is, and do they provide emergency care? Check the phone book, the web, ask for referrals, and get acquainted with the facilities and services in the area. A good idea is to call ahead and ask if you can visit the facility and meet the staff -- most clinics and hospitals welcome the chance to give you a tour and introduce the doctors and paraprofessional veterinary staff.
Traveling with a pet calls for a careful planning to ensure that your pet has enough food, water, and "security items", such as leashes, identification tags, collars, and a crate or bed. It is also a good idea to bring along water from home to avoid any gastrointestinal upset. Medications, either short-term or monthly, should be packed and quantities checked to make sure that there won't be a shortage or problem with administration of the medication(s). Also, packing favorite toys is a good idea if your pet derives a sense of security or if they are needed for exercise (i.e. ball, Frisbee).
If your pet stays home with a pet sitter, be sure to leave your veterinarian's phone number with your other contact information. It is also a good idea to let your veterinarian know that you will be gone, who is taking care of your pet, and that you pre-authorize any treatments that may become necessary as determined by your pet sitter and/or vet. Demonstrate to your pet sitter how to give medications or other necessary pet care techniques (changing litter, giving subcutaneous fluids. etc.) to ensure proper pet care. Your veterinarian should also have your cell phone or other phone numbers when traveling, so s/he can contact you directly if need be.
Dog and cat first aid kits can be made or purchased. The kits can be also be prepared for horses and birds. Pet owners should be familiar with the contents of the kit and be able to properly use each item. An animal First Aid class is a wise idea, too. Check for animal First Aid and CPR classes at your veterinarian's office, local community college, or local Red Cross chapter. In an emergency situation, if at all possible, call your veterinarian to let them know you are on your way - staff and equipment can be prepared and ready for your arrival.
Most clinics have an established routine for emergency situations. Here are some tools to help with communication and work flow in pressure-filled situations.
Veterinary Emergency Drug Calculator - Just fill in the patient's weight and name, and this will calculate common emergency drug dosages, fluid amounts, and defibrillation units for each patient. Print it out and attach to the patient record so everyone in the hospital can be aware of drugs and amounts given to the patient.
Cornell Consultant - Need some 'inspiration' for that puzzling emergency case? Search for a diagnosis based on species and keywords or signs.
This is a courtesy of the networkhttp://mrheyu.ning.com/
Animals and disability.