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First Aid Helps Injured Animals

A lot of emergency first aid that works for injured humans also helps injured animals. People can do a lot to help injured animals. The goal is to get the animal quickly and safely to a veterinarian.

Common injuries requiring first-aid for animals are bite wounds, gunshot wounds, or injuries from being hit by a car. The first thing to do, whether helping a pet or a wild animal, is to make sure the animal cannot hurt any person.

Any time an animal is injured, it may be in pain and fearful, so it may try to bite you, especially if you try to touch the part that is hurt. With dogs, a soft cord or long strips of gauze wrapped around the muzzle and tied behind the head prevents it from snapping. The animal then can be wrapped in a large blanket and taken to the veterinarian. Cats can simply be wrapped in a blanket and carried to the veterinarian.

A good way to transport an injured animal is wrapped in a blanket and placed in an airline carrier. Being quiet and covering the animal's eyes calms the animal and make it easier to handle.

If the animal is unconscious, treat it as you would a possible spinal injury for a person. Wrap the animal on a board so its legs, spine and neck are stiff and take it to the veterinarian.

Especially with an unconscious animal, make sure the airway is clear and breathing is not blocked. Use a cloth to clear the mouth and protect your hand from possible bites.

If an animal is bleeding, the first-aid treatment is the same for animals and humans. Apply steady pressure with gauze or a clean towel to limit the blood flow.

Dangling, broken legs can be temporarily immobilized with splints made of newspaper, cardboard, or towels. Run cold water over minor burns to ease some of the pain temporarily.

Avoid giving animals pain medication. Aspirin can be used in some cases, but only under the direction of a veterinarian.

For most injured wild animals or in any situation where a person is in danger of being hurt, a conservation officer or animal control officer should be called to help. Once the animal has been confined, it should be taken to the veterinarian.

Everyone should have a list of veterinarians to call for help before being faced with an injured animal. Not all veterinarians work with wild animals, and not all offices handle after-hours emergencies.

When you have an injured animal, don't immediately take it to the nearest veterinarian. Call first to make sure somebody is there who can treat the animal.

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Filed Under: Disaster Response September 15, 2017

STARKVILLE, Miss. – First responders and disaster experts know that good intentions can lay the foundations for disastrous conditions after hurricane winds and floods subside.

Through the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Anne Howard Hilbun conducts disaster response training for citizens and emergency workers. She is an instructor with the MSU Extension Center for Government and Community Development.

Flooded grain bins in Crowley, Louisiana, are among the many problems Louisiana producers are facing after historic flooding caused more than $100 million in damage to the state’s agriculture. Mississippi State University Extension Service personnel have worked with state hay growers to send forage to producers in Louisiana affected by flooding earlier this month. (Photo by Louisiana State University AgCenter Communications/Bruce Schultz)
Filed Under: Disaster Response August 30, 2016

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- After nearly 3 feet of rain in two days caused historic flooding and widespread damage in Louisiana and southwest Mississippi earlier this month, volunteers from Mississippi State University are assisting in relief efforts.

Winston County Extension agent Mike Skipper, left, discusses recovery issues from the April 2014 tornado with Rusty Suttle of Louisville at an Agricultural Disaster Resource Center set up May 15, 2014. (File photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
Filed Under: Disaster Response August 28, 2015

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi State University leaders realized the importance of instituting a standardized response system to assist with all types of catastrophes that might strike the state.

Six months after Katrina, the MSU Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development began training university employees, as well as local emergency management officials, 911-call-center operators, and elected and appointed officials.

Hurricane Katrina displaced both family pets and large animals. (MSU Ag Communications file photo/Jim Lytle)
Filed Under: Animal Health, Disaster Response August 28, 2015

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- In the hours immediately following Hurricane Katrina’s landfall, a team of Mississippi State University veterinarians specially trained to work with animals in disaster situations arrived at the state’s designated animal disaster relief shelter in Jackson.

While the Mississippi Animal Response Team’s immediate focus was to assist the Mississippi Board of Animal Health with assessing and managing the growing number of displaced animals, they also had other duties.

Winston County farmer Willie Lee Jr. discusses his losses from the April 28 tornado with Mississippi State University Extension Service disaster assessment team members Brandi Karisch (center) and Jane Parish, both of MSU's Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
Filed Under: Agriculture, Disaster Response May 20, 2014

LOUISVILLE -- Disaster assessment teams with the Mississippi State University Extension Service are providing “boots on the ground” as agricultural landowners begin the process of recovering from the April 28 storms.

“These trained teams can assess immediate and long-term needs,” said Elmo Collum, a disaster response coordinator with the MSU Extension Service. “They may discover issues that need to be addressed immediately, such as an injured animal, or they may see things that will take weeks of effort, such as fence repair.”

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