Dr. Adam Richter

I see more and more that when something goes wrong with their pet, the owners are clueless, so instead of taking quick action, they try to ask for help on social media platforms, for example. What is your experience?

We experience the same. Unfortunately, despite the fact that the culture of animal husbandry has developed a lot in recent years, it still shows great extremes. The internet is a very useful tool in many cases, but there are situations where it is no substitute for real professional knowledge. And in a critical situation, it can be a decisive factor if we act quickly ourselves and do not wait for the possible advice of others.

Dr. Adam Richter

Photo: Zsófia Koppány / POP – Pet On Pictures

In the case of a traumatic injury or more severe vomiting, in the case of an allergy, it is important to provide first aid as soon as possible, which in many cases we can do ourselves and thus stabilize our pet’s condition until we get to the doctor.

However, cases requiring quick intervention and assistance often do not take place at the time of ordering. This does not alleviate the situation of the owners.

That’s right, and people often don’t know where and who to look for in a case like this. Many people are looking for us in the Whisperer, having called 15 vets before, say 10 didn’t pick up the phone and 5 didn’t get it because he had other things to do. There are already few places available on the phone during on-call time, so you need to be prepared for such emergencies in advance, in a heightened state it is worth a lot. Save the veterinary emergency number on your phone, or as a fridge magnet is in your home with the number of an electrician or gas technician available 0-24 hours, you can also unload the telephone number or address of a veterinary emergency. Knowing who we can call at such times can mean extremely precious minutes, let’s not take it lightly.

Many times, the owner can also do a lot to get your pet in a transportable condition. What do you suggest for such situations?

Traumatic injury, such as a cut that can be performed by the owner himself, is common. As with your own hand, if you cut your finger, you know you’re tying it before you go to the doctor to reduce the bleeding at least a little bit. You don’t need a Google search or a question on Facebook, it’s more important to fix the problem as soon as possible. After that, the doctor can be called and we can handle the situation together much more calmly, figure out the best solution.

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Photo: Zsófia Koppány / POP – Pet On Pictures

By the way. What is it worth preparing for at home, what is worth keeping at home to have something to touch in situations like this?

Traumatic injuries are the most common, just like in humans. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a serious injury with a lot of tissue damage, it’s enough to get your dog’s ears stuck in something or bitten while walking, possibly cutting off his foot. These can also cause heavy bleeding, which can suddenly be shocking to the owner. This is not usually associated with a life-threatening condition, but may require prompt treatment. You can prepare for this in advance if you have a dose of gauze, a bandage, an elastic bandage at home, a dose of wound disinfectant that can be easily obtained at a drugstore or veterinarian.

What should be in our first aid kit anyway?

Whispering clinic QR code

Whispering clinic QR code

Strictly speaking, it is not part of the kit, but one of the most important things in case of trouble is knowing which veterinary office to go to during on-call time. Let’s save it to our phone in advance and make the phone number of the office that can be called outside the ordering time available to the family!

The people of Gödöllő Whispering Veterinary Office you can call this number every day on +36 70 940 38 33 if your pet needs urgent care.


Kit contents:

– rubber gloves

– sterile gauze bandage and gauze pad for bandaging and cleaning

– elastic bandage, adhesive patch for fixing

– tummy tuck for severe diarrhea (such as charcoal tablets or other over-the-counter preparations for animals)

– for disinfectant wound treatment, for cleaning the wound area

– exfoliating, wound treatment ointment

– ear swabs

tweezers, possibly plus tick tweezers

– a flexible digital thermometer, preferably a few seconds version

Keep these drugs and tools separate from the family first aid kit, we only use them to take care of our pet.

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Photo: Zsófia Koppány / POP – Pet On Pictures

We can also start treatment ourselves, for example, with diarrhea. This does not mean that we can do it, because a diarrhea can be a symptom of a lot of serious problems, but in the first place we can give ourselves a bolus or a carbon tablet, a regenerator of the intestinal flora. Of course, if vomiting is associated with it, we’re already having a harder time because it won’t stay in the animal. But you can start treatment at home and then we can discuss further with your doctor.

It is always important for one to protect oneself from this, either from dirt or bite. A lot of people don’t like to use a muzzle or a plastic bandage, but when something hurts our favorite, they don’t look at who is reaching for their sore leg, so they might get there unintentionally. And with a rubber glove we can prevent the infection by treating the wound, washing the blood and adhering dirt from the hair. Let’s not take this lightly! It is a good idea to keep these in one package at home, preferably separate from the family first aid kit, so that you do not have to try on the oven glove or anything else when all the blood is gone.

For us, one of the things we learned about our first dog is that the most useful tool at home is a 10-second thermometer purchased separately for him.

Yes, it helps a lot, and fortunately it is already available for a few thousand forints. In general, thermometers for veterinary use are very fast and we can really know in a matter of seconds what is wrong with our animal, measured rectally. For example, if you’re sagging, panting, you can see if you don’t have a 41-degree fever or just chilled, and that’s a good point to know if you need to run with it now. Even as a doctor, if you have a problem, one of our first questions is whether you have a fever. Contrary to the misconception, examination of the nasal mirror is not sufficient to judge this.

One such special tool is the tick-removing tweezers – but a conventional tweezer can also be useful – making it relatively easy to remove the tick, preferably without infecting yourself. Manual removal is not recommended, because in bad cases we can even introduce the pathogen into our own body or through the nail bed.

It remains to be seen among people that calcium helps treat allergy symptoms. Should we keep this at home?

What improves after calcium administration would dissolve without it, and what does not will not. And in the case of a dog with a severely swollen tongue, which can barely breathe, it doesn’t even swallow, and we lose a lot of time experimenting with it. It is better to leave the treatment to the veterinarian, owners should be careful to ensure that the animal is breathing until they get to the doctor as soon as possible. This is also a situation where there is no time to call a lot, to look for on call.

From spring onwards, various allergic emergencies can multiply anyway. This can be caused by a bee bite, which the owner may not know if his dog is allergic to it. Many times this also looks worse than the problem it causes in an animal. It is not necessary to run to the emergency room with a bite, there is usually a problem if you develop a reaction with more severe respiratory or circulatory insufficiency, or a degree of edema in the head and airways that makes it difficult for your dog to breathe and choke. In such cases, there is not much time, even if a dog with an extremely swollen head may not need medication, because swelling often subsides on its own. However, this should not be decided by the owners, but should be discussed with their doctor.

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Photo: Zsófia Koppány / POP – Pet On Pictures

If you’re suffering from some type of poisoning from your favorite plant, any spilled chemicals, fertilizer, or even a frog, information is one of the greatest treasures. Let’s try to filter out what is thought to have caused the poisoning and tell us exactly what the symptoms are, this can be very useful information about proper treatment.

As the weather warms up, animals can get heat stroke more and more often.

Yes, people still leave the dog in the car a lot of times, which can get very hot in a short time. The owner runs into the store for 2 minutes, which in practice is often a quarter of an hour. That’s plenty of time to put serious heat stress on the animals, which shouldn’t be risked. And for short-nosed breeds, these things are especially true. We don’t play ball with him at 40 degrees, we don’t let him go with another 5 dogs on a dog run in the middle of summer at noon, because one day he will overturn and in the worst case he will die. If we see that trouble has happened, then the first thing we can do is cool the animal. For dogs with longer hair, a wet towel isn’t worth much, they have to look for a tub, a laurel, anything they can put in and moisten their fur. But do not start watering immediately with 8-10 degrees water, you need to keep it gradual.

And if you take your favorite swim in the heat, make sure you can swim in the safest possible conditions beforehand, because that’s not at all certain. It is better not to face this in the meander of the Danube or the Tisza! Nowadays, a vest is also available for our pets, which ensures that they stay afloat, it can be useful to get such an aid.

If we got over the first shock in case of trouble and managed to take care of our pet to the best of our ability, how do we get it to the doctor?

Of course, it also depends on the type of injury or emergency, but one of the most important is to take it to the doctor alone if we can. On the one hand, it is unfortunate to drive in a stressful state of mind, and on the other hand, it may be very necessary for someone to be able to pay attention to the animal while traveling. Let’s try not to increase the trouble! In an unconscious, supine animal, it is important to ensure that the tongue is removed from the oral cavity and the neck is not broken to ensure free breathing. Many people like leashes that can be attached to a seat belt, but in this case it is less fortunate, it is better to use transport boxes.

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