Washington County MRC is comprised of licensed healthcare professionals from a variety of disciplines which include alternative care providers. During the height of the H1N1 pandemic, MRC volunteers were invaluable partners with Washington County during the vaccination campaign. We humans know to call 9-1-1 or visit an emergency room when faced with serious injury or illness – but what do we do when a pet needs emergency veterinary care?
When considering emergency preparedness, animal owners might wonder, “Whom should I call, and where should I take my pet in a case of acute injury or illness?” Medical emergencies often occur outside standard business hours, so these are important questions to discuss with your veterinarian during a regular office visit, when you aren’t worried about a crisis. Some veterinary practices see their established patients when emergencies occur after office hours and on the weekends. Once you’ve determined where to seek emergency care, you likely will want to know when this medical attention is needed for your pet. In these cases, it is very helpful to fully understand your pet’s normal behavior and vital signs. Vital signs: When something is wrong with a pet, its heartrate, breathing pattern and body temperature are often the first changes that may be objectively observed. Heartrate: Ask your veterinarian to demonstrate how to take your dog or cat’s pulse, meaning how to measure the number of times your pet’s heart beats per minute. Gum color: During physical exam, a veterinarian will often look at the color of your pet’s gums, and might press on the gums to see how fast pinkness returns to the surface after blood has been displaced. A baseline understanding of normal vital signs will help with decision-making if you suspect something is wrong with your pet. It’s a good idea to have and use a vinyl, form-fitting muzzle if your pet has a medical emergency.
If your pet is having trouble breathing or has injuries to the face or mouth, you may wrap a towel around the head and neck.

Take your pet’s vaccine history and information about any current medications if you are headed in for emergency care, especially if you are seeking help from a clinic or hospital you don’t normally visit. A rare WWII-era airplane propeller once used in CSU wind research is now on display in a Colorado Springs aviation museum. Un viaje que les llevo 1.200 millas fuera de su lugar de salon de apredizajes, CSU dio una clase de agricultura sostenible una experiencia unica de aplicar sus lecciones en un nuevo entorno. Main ContentTeens across the country are helping their communities stay healthy during disasters and every day.  These teens talk about ways that they are helping their communities and why it matters to them.
Check out their stories and share your own story about helping your community stay safe and healthy on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #Teens4Prep.
Read about the National MRC inception, interesting facts and data on the Medical Reserve Corps Fact SheetA (PDF). Yet we can be prepared in case one occurs, and that’s the best approach for medical emergencies with pets.
For instance, seek emergency veterinary care if you know your dog has ingested antifreeze, a bottle of human medication or another substance toxic to pets.
Maybe your pet starts repeatedly vomiting, develops diarrhea or exhibits behavior that seems notably off.
Discuss with your veterinarian what would be expected as normal measurements for your pet – and, importantly, what type of variation would suggest a need for emergency care. Ask your veterinarian for tips, then assess and record how many times your pet breathes per minute under relaxed conditions.
Pet owners sometimes give human medications, such as antihistamines and pain relievers, to sick or hurt animals.
Yet preparing during normal circumstances will help tremendously if and when your pet has a medical emergency.

Facilitating preparedness and assisting communities to ensure operational sustainability of healthcare services during a crisis or emergency. Either way, it’s useful to have your veterinarian’s guidance and to know about available resources before you need them. This will give you a good idea of your pet’s “normal.” Significant heart elevation – 20 or 30 beats per minute above normal – would warrant an emergency visit if not associated with exercise.
If the animal is sick or in shock, the gums will appear bluish, pale, or it will take more time for color to return to normal.
Even the most loving and docile pets – those that have never snarled or bitten – have the capacity to bite and seriously harm an owner, veterinary professional or someone else when suffering from intense pain. This can worsen a pet’s problems because dogs and cats metabolize drugs differently than do people.
While normal body temperature in humans is predictable at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, normal body temperature in dogs and cats might range from 98 to 102. Some of the worst bite injuries I’ve seen have occurred when pet owners were bitten by their own animals during emergencies. Over-the-counter and prescription medications meant for people can even be lethal for pets. First responders abide by this “safety first” principle, and it extends to emergency veterinary care.

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Rubric: Business Emergency Preparedness


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