Pet First Aid Tips

Published: Tue, 04/28/15

Pet Tips 'n' Tales
Lisa Wagner's dream of helping pets has come true!  She travels with 'World Vets International' response teams helping pets in need. Here she is in Honduras, with two very lucky rescued and now spayed strays.
Pet First Aid
"April is 'Pet First Aid Awareness' month," said Lisa Wagner, Director of  Walks 'N' Wags Pet First Aid. (Note the similarity between the company's and her name.)

Many have taken a human CPR or first aid class, but have no idea that pet first aid classes are also available.

It is a miracle that Lisa is so deeply involved with pets because her childhood dreams of becoming a veterinarian were dashed with "...poor marks in High School Biology," said Lisa, "I had a passion for animals, just not for science. No one suggested alternative careers such as; Veterinary Technician, Humane Society, Guide Dogs, Groomer, etc.."

Instead, she earned a Psychology degree, but inwardly knew that is was not her life's passion so she accepted a 'regular' job.

At work, she sat staring at her dog's photo wishing she could be with him. Then one day, she realized she could if she started her own dog walking business!

With her customer service, and business experience, and love of dogs, it was the purr-fect future for her. Brilliantly, she moved forward by taking business classes, pet first aid classes, and creating a website. She built a successful dog walking and in-home cat sitting service.

Lisa's life changed again after completing the 'Pet First Aid Instructor Class’ and once teaching it she realized that "Love of pets and their health is my life's passion!"

Imagine the emotional benefits of empowering pet parents to save their pets' lives in an emergency, injury or choking episode!

Following the thread of her business she found 'World Vets International'.  Volunteers from  North America travel the globe helping communities and their animals.  Lisa's first trip was to Guatemala at the tail end of a tropical storm. Both people and animals were displaced, hungry and in dire need of support. The rewarding experiences had her immediately signing up for further travels to Tanzania, Colombia, Honduras, Peru and most recently to Soi Dog Foundation in Phuket, Thailand.   She also traveled to Nicaragua for 'Pet Rescue' and 'Animal Disaster Response' classes. 

"People around the world love their pets," said Lisa. "Many don't have the advantage of a Veterinary staff's help. We convert buildings into makeshift veterinary clinics and soon their hallways are lined with pet parents, cats and dogs. Over three days, we neuter/spay and provide free veterinary care to as many pets as paws-ible."

"In Cusco, Peru a dog arrived with one of its legs tightly wrapped close to its body in a tensor bandage. The owner explained that her dog '...had been hit by a car - three weeks prior.'  She didn't have funds to access veterinary care; however, she had heard that World Vets was coming and made her dog as comfortable as she could while she awaited us.  The dog's leg had to be amputated; but it was wonderful knowing that we were able to end the dog's pain and saved it's life."  Three legged dogs are resilient, and World Vets gave it a new "leg up" on life.

"Our exhausting workdays are 10-12 hours," adds Lisa, "But it doesn't matter - our  passion driven group is eager to start early the next morning. I'm addicted to this group's mission and have made lifelong friends.  It is deeply fulfilling making a difference. If I could afford to volunteer full time, I would!"

Thailand's 'Soi Dog Foundation' is a large animal rescue organization that also advocates ending the illegal dog meat trade out of Thailand. I was proud to volunteer at their animal shelter, spay/neuter/health clinic.”

Taking care of animals, in any community, in any country, is a bit like the analogy of the man tossing star fish into the sea when someone asked him, 'Why are you doing that? There are so many on the beach. You can't save them all.'

'It makes a difference to this one,' declared the man as he tossed another star fish into the surf.

In Colombia, Lisa helped neuter/spay 208 animals and gave first aid to 99 others, making a difference to them.

"I hope my story inspires others to take a leap of faith in their life when the time is right," adds Lisa.
Lisa's first aid pet tips!- Any time a pet is vomiting blood, hiding for 12 hours and won't come out, and won’t eat or drink it is an emergency.  Run, don't walk, your pet to the closest vet clinic.

Paws-ible Heat Stroke Signs:- panting- brick red gums- increased body temperature and heart rate- difficulty breathing- confusion- initial excitement which turns to lethargy- vomiting- seizures- coma

FIRST AID for Pet's Heat Stroke:- Place animal in a cool, shaded area.- Submerge animal in cool water, keeping its head above water.- If you only have a hose, set it to spray the animal. As the animal improves offer it small amounts of drinking water. Monitor body temperature until it is back to normal (temperature for dogs and cats is roughly 38.5 degrees (+/- 1) Celsius, or 101 degrees Fahrenheit).- Stop the cooling process.- Dry the animal.- Seek veterinary care.

Volunteer (next country's clinics are listed) and financial support for World Vets International Aid For Animals:

Learn more about Lisa and her pet first aid classes:

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Famous Felines
Mary Ellen's Silver Persians swam their way into readers and viewer's hearts! They have appeared in International magazines and newspapers around the world. (France, England, Canada, China, Germany, USA, etc.)

Also, several National and International TV shows feature the swimming felines as they taught pet-water-safety.

Pet Tips 'n' Tales, Mary Ellen's weekly newspaper pet column has appeared in The Cottage Grove Sentinel, in Oregon, for 9 years.