Why Pet First Aid is Important for Everyone

Anything can happen to anyone, at any time.  I was at work when I received a message that something had happened to Bella, one of our rescue cats.

Cute little Bella

Bella suffered an injury, due to an accident in our own home. She had been playing on our carpeted shelving units (yes, we have cat shelves to provide vertical space in our home for the entertainment of our kitties, another topic for another day).  Normally we love these shelves and they are great for our cats for many reasons, but our little daredevil was lacking coordination on this particular day.

cat shelves
Awesome cat shelves in our living room.


While she was playing, something went wrong and she fell, and Bella could not catch herself in time. She dangled from one of the shelves, and in doing so, did this to her claw (I apologize, the picture is gross):

Bella's claw
Injury to Bella’s toe. You can see where she had ripped her claw right off.

What you are looking at is where Bella’s claw used to be.  While she was trying to hang on, she ripped one of her claws out.  Along with the extensive bleeding that resulted from that, poor Bella also lost control of her bowels.  Lucky for her, Melanie was home.  Not only is Melanie a certified pet first-aider, but she is also a pet first aid instructor.  Most importantly to Bella, she is Bella’s human, her mom, the one she goes to for treats, head scratches, and night-time cuddles.

Our little Bella was a mess.  She needed to be bathed from being covered in her own feces and had quite a bit of blood coming from her toe.  Melanie immediately put pressure on her paw to control the bleeding and took her to the shower to quickly clean her off, all while checking for other injuries Bella  might have sustained.

Bella after being cleaned up, just prior to being transported to the vet.

Once the bleeding was stabilized and her paw was bandaged, Melanie took Bella to the veterinarian where she was examined to check for internal injuries. Her paw was checked by our vet and she was given a round of antibiotics and pain killers.  Bella had to spend a few days in our laundry room with special cat litter that would not get stuck in her toes.  Luckily for Bella, mom was there, and she knew what to do to help her.

She is recovering well and enjoys her visitors, both human and furry varieties (especially Buddy the cat, one of her dearest friends.)

Buddy, one of Bella's close friends, staying by her side while her toe gets better.
Buddy, one of Bella’s close friends, staying by her side while her toe gets better.

We took pet first aid initially because we are professional pet sitters.  We needed to be ready in an animal emergency, as we are exposed to several animals each day, from the cats, dogs, and other critters we pet sit for, to the strays we find on the street, to our own little fur babies at home. Eventually the odds are going to catch up, and we are going to need to respond to an emergency sometime.   As we have talked to people taking our pet first aid classes, we hear stories of people in emergency situations with animals all the time and it is clear that every pet owner should take first aid.  Everyone’s story is the same yet different – the scenarios vary but the choice to take our pet first aid class stems from the same reason every time.  It is because something happened to an animal and they were forced to respond and it scared the heck out of them.

If you are wondering how Bella is, she is doing great.  Her injury happened on February 5th and the picture below is Bella on February 20th.  You can see that she already has a nice and healthy new claw growing in.

Bella's new claw, growing in nicely.
Bella’s new claw, growing in nicely.

Why wait until something happens first? Visit https://thecatnextdoor.com/about/pet-first-aid-training/ to see our training schedule, and book to obtain your certification in pet first aid.

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