Rule # 1 : STAY CALM . Detach yourself from the drama and become the hired professional brought in to remedy the situation. Your mind is more complex (and more easily accessible) than any computer. Everything you have ever learned is right there and available to you, but you must be in a clear state of mind to recall the needed information. Running in circles and causing a big commotion won’t help the animal in need. Because this is an Emergency, you need to think fast, but with the emphasis being on the word THINK.
One of my favorite clichés is "Prepare for the worst and hope for the best." Long before you ever need it, you should stock a portable case with supplies:
|Granuladerm||Cotton balls||Sterile pads||Tweezers||Scissors|
|Panalog||Tape Razor||Muzzel||Pen Light||Sterile gloves|
|Tranquilizers||Cat sack||I.V. Fluids||Hypodermics||Needles|
|Pill Gun||Surgical Soap||Charcoal||Kaopectate||Milk Magnesia|
Update any perishable items regularly. We have a designated area where we store emergency equipment. As soon as we are finished using an item, we return it to it’s place so that in the event of an emergency it will be there. These items should include:
|Heavy Leather Gloves||Nets||Noose Snares|
|Pet Carriers / Cages||Tranquilizer gun & darts||Blankets|
|Veterinarian’s Phone #||Alternate Vet’s Phone #||Medicine chest|
You may wish to laminate certain portions of the Emergency Procedures and keep them in your medicine chest. In the event that you are away and have someone taking care of your animals, it is imperative that clear and concise information is available for all aspects of their care.
Our Cat Hospital is not only a convenience but has saved crucial life or death moments. If at all practical, and absolutely if you have more than a few animals, you should prepare an area that can be kept warm and clean and always ready for use. It should be a quiet area because any animal who survives an emergency will need days or weeks of quiet, stress free, recovery and will probably require the use of much of your emergency equipment. If the emergency was an injury, then the hurt cat can share the hospital with other cats, but if the cat ails from some virus or contagious disease, then it should be isolated to the point of not even sharing the same air system with other animals.
Our Cat Hospital is climatically controlled because an injured or ill cat often cannot maintain it’s 101 degree body heat and we have found that seriously sick cats prefer the warmth. The building is a well insulated, metal building that we converted to add a sink with hot and cold running water, vinyl flooring, washable walls, a range, refrigerator, microwave, and tables that fold up flat against the walls when not in use. All items stored on the shelves should be behind doors and your drugs should be kept locked up. We have several banks of rolling, stainless steel cages, and two sizes of stainless steel squeeze cages. We stock plenty of blankets, paper towels, cases of Lactated Ringers or I. V. fluids, and the drip lines and 18 gauge needles and 20 gauge needles for the small cats. We keep cases of 18 gauge, 20 gauge and 22 gauge needles and cases of 3 cc and 10 cc hypodermic syringes on hand at all times. This is also where we store the sterile gowns, drapes and surgical gloves. Some of the equipment includes a high powered microscope, slides, stethoscope, incubators, hair dryer, heating pads, blender, scales, oxygen tanks and regulators. You may need less or more than what we use depending of the nature of your facility.
We never pay retail for equipment. We have cages that our government paid $30,000.00 for to use in it’s laboratories and we bought them at auction for $300.00. The microscope was a $15,000.00 unit, never used, that we found for $500.00. Human hospitals are always updating their equipment and you can find much of what your animals need in their surplus. If you watch the classifieds in your local paper you can furnish an impressive infirmary for a nominal cost.
Note: Do not attempt to use any of the items listed in this chapter unless you have been guided by your Veterinarian first. You can give a cat too much oxygen or inject them improperly and do more harm than good. Know what you are doing before attempting to administer aid to your cat.
To see how we prepare for a hurricane, click HERE.
How to Load a C02 Powered Dart Rifle
At Big Cat Rescue most of our sedation can be done by hand injection or jab stick, but our vet care staff are trained to use a blow pipe, dart rifle, dart hand gun and more.