BY LYNN MCBRIDE
HAVE YOU EVER HAD TO GIVE A PET CPR? Dr. Teresa Rieser has, “I’ve brought back more animals than I could possibly count. The most rewarding ones are the young, healthy animals that would have otherwise died, due to a situation that is easily reversible.”
Charleston Animal Society is fortunate to have Dr. Rieser conducting a workshop on CPR and basic first aid for cats and dogs, so that pet lovers can be prepared for emergencies.
Dr. Rieser is a ‘criticalist,’ which is a veterinarian specializing in emergency care and the treatment of severely ill pets, and she has 20 years of experience in the field. She works in the emergency room at Veterinary Specialty Care of Charleston (VSC) in Mt. Pleasant.
In conjunction with Charleston Animal Society, VSC will offer a course to teach CPR techniques that you can use to resuscitate a pet who has stopped breathing. In addition, you’ll learn how to administer basic first aid to an injured animal. Natalie Garber, who is the Outreach Coordinator at VSC, explains that when you have a health crisis with your pet, you want to get them in the car fast and get to an animal hospital with an ER. But what if your pet is non-responsive or severely injured? To save your pet, you may need to intervene on your own, before you can even transport him or her. Knowing up- to-date CPR and first aid techniques can make the difference in life or death for your beloved dog or cat.
Similar to Human CPR
Those that go to the class will be surprised at how similar CPR techniques are between humans and dogs or cats. A “dog dummy” (just like “Annie”) will be center stage, with attendees able to practice pet CPR in real time.
You will be taught to check for the “ABC’s” before beginning CPR – and then you will learn proper compression techniques and how to breathe air into your dog or cat’s lungs through the snout.
Learning CPR has become more popular since recent veterinary research has provided new, evidence-based, CPR guidelines specifically for animals.
VSC of Charleston is proud of their collaborative relationship with Charleston Animal Society, and they work with rescues around the county. 24-hour emergency care is offered by the clinic, which is privately owned by two local veterinarians. Their emergency room is open 365 days a year. They also have referral-based specialty departments in cardiology, oncology, internal medicine, neurology, surgery, and dentistry.
The workshops are held at Charleston Animal Society and are free to attend, although a $10 donation to help shelter animals is appreciated. Finger foods and beverages will be served.
The first workshop in April filled fast, so plans are underway for a second one in May. To reserve a spot, contact Natalie Garber at firstname.lastname@example.org. Portions of the class will also be videotaped for on-line viewing, for those unable to attend.