One of the scariest sounds one will ever hear is squealing brakes from a vehicle. One always waits for a bang, crunch, scream or yelp. Pets do not understand physics, 3000 pounds at 45 miles per hour versus 30 pounds at 4.5 miles per hour.
If your pet gets hit there are things you can do to help. Remember that even if it is your pet they are hurting and very scared, they may try to bite you, be careful. The most loving of pets will bite in response to fear and pain.
Try to remember if they walked on all legs after the accident, did they have a urination or do they have any obvious bleeding. The things that usually kill pets from car accidents are things that you cannot see. Ruptured internal organs and bleeding into the chest or abdominal cavity are the most deadly. Broken bones are painful, but can be repaired.
Try to find a towel or blanket or if your pet is small enough even a shirt and wrap them up and get them to a veterinarian.
The doctor will stabilize your pet and treat for shock as indicated. This will require the placement of an intravenous catheter and administration of IV fluids as well as drugs to handle pain and the problems created by the trauma.
Once your pet is stable, the doctor will assess the injuries and create a diagnostic plan such as radiographs or x-rays to evaluate the bones and internal structures, an EKG to assess the rhythm of the heart, and laboratory test to check bleeding and organ function.
After that assessment the treatment will be further tailored to your pets needs. Additional medications to handle the pain will be administered. Lacerations or cuts may need to be sutured or bandaged. Fractures assessed and the proper treatment including surgery discussed.
To be best prepared know your regular veterinarian’s hospital’s hours and phone number. If they are closed, be sure you know where the nearest emergency hospital is located. During a crisis like this you need to be focused on your pet. Having this information readily available will save valuable time and reduce your stress so that you can focus on your pet. Above all stay calm! A clear and clam mind is the best tool to help get your pet the help they need.