On Thursday 11/08/12 I attended a Pet CPR and 1st Aid class in Newton. Now, I know those of your that know me are saying, “huh, aren’t you already a certified instructor”? Yes I am but I saw this class pop up on one of my many dog club related emails and I wanted to take it for several reasons: first and foremost it was being taught by a local veterinarian and I wanted to make certain that the information I was teaching my students was indeed current, correct and appropriate. I also wanted to see if I would learn something new and lastly not going to lie I like networking.
The class was taught by Dr. Kate Wissel, DVM. Dr. Wissel just left her job as an emergency room veterinarian at Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital in Woburn, MA. While she loved the ER she also loves her family, which she was not seeing a lot of working the grueling hours of the ER. Dr. Wissel will soon be at Commonwealth Vet as an associate veterinarian.
The first portion of the two-part class that she taught last Thursday night was extremely informative and mirrored what I teach in my class. I did learn a few cool factoids like I had set out to do and one of them was about the Boston Mycological Club. There is a group of mushroom geeks that will help give you information about any mushrooms that your pup may ingest. Just take a picture with your smartphone and email them. I thought that was worth mentioning.
I also learned from a veterinarian’s perspective what I already knew from a pet care provider’s perspective; people panic and bring their pets to the emergency vet for silly reasons. If your dog has a tick, don’t go to the ER, if your dog threw up once don’t rush to the ER and she begged, by all means if your pet got skunked DON”T BRING THEM TO THE ER!
Another great tip I took away from this class was about The State of Massachusetts Animal Response Team, or SMART. SMART is a “network of organizations, agencies, and individuals committed to responding to the needs of the animal population in disaster situations throughout Massachusetts”. I had just been sending people to the MSPCA web site or even the ASPCA. Now I was aware of a state organization that can help us in times of natural disasters or other states of emergency.
The class was mostly comprised of Newton dog-owning residence who wanted to make sure they were doing the best by their dogs. It is always wonderful to meet people who want to learn how to improve their pets lives while at the same time it was fantastic to see the veterinarian’s side. It is possible to improve your pet’s lives while avoiding driving a veterinarian nuts or bleeding your wallet dry.
So this Thursday Dr. Wissel will teach us how to perform basic first aid and CPR. She asked us to bring a stuffed animal from home, I volunteered to bring my CPR dogs, it will save us the hassle from trying to figure out where the dog’s heart will be on our stuffed toy elephant. I’m excited to continue to learn more and refine my skills.