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April 2015

Why Should A Pet Professional Take A Pet First Aid Class?

Why Should A Pet Professional Take A Pet First Aid Class?

(Details on my next two upcoming pet first aid classes are inlcuded at the end of this blog along with a demo video of the class)


Because the truth is accidents can and do happen. None of us schedule 2pm: Trip and fall over dryer hose. As professionals we owe it to the pets in our care to be prepared for the unplanned.

Be Aware. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) says that 60% of all veterinary visits are emergency in nature. They go on to state that 25% more pets could have been saved if only one pet first aid technique was applied before veterinary treatment. A study done in the American Veterinary Journal states that only 10% of pets needing CPR would survive if CPR is not done before arrival at the veterinarian. Another study by the AAHA shows preventable accidents as the leading cause of death and disability among pre-senior pets.

Be Knowledgeable. What are some of the safety issues that relate directly to groomers?

• Sudden blunt force trauma happens if a pet falls off a grooming table. Or you trip over exposed cords. Or you can slip on a wet floor while carrying a pet. Take advantage of the Golden Hour. It takes approximately one hour for adrenaline to dissipate from the body after an injury. Symptoms are not felt until the adrenaline is gone. Once symptoms present, itʼs generally too late. Look to Natasha Richardson as an example of someone who wasted her Golden Hour. She was the actress who died after hitting her head in a ski accident. She refused on site medical treatment. When symptoms presented later, it was too late.

• Neck injuries or strangulation when an unattended pet or even when an attended cat jumps off a table while looped.

• Hypothermia caused by prolonged exposure to cool temperature. It can happen when placing a wet pet under a cool air dryer. You only need to lower the petʼs temperature by four degrees.

• Dehydration as a result of no water provided to the pet. Stress can also cause dehydration. It can lead to organ failure or death in a very short time.

• Burns resulting from overexposure to hot blades or hot air dryers. So will chewing on electrical cords. Using equipment without Ground Fault Interruptors (GFI) outlets around the tub can result in electrocution burns. Thermal burns can occur when a hot air dryer heats a metal cage.

• Heatstroke from being left too long with a hot air dryer. Enclosed kennel dryers are notorious for this. The young, old, immune-suppressed and brachycephalic dogs and any cat are particularly susceptible. Brachycephalic dogs have the pushed in faces. Examples are Shih Tzuʼs and Pugs.

• Bleeding injures and wounds caused by scissors and clippers. In addition, hematomas and sebaceous cysts may erupt while in your care.

• Heart failure caused by stress, chewing on electrical cords, electrocution as well as preexisting medical conditions. Cat groomers should monitor the cats stress level closely. They are prone to stress induced heart failure.

• A seizure brought on by poisoning, stress, HV dryer and preexisting medical conditions. Poisoning occurs when a pet ingests, inhales or otherwise absorbs improperly stored cleaning and pesticide products. Older dogs are more susceptible to a seizure brought on by the HV dryer.

• Injuries caused by kennel or tub grates.

• Any pet can have an allergic reaction to any product we use.

• Choking on an inappropriate sized treat or toy and any treat given to a dog that gulps his food.

• The HV dryer can blow out an eardrum or cause an anal prolapse when used improperly.

Be Proactive. Most of the above are preventable accidents. Wrap up cords and hoses when not in use. Make sure there is a clear path from one area to the next. Keep the bathing area floors dry. Store toxic materials in a closed cabinet. Monitor pets at all times. Exercise caution when using your equipment. Do you have the phone numbers handy to your local vet and the after hours office? Do you know how to get to the after hours office? You donʼt want to try and find it in a panic. Walk through your shop and note possible problems and correct them. Go home and do the same. Your four legged furry family members will appreciate it.

Be Prepared. Take a pet first aid class. Written materials and videos alone are not a pet first aid class. To properly learn these skills, your Instructor must be properly trained. Be choosy. Ask questions. What did their training consist of? Pet first aid and CPR is best learned through a combination of lecture, demonstration and hands on skills. A professional level class should include the following: bleeding and shock, restraining and muzzling, primary pet assessment,rescue breathing, CPR, fracture and limb injuries, insect bites and stings, snakebite, seizures, first aid kits and emergency preparedness kits, poisoning and poisonous substances, choking and snout to tail assessments. A better class will also advocate a healthy pet lifestyle. This includes the importance of dental care. Furthermore, it should also stress the importance of both when to seek veterinary care and of establishing a relationship with your vet.

Be Proud. Hang that certificate for all your clients to see. Knowing these skills is the difference between life or death, between temporary or permanent disability and between a short recovery or a long recuperation. These skills will also give you the confidence needed when an emergency arises. Your clients will know you care.

Be Responsible. Iʼve had three occasions with my own pets that required pet first aid. All three situations ended up being very minor when they could have easily escalated into a far more serious situation. Have release forms that allow you to perform pet first aid and CPR on the pets in your care.

Taking a pet first aid class is the right thing to do. We are responsible for the pets in our care and in our lives. They would do the same for us.

Next class is on Saturday, May 30th at Mardi Paws pet Expo in New Orleans. For details and to register: click here.

The folllowing class is Friday, June 5th at Intergroom in New Jersey. For details and to register: click here.

And....... a demo video of our pet first aid class.



Reiki I and II at MardiPaws in New Orleans

“But you look so normal.” I hear this from time to time when I discuss Reiki and other forms of energy healing. I never take offense, because 15 years ago, I might have reacted the same way to someone who practices energy work. Then Marcus entered my life. Marcus was my Miniature Pinscher. At the age of five he was diagnosed with several chronic medical conditions. My veterinarian was unable to regulate him and he was deteriorating before my eyes. It was after a stop in a New Age store that piqued my curiosity and set me on my path towards energy work, including Reiki.


Me and Marcus


What is Reiki?

Reiki is a Japanese technique that was developed by Dr. Mikao Usui in the early 1900’s. A Reiki practitioner channels the Universal Life Force energy that surrounds all of us to the person or pet during a session. The ability to channel this energy is passed down from a Reiki Master to their student through a process called an attunement. There are four levels of Reiki: I, II, III, and Master.


How does Reiki work?

Energy surrounds us. It is what puts the light in our eyes. When energy cannot flow freely flow through a person or animal’s body, illness and disease can take root. Reiki directs energy to the blockage to break it up. It goes where the problem is originating. It is gentle and non-invasive. I use Reiki as a valuable component of my overall balanced health maintenance program, which includes modern medicine. I work closely with my medical professionals and I encourage my Reiki clients to do the same.


What are the benefits of Reiki?

They include:


  1. Deep relaxation. It reduces stress. Stress has been linked to heart disease, asthma, obesity, diabetes, headaches, depression, anxiety, gastrointestinal problems, Alzheimer’s disease, and accelerated aging.
  2. Renews strength and vitality, as well as improves the immune system. This is advantageous for older and chronically ill people and pets.
  3. Relief of aches and pains.
  4. Speeding up healing of wounds and surgery sites, as well as relieving the effects of chemotherapy. This is why many larger hospitals have Alternate or Complementary Therapy departments.
  5. Easing a pet’s transition over the Rainbow Bridge, as well as people in hospice.


Will my pet or my client's pet enjoy Reiki?


Absolutely! Animals are more sensitive to energy than we are. They do not have the barriers many people have erected regarding alternate therapies. Marcus loved Reiki. If I could have provided it, he would have enjoyed it 24/7. Baby, my Chihuahua, would let me know when he had enough when he was younger. Now that Baby is 15, he would not mind if I provided it continuously.

 And you know what?

                                        You will enjoy it as well.


 How can I become a Reiki practitioner?

 If you are attending Mardi Paws in New Orleans on Sunday, May 31st, you can take Reiki I and II. To register: click on the MardiPaws logo! This is a practitioner class.

Mardi Paws.png

 Despite his early health problems, Marcus crossed over at the age of 12. He maintained a level of health that allowed him to enjoy his years with us. While working with my veterinarian, we were able to not only stabilize him, but also reduce his Insulin by 25%. In addition, Marcus no longer needed medications for Cushing’s. Marcus thought I was perfectly normal!