Veterinarian offers tips for pets & end-of-the-year fireworks
By The Star Staff
With the celebration of Christmas and the New Year just around the corner, Dr. Marymir Miranda, the medical director of the Veterinary 24/7 animal hospital, urged pet owners on Wednesday to plan and take measures to protect their pet’s health and life from the proliferation and use of pyrotechnics, as well as fireworks, in the communities of Puerto Rico.
Miranda shared that the experience at Veterinary 24/7 at this time of the year is that emergencies multiply and there are “too many pets that arrive injured or even dead to the hospital emergency room, due to situations that are preventable.”
“Unlike humans, when pets hear fireworks, firecrackers or other pyrotechnics, they do not know what is happening around them and their instinct leads them to look for an escape from the events which sometimes seems like a war, to take shelter and not have to hear the noises,” the veterinarian said. “In that process of escape we have seen everything, from pets that suffer cardiac arrest, are deaf or blind and even those that are mortally injured or even run over.”
Given this scenario, Miranda listed six basic recommendations that animal owners, mainly dogs and cats, can take to prevent accidents.
Do not leave your pet loose on outdoor balconies, in gazebos or in yards, especially if you are not at home.
Do not leave to pick up your pet on Dec. 24 or Dec. 31 at the last minute. Make a plan ahead, identify what’s best for him or her and if in doubt consult your veterinarian.
Be sure to place the animal in a spacious area with good ventilation and where it will be safe from harm. Add items such as a cage that is comfortable and where they can have toys, blankets or towels. In the case of cats, a kennel is a good idea.
Classical music and other relaxing sounds are a good way to calm your dog or cat. Identify those that are to your liking.
Consult a veterinary professional if you are considering medicating your pet, especially if your animal has pre-existing heart or respiratory conditions.
In the particular case of dogs, protective shirts can also help them feel safe and calm their anxiety.
“There are animals that, even if they control their external environment, cannot control their anxiety about noise,” Miranda said. “In these cases, it is recommended to take the animal to your veterinarian, before thinking about medicating it at home. Plan ahead.”