Yesterday John and I took the Red Cross' revised Dog and Cat First Aid class. I took the "old" version two years ago and was excited that they had revised the class so there would be some new stuff for me! It was a very full class and the people were nice (as most animal people are!). Baxter Black's mum Sandy was there, too. The instructor was a woman who is a vet tech, animal control officer, and lives on a 45 acre farm with horses, dogs, cats, and birds. Perfect!
We discussed how important it is to know what is normal for your animal and how to easily find a pulse. We learned how to muzzle a dog with whatever you have on hand, emergency breathing, cpr, the doggie Heimlich (which is just about the most important in my book!), and lots of other stuff.
I think the revisions the Red Cross made in the dog first aid book are excellent - the book is a much better resource the the old version. I think the dvd updates aren't so great. The biggest change was the instructor. I liked her and felt like she had more to offer than the previous instructor I took this class with.
When we were practicing CPR everyone was worried about remembering the breath to compression rate, and Liz the instructor essentially said not to worry about it. In a situation where a dog is having trouble breathing, you would do more harm by not doing anything than by maybe being one off in the ratio of breaths to compression. I think that is a very important thing to remember.
If you haven't already taken a pet first aid course, I once more HIGHLY recommend you take the American Red Cross' Dog and Cat First Aid class.
3 weeks ago