First aid for furry friends

By Kassidy Christensen

March 2, 2017 12:00 AM

PUP AID Morgen Manners, operations supervisor at the Lloydminster and District SPCA, demonstrates on adoptable Dot, who is not injured, how to bandage a leg in the event of an injury. Bandaging is one of the topics that will be covered at Walks N' Wags on Mar. 4 at Puppy Luv Paradise. KASSIDY CHRISTENSEN LLS PHOTO

To enhance pet care in Lloydminster and area, the Lloydminster and District SPCA will be holding a Walks ‘N’ Wags Pet First Aid Course to educate pet owners.
On Mar. 4 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Puppy Luv Paradise, Kirbi Harasiuk, Walks ‘N’ Wags certified pet instructor, will co-teach with Morgen Manners, operations manager at the Lloydminster and District SPCA and soon-to-be Pet First Aid Instructor. The pair will teach attendees how to respond to pet injuries and how to prevent them from happening.
Harasiuk, who said she typically holds a course two times per year, explained it will provide information on preventative care and basic pet first aid.
“Basically preventative care, number one, and also just to be able to treat things to get your yourself to a veterinarian,” Harasiuk said. “Especially for those people that are half an hour away or if you’re out on the farm.”
Morgen Manners, who will be fully certified as a Walks ‘N’ Wags pet first aid instructor once the co-teach is complete, explained several different topics will be covered in the 10-hour course.
“We’re going to be covering topics from injured eyes, ears, to bandaging wounds, choking, artificial respiration, frost bite, hypothermia, it’s quite a range of topics that we will cover,” Manners said.
Manners said pet first aid is important to know to evaluate when an injury is serious and how to respond.
“(Also) sometimes as a pet owner we may not recognize the early warning signs of certain illnesses,” Manners said.
“So that’s something we’ll cover and help people understand, and then when is it a medical emergency and how vet care should be accessed.
“Is it something that can wait till the next day during regular business hours, or should it be treated as an emergency.”
Manners explained becoming a certified Walks ‘N’ Wags pet first aid instructor will help the Lloydminster and District SPCA’s focus on humane education. 
“I hope to continue to run these courses through the SPCA raising awareness for preventative (care) and pet first aid,” Manners said.
“Overall it’ll provide better care for the animals, so through the humane education programs that way.”
Jon Punshon, director of operations and community relations with the Lloydminster and District SPCA, said sometimes when education on animal welfare and awareness is brought up, the immediate thought may be that it is for children and younger generations.
“That’s an important piece as well for us, but certainly ongoing education and courses that appeal to adults as well is important too for animal welfare,” he said.
Punshon said this is the first time the SPCA has held something that attracts an older audience.
“In 2016 we’ve done a really good job of getting out to the schools and getting some of that humane education going,” he said. “This is kind of that next step and getting other community members involved with looking after and understanding a little bit about animal welfare.
“And ultimately being able to provide again towards a community where animal welfare is a priority,” Punshon said.
Those interested in participating can sign up online at www.lloydminsterspca.org/walks—n—wags-pet-first-aid.html and fill out a registration form and find full information on the course, email a completed registration form to Morgen Manners at mmanners@lloydminsterspca.com, call 780-875-2809 or stop in at the shelter.
The price for the 10-hour course has now been reduced to $99, down from the original price of $150.
“You’ll have your learning manual and a little take home quick reference guide,” Manners said.
Dog owners are welcome to bring their pets, and Manners said any additional furry participants should be signed up on the registration form.
Manners said to bring anything the animal may need, such as a leash, bags to clean up after the dog and a kennel so the owners can participate in hands free learning.
Snacks and refreshments will be provided but participants are asked to bring a lunch.

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