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Introduction: First Aid

Date Published: 12/31/1994
Date Reviewed/Revised: 08/03/2018

This first aid collection is an emergency preparedness ready-reference for dogs and cats. Wise preventive measures, intelligent use of first aid principles, coupled with recognition of abnormal symptoms and treatment of disorders, diseases, and problems, lead to effective health care. A working knowledge of prevention and first aid will help you eliminate some potentially dangerous circumstances and help you prepare for emergency situations.

The collection covers prevention, normal values, first aid, and some specific conditions. Also, information is provided on what to do and what not to do in specific emergency situations.

The authors encourage careful reading and occasional rereading. Consultants from the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) who specialize in emergency medicine, along with the cooperation of the original co-author Michael Thomas, DVM, carefully review this material. This collection was written to be easy to understand, avoiding technical terms as often as possible, but defining them in context when they are necessary.

This information is provided as a guideline for you to learn what to do in an emergency situation, but it cannot replace emergency visits to the veterinarian. In an emergency, call your veterinarian or local emergency hospital and do not rely on anyone on the internet to help.

About the Original Authors:

Roger W. Gfeller, DVM 
Dr. Gfeller was a leading and long-standing veterinary emergency practician in Fresno, California. He passed in 2007, and the update to this collection was done as a memorial to him.  

A 1973 graduate of Kansas State University School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Gfeller was practicing emergency medicine nearly as long as anyone in the country and had been a Board Certified Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care since 1993. 

Dr. Gfeller supervised treatment of over 100,000 emergency cases. He lectured to local, national, and international audiences on emergency medicine and critical care.

Michael W. Thomas, DVM
Dr. Thomas is a full professor in the Department of Animal Science at California State University, Fresno. A 1983 graduate of Washington State University, he has been teaching animal health courses since 1985.

Dr. Thomas is a popular teacher, twice receiving meritorious teaching awards, and has received university and national recognition for his innovative multimedia educational techniques. He has received research and educational grants for the study of infectious disease and development of computer-aided veterinary courseware.

In addition to 3 years of practice experience prior to his university work, he continues veterinary practice as campus veterinarian and clinician at California State University, Fresno.

Isaac Mayo 
A veterinary student at Cornell at the time of original publication.

He received his degree in Communications from Oberlin College in 1977, and for the past 15 years has been a producer and director of television shows. Isaac has published numerous popular and scientific articles on chemistry, physics, microbiology, and the history of science.

J. Christopher Esparza
An art student at California State University, Fresno. A freelance artist and illustrator since 1979, he resides in the Clovis, California area and has been selling and displaying art in Fresno for the past 6 years. 

He has done commercial illustrations for numerous companies throughout the western United States.