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Coming to the aid of pets

Coming to the aid of pets

Pet Tech CPR and first aid classes taught
Coming to the aid of pets
Participants listen to instructor Cassi Isachsen, right, during a recent Pet Tech CPR class at Milton Manor.
Photographer: photo provided

When people think of CPR or first aid, they’re usually thinking of people, right?

Cassi Isachsen is hoping that more people will start thinking about it in terms of their pets too. 

Isachsen is the assistant manager of Milton Manor, a pet boarding and grooming business, where she also teaches Pet Tech CPR and first aid classes. 

“We started [offering the class] last year and all of our classes have filled,” Isachsen said. 

They try to offer the course every few months. It’s a full day class and covers everything from food poisoning, to blood work, to allergic reactions, to restraining and muzzling, and CPR.

There’s a lot to go over, but anyone who deals with animals on a regular basis should have these skills in their back pocket. 

“We’re not trying to replace our vets,” Isachsen said. The course is focused on general caregiving and emergency situations when there’s not time to get to a professional. 

It helped Lauren Spackmann identify a major health problem with her dog, Milton. 

“One very important part of the training, called the snout to tail assessment, is what helped me identify a cluster of small tumors on his abdomen,” said the Ballston Spa resident. 

Milton had already been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, but he was supposed to be in remission. Luckily, Spackmann found the tumors relatively early and they were able to start treatment early.  It also helped her to take better care of him while he was battling cancer.

“His particular type of cancer could cause him to suddenly bleed internally and go into shock. I knew the early warning signs to look for such as gum color, weakness, and breathing rate. I had a better understanding of what was going on and knew when he needed more care than I could give him,” Spackmann said.  

But she’s also used the training on her other dogs, Lily and Harbor, in minor ways like insect bites, toenail injuries and small cuts. Although she has already taken the course, Spackmann said she’ll probably take it again as a refresher as time goes on. 

“Many people take first aid and CPR classes when they have a child, but our pets are our family too, so why not do the same for them?” Spackmann said. 

Isachsen said they’ll be talking about what to do if a pet is choking or ingest something that may be toxic; things that any pet owner might be faced with. It’s a mix of a lecture and hands-on style course, students have to try some of the things they’ve learned by role-playing with actual pets (usually those of the instructors). 

The course also covers the non-emergency care, like diet and nutrition, dental health, vaccines, and checking vital signs like heart rate. 

The next class takes place on Saturday, May 19. For the full schedule, information on the course visit miltonmanor.com.

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