Edith Knehans

Edith Knehans has 2 articles published.

An Intro to Pet Medical Care

in Community/Skills by

My friends Lori and Ray have the biggest hound hearts around – they have no less than six adopted greyhounds in their household. The dogs are all amazing, and are always ready for a good hike in the great outdoors. We walk the hounds in phases so that we are sure to have control of the hounds that are with us.

pet medical care

We consider this a good first step in preparation for taking the dogs out on a hike. This brings to mind being prepared for your hounds in the event of the need for pet first aid while on any outdoors excursion. Do you know where the nearest veterinarian clinic is near your extended hike? Would you know what to do if your dog was suddenly bitten by a snake while out on a trail?  What if your hound had an accident while out on the hike? Topics such as these are addressed by a number of local and national organizations.

pet medical care

CPR Seattle is a local American Heart Association Training Center which offers certifications to individuals and businesses in CPR. More specifically, they offer classes in pet CPR and first aid. In the Pet CPR and First Aid course, they discuss how to aid your animal in the event of an injury. Students in the class receive a completion certificate once the course is completed. The course content addresses:

  • Restraining an injured animal
  • Checking vitals
  • Treating serious bleeding and shock
  • Care for injuries and wounds
  • Medical emergencies
  • Environmental emergencies (animal bites, snake bites, ticks and more)
  • Common pet illness and conditions

pet medical care

Technology is also available to play a role in your pet’s medical care. PetTech is an online resource through which local classes offer CPR and first aid care for your animal. They offer PetSaver Training as well as an app that gives you an immediate hands-on tool for issues such as:

  • CPR
  • Bleeding
  • Chocking
  • Shock
  • Fractures & limb injuries
  • Poisoning
  • Insect bites & stings
  • Heat stroke
  • Burns
  • Frost nip/Frost bite
  • Seizures and convulsions

Each issue on the app lists definitions, causes, signs and actions for survival – all critical in the event of a serious injury or medical event, and enables timely prevention for any issue that can be mitigated or avoided by immediate and proper attention. The app also offers a section specifically addressing poisonous items, with plants listed alphabetically. When you touch the name of the plant on the app, you get a color picture of the plant with a description, making the identification of such a plant a snap.  It also gives information on signs of poisoning and actions for survival if poisoning is suspected.

pet medical care

The American Red Cross website is also a useful resource for pet safety. As the warmer months approach, it is important to keep in mind that our hounds need to be protected from the heat, just as humans do.  If your hound appears to be in distress from the heat, the Red Cross suggests the following measures be taken:

Determine if the signs and symptoms are indicative of a heat stroke:

  • Collapse, body temperature 104° F or above, bloody diarrhea or vomit, depression stupor, seizures or coma, excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, salivationIf you are suspicious of a heat stroke:
  • Get your dog out of direct heat
  • Check for shock
  • Take your dog’s temperature
  • Spray your dog with cool water then retake temperature
  • Place water–soaked towels on the dog’s head, neck, feet, chest and abdomen, turn on a fan and point it in your dog’s direction, rub Isopropyl alcohol (70%) on the dog’s foot pads to help cool him (but don’t use large quantities as it can be toxic if ingested)
  • Take your dog to the nearest veterinary hospital

pet medical care


As we continue our adventure on our hike through the local trail system, we keep in mind the following tips when out with one (or many!) hounds. Here are a few additional reminders for walking one (or multiple hounds) in any outdoor setting:

  1. Make sure your hound is wearing a collar and an identification tag for any outdoor excursion. This becomes critically important in the event you and your hound(s) get separated on your hike.
  2. Always bring plenty of water and a portable bowl with you on the hike, for both you and your hound(s). It never hurts to have treats on hand as well!
  3. If walking multiple hounds, make sure that they all get along – a walk or hike with newly-acquainted hounds closer to home is a good idea so that you (and others walking with you) are aware of their behaviors with and around the other hounds and humans!
  4. Have a portable first aid kit on hand for both you and your hounds (The Humane Society offers a comprehensive list of what to carry in your pet’s first aid kit).

pet medical care

To find out more about any of these resources, please visit:

Ruffwear: K-9 Float Collar and Headwater Collar

in Gear by

My greyhounds and I love to take walks through the local parks in our area. There is one park that they especially seem to favor; it’s a county park that borders the Platte River. It is handy to have gear for them that makes their walk that much more enjoyable and adventurous. Recently, I tried dog gear from RuffWear that the greyhounds were able to maneuver in comfortably: the K-9 Float Coat, the Headwater Collar, and the Web Master Harness.

Float Coat: 

The K-9 Float Coat is designed as a life vest for dogs who share aquatic adventures with their owners. It is built like a life jacket that allows safe enjoyment of water activities for a canine. Foam panels are positioned around the chest, belly and back of the jacket, and are designed with the movements of a canine in mind.  I found this feature very attractive as Cinnamon, my smaller red fawn greyhound, is typically not one for harnesses or coats, but enjoys relaxing in the cool river water just inside the shoreline of the Platte River. As I walk her in an area where the slope of the shore is gradual and not a surprise in watery depths to her, I think of the importance of keeping her from drifting off too far from shoreline while on her lead. I was pleased to see that Cinnamon slid into the Float Coat quite comfortably with no interference in her normal gait, and did not try to shake off the coat.  She gingerly stepped into the water, lying down ever so carefully. She did notice that she had more lift and balance in the water than she normally does, and ventured a little farther out into the river. As she is not a swimmer, the coat gave her additional confidence in pursuing deeper waters.

Float Coat on Cinnamon

Cinnamon managed to get a few feet farther out in the water and seemed pleased by the buoyancy the coat provided to her. The coat she wore was a Dandelion Yellow, and was quite bright in the sunlight. This allows for easily spotting a dog in larger bodies of water. The coat certainly provided an added convenience for getting out of the water as well through its placement of a low-profile handle on the top of the coat. There is also a light loop on the top of the coat, which is handy for times when the sun sets before we do! The loop is wide enough to clip a LED light or beacon directly onto the coat, and can act as an additional layer of safety for hikes that tend to go late into the day. I found the coat provides an added level of safety for my hounds around bodies of water that may tempt them to go out farther than they normally would. Though the float coat is on the higher end of the price range, I think I’d get many years of use for the hounds due to the durable materials and build of the coat. What’s more, Ruffwear fully guarantees all of their gear against defects in materials and craftsmanship.

Float Coat on Cinnamon

Technical Specifications for K-9 Float Coat:


Size: XXS Runs from XXS (13 to 17″); XS (17 to 22″); S (22 to 27″) M (27 to 32″);

L (32 to 36″); XL (36 to 42″) to XL


Materials: All nylon fabrics

Colors: Red Currant, Dandelion Yellow, Reflective

Price: $79.95



Headwater Collar

The Headwater Collar looked terrific on both Fame and Star. We chose the bright red currant collar for them. As they are solid black canines, the vibrant red color and reflective pattern really stood out on the both of them.  The collar is easily adjustable and allows plenty of room for other tags. It is most certainly waterproof as the dogs were in and out of the river several times during our walk. The collar dried quickly between forays into the river. It also has an anodized, one-piece, aluminum, V-ring attached to the collar, which is important to my decision in making a collar purchase; as our greyhounds are sight hounds, I keep them on leads when out for walks or hikes. A secure lead attachment gives me confidence that the lead won’t come apart or break open if one of the hounds sees an animal of interest while out for a jaunt. Though the collar’s features are quite attractive, I found the price to be a little high for what I would comfortably pay for a collar.

Headwater Collar on Star

Technical Specifications for Headwater Collar:


Size: M (14 to 20″) or L (20 to 26″)


Materials: Waterproof coating

Colors: Orange Sunset, Obsidian Black, Red Currant, Fern Green

Price: $29.95


Headwater Collar on Star


Web Master Harness

The Web Master Harness shares the same bright red currant color as the collar. Though the harness itself lent a great deal of functionality for canine use, the harness was a tight fit on all of our greyhounds. The harness does have many points of adjustment, and might be better suited for a dog not as deep-chested as greyhounds tend to be.

The harness itself is not only visually appealing, but also very compact. It seems that many harnesses have too many adjustments or clips to make them as functional as they can be for human or hound. The transitions between one set of clips and straps and another was smooth; several clips and straps were tucked away in fabric, which, for our dogs, is a useful feature as they get into grasses and vegetation and could potentially hang up or become caught on a branch or bramble. Having the clips tucked away under fabric that covered the chest and belly was a benefit I found appealing. I would recommend this product to canine owners who take their dogs in or near water regularly, as canine water safety can easily be overlooked.

Technical Specifications for Web Master Harness:


Size: Runs from XXS (13 to 17″); S (17 to 22″); M (22 to 27″); L (27 to 32″); L/XL (32 to 42″)



Materials: All Nylon Fabrics

Colors: Red Currant or Twilight Grey

Price: $54.95



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