Lemming First Aid

The International Foundation for the Preservation of Lemming Life does not just provide counseling. We want you to know what to do if you happen across a drowning lemming, one we have not yet been able to reach with our message of life. You will need to know how to rescue this lemming, then resuscitate it. Read on! This information could save a lemming's life.

First off, you will need to pull the drowning lemming out of the water. Many rescuers would advise using a special hold, so the lemming cannot pull you under while you are attempting to rescue it. We do not feel this is necessary, however, since the lemming will obviously be quite a bit smaller than you (unless you are, in fact, five inches long, including your tail). Simply grasp it firmly with one hand (you'll need the other to swim with), being careful not to squeeze too hard.

Method to remove any swallowed 
water, demonstrated on a cat Once you have returned the poor lemming to the shore, you will want to perform CPR. Of course, on such a small creature it is difficult to perform traditional CPR. Never fear! We have discovered a method that can be easily adapted for use on lemmings. Simply refer to the adjacent illustration, which shows the procedure being performed on a cat. To remove from its lungs any water the lemming swallowed, hold it by its back legs and swing it quickly. Then you can perform mouth to mouth resusitation by sealing your mouth over its nose and mouth (we advise carrying a CPR mask, which can be used to avoid catching diseases from the lemming, with you at all times).

Elizabethan collar, modeled by a 
cat There is another possibility that must be considered. When the lemming fell/jumped into the water, it may have injured its front or back legs. These will, of course, need to be bandaged. Then you will need a method to prevent the lemming from worrying the bandages and further injuring itself. We once again have a solution. Through the use of a collar, such as the one shown to the right, you can allow the lemming freedom to move its mouth and to eat, while still preventing its gnawing at its injured legs. Simply fashion the collar out of cardboard or posterboard and secure it to a collar around the lemming's neck.