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Dog Injuries and First Aid
Sometimes Pet Owners run into emergency situations. Animals can get sick or require first aid any place or time. Having knowledge of basic pet first aid will improve Your Pets prognosis significantly. Please remember that this is only a guide and is not a substitute for visiting a Professional. Any Animal, even the most docile, can bite if under stress or hurt. Take precautions to protect Yourself as well as the Animal. If appropriate muzzle the Animal. Remember, Visit Your Veterinarian as soon as possible after any Injury or illness.
With a clean cloth apply direct pressure to the wound. If blood seeps through, apply more bandages or a cotton wool pad on top of the first bandage; don't try to remove the old bandage. If such pressure won't stop the bleeding, find the nearest pressure point and compress the artery against its underlying bone. Use the flat part of your fingers, not your thumb or finger tips. As a last resort you can try a tourniquet, although this carries the greater risk of stopping circulation to the affected part and causing gangrene. Use it only to save life when nothing else is working and release intermittently. Call Your Veterinarian immediately.
Bee Stings & Insect Bites
Remove stinger with tweezers or by gently scraping away with a plastic card. Bathe the area with a solution of baking soda and water, then apply ice packs (lined with a towel or cloth) for 5 minutes at a time. Some people treat stings with plain Benadryl. Typical dosages: for cats and dogs under 30 pounds, give 10 mg...dogs 30 to 50 pounds, give 25 mg...dogs over 50 pounds, give 50 mg. Stings and bites can cause severe reactions. If there is major swelling, or the animal seems disoriented, sick or has trouble moving or breathing, go to the vet immediately.
Flush the burn immediately with large amounts of cool, running water. Apply an ice pack for 15-20 minutes. Do not place an ice pack directly on the skin. Wrap in a light towel or cover. Large quantities of dry chemicals should be gently brushed off the animal. Water may activate some dry chemicals. Call Veterinarian immediately.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Open dog's mouth, grasp tongue and pull it well forward clear of back of throat.
Close mouth, place your mouth over the dog's nose and exhale to force air through its nose to the lungs. Watch the dog's chest for the lungs to inflate. If there is no pulse, place the dog on a hard surface with its right side down. Use the heel of your hand to compress the chest on the lower side immediately behind the elbow. The compression should be firm and not a sudden blow. It helps to have 2 people; the first gives the cardiac massage, the second does the breathing. CPR should be given at a rate of 80 to 120 compressions per minute with two ventilations being given every 15 compressions of the chest You may need to carry on for 30-60 minutes, until the dog is breathing by itself or is pronounced dead.
Open the pet's mouth to inspect for food, toys or other objects caught in the back of the throat but be cautious about the potential for being bitten. Sometimes a "choking" sound can actually be a normal clearing of the throat. In true choking, the animal will be in severe distress, salivate, paw at the mouth and have difficulty breathing. Long nosed pliers or a forceps can be helpful in grasping an object caught deep in the throat. You may also use quick but gentle chest compression in an attempt to force air from the lungs to dislodge an object. By placing your hands on opposite sides of the chest and cautiously but quickly compressing the chest to mimic a cough you may be able to expel an object. Call your Veterinarian immediately.
Bloody diarrhea with severe straining may be an emergency, especially for small breeds of dogs. Diarrhea along with vomiting can be a sign of serious intestinal obstruction that may even need surgery. Weakness, pain, vomiting, or agitation are serious signs that the pet needs medical attention... not simply a little first aid! A pet with diarrhea but few other signs of distress may sometimes be treated at home with Diarrhea treatments made for Pets. It is still always best to call your veterinarian regarding the situation. If Your Pet has no other symptoms and is acting normally aside from Diarrhea, Withhold food for 12-24 hours but not water. After that time, slowly reintroduce food and see if the stools are more firm. If not, Contact Your Vet.
If there is bleeding in the area of the eyes, apply direct pressure with dry gauze pads and go to vet. Laceration of the eyeball itself or penetration by a foreign object is very serious. Place a damp cloth over the place and get to the vet at once. Don't try to wash the eye or remove a foreign body or you'll undoubtedly do more harm than good. A simple bruise can usually be dealt with by a cold compress. Contact Your Veterinarian.
Never attempt to rescue a drowning dog by swimming to it. Even small dogs can pull you under with them and endanger your own life. Instead, offer something for the dog to climb or hold onto. If the dog becomes unconscious, pull it from the water and (if itís small enough) hand it upside down by its hind legs and swing it back and forth. This motion should help remove water from the dogís lungs. Even if your dog recovers from a near drowning, take him into the vet because pneumonia may develop from water left in the lungs.
Animal Poison Control
Emergency Treatment 24-Hour Hotlines:
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
1-888-4-ANI-HELP or 1-888-426-4435
Take and record the rectal temperature. If it is above 103 degrees, you should call your veterinarian. Temperature elevations above 106 degrees are life threatening and demand immediate attention. If the animal's temperature is over 105 degrees, mix one half water and one half rubbing alcohol. Sponge this on the pet and direct a fan on the moistened area.
Apply a cool pack or a alcohol and water compress to the top of the head to help protect the brain. Encourage (but do not force) your pet to drink small, frequent quantities of water. Do not give unprescribed drugs. Many over the counter human fever drugs are poisonous to pets.
A fracture or dislocation or severe sprain may be suspected when the animal suddenly appears lame on a leg, or picks up a leg and won't use it. They may also be suspected following any major fall or blunt injury. Diagnosis requires the use of x-rays. Precautions should be taken to prevent a biting injury to the first aid provider. Muzzle and or cover the head of the pet. If There is an open Fracture, it should be dressed with a wet dressing applied over the opening and bone. If possible, the limb should be immobilized with a splint to prevent further injury. If the splint is difficult to apply or the animal objects, do not attempt splinting. You must take the Animal to a veterinarian.
If the rectal temperature of a dog or cat is below 100.5 degees, the animal can be suffering from hypothermia. The pet is usually lethargic and doesn't have much of an appetite. The cause may be environmental or metabolic. Regardless, it indicates that the pet is in need of veterinary attention. Hypothermia may be a sign of serious illness and should not be overlooked. Seek veterinary attention. If You are unable to get the the Animal to a vet You First, move the pet to a warm environment. Bundle the pet in blankets.warmed by putting them in a dryer. You can also put a hot water bottle in the blankets to add heat. If Available, You can put the animal in water from 101 to 103 degrees. If You use water to raise the Animals temperature, do not let Them chill. Contact Your Vet as soon as possible.
Do not delay getting professional help. Injured animals should not be encouraged to walk. They definitely should not be allowed to move into or out of the transport vehicle on their own. Internal bleeding may be increased with movement. Cover the animal to keep him from losing body heat. Apply a muzzle, if pain or apprehension may cause the pet to bite, but make sure that the muzzle does not interfere with breathing. The animal should remain covered (and muzzled, if necessary) during transport to the emergency facility. Immobilize the pet.
Do not put Anything up the nose. Notice if the blood is coming from one nostril (note which one) or both nostrils. If the pet is sneezing, note how often. Attempt to keep the pet calm. Encourage the pet to lie down and relax. Place an ice pack (covered by one or more layers of cloth) or compress to the side of the nose. If the nose is bleeding profusely or the bleeding lasts more than 10 minutes, seek veterinary attention. A bloody nose in a cat or dog may be associated with foreign bodies (foxtail awns are common), polyps, infections, poisoning, bleeding disorders, or even cancer. It is a sign whose significance should not be underestimated.
On serious wounds, You do not attempt to clean the wound unless instructed to do so by Your Vet. Protect the wound from contamination by applying a water-soaked compress. Do not remove it until instructed to do so by a veterinarian. Immobilize the wound to prevent further damage. Provide shock care if necessary. Transport the animal to Your Vet with the affected area facing up. On superficial Wounds stop the bleeding. Clean and bandage the wound. Do not apply other materials to the wound unless specifically instructed to by your veterinarian.