First aid for dogs

firs-aid-dogs-300x169 First aid for dogsSo, we live in an imperfect world, and occasionally things go wrong. If the worse does occur and your best furry friend suffers an accident or eats something toxic and needs some immediate help, what can we do?

Well, the first thing we need is some sympathy. An animal in pain may react in a way outside their normal character. It’s not unusual for scare animals to lash out or bite if they are in pain.

If the dog in question is a larger breed, then a makeshift muzzle can be fashion from clothing or if you need to examine or touch it, make sure your arms are well wrapped up and covered. Smaller dogs can easily be secured by using something like a towel or a t-shirt.

Speaking to a vet should be your first priority as the advice given could make all the difference.

Road Accidents.

If the worse does happen and your pet is hit by a vehicle, approach them slowly and use a reassuring tone. After speaking to a vet, follow any advice given or if you are unable to speak to a vet, try and make your way to one as soon as you can. If the animal can walk, then make your way as quickly as possible as the dog may have internal injuries.  Read our article on Dogs and Cars

Open wounds – If they are bleeding, do your best to stop the bleeding by improvising a bandage out of any item of clothing you have to hand. Wrap the injury firmly but do not attempt to cut off circulation entirely. If the wound is in an inaccessible area, then try to make a pad from clothing or tissue and press firmly. Bandages like gauze and cotton wool are ideal but do not use sticky plasters. Read our article on cuts and wounds for more info.

Moving a wounded dog – If the dog is small enough to be carried, try and lift it by securing its chest and bottom and try to keep the movement to a minimum. If the dog is larger and there is help at hand you could try to improvise a stretcher, have a look around you for materials. Be careful when moving injured animals and try to keep talking to it in a reassuring tone.

Broken bones – Do not attempt to set or add a splint to a broken leg as you run the risk of causing more injury, instead try to find a way to get the dog to a vet as soon as possible. For larger dogs, you may need assistance, for smaller dogs, try and find a sturdy cardboard box. Once again limiting the movement is the key here.

Other injuries

Burns – Treat burns in the same way you would for humans except avoid using creams. Coldwater will help reduce the heat and try to the dog warm.

Toxins – We’ve covered poisoning before, but if you think your dog has eaten something dangerous, try and find a sample and get them to the vets as soon as possible.

Resuscitation – God forbid you’ll ever need to do this but forewarned is forearmed. Firstly, lay the dog on its side, then double and triple-check it’s not breathing. If you can’t detect breathing, then put your hands on your dog’s snout so that it’s airways are clear then put your hands in its mouth and pull the tongue forward and make sure the airways are clear. Then listen carefully for signs of breathing. If there is no breathing, hold your dog’s mouth closed and inhale into the nose once every 3 seconds if you can’t feel a heartbeat try pushing on its chest behind the front legs once a second.

As a professional Dog Walker, I have recently undertaken various training courses in Canine First Aid, and I was amazed at how much I learned… but the article above is a good first step.

This blog post is purely meant to be helpful advice. as we are not vets and this info is not intended, in any way, to take the place of the advice from your Vet. If you have concerns, please contact your vet or Verifone

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