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First Aid Tips To Help Save Your Dog's Life

 by jaime on 10 Sep 2014 |
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It's not nice to think of something terrible happening to your dog, but the best thing you can do is to be prepared and know what to do in various medical emergencies - it may just save your dog's life.

A great idea is to put together a first aid kit, filled with essentials to help soothe and aid various injuries. Consider the following in your kit:
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Adhesive tape
  • Blankets/towels
  • Bottled water
  • Clean cloths
  • Cotton batting
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Gauze bandages and pads
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Leash
  • Muzzle   
  • Nylon rope (to restrain)
  • Pliers
  • Safety pins
  • Saline
  • Scissors
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers
  • Wire cutters
  • Wooden ruler (for tourniquet)
Sometimes it can be hard to know when your dog would need immediate emergency care. The following signs are sure-fire symptoms of a medical emergency.
  • Change in body temperature
  • Difficulty standing
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Pale gums
  • Paralysis
  • Rapid breathing
  • Seizures
  • Weak or rapid pulse
Another quick way to decipher the severity of your dog's situation is to remember your ABC's...

A = Airways - are their airways free from blockages?
B = Breathing - are they breathing normally and clearly?
C = Circulation - are you able to feel a pulse or the heart beating?

If you answer no to any of these then you need to get your dog to the vet immediately.

What to do when your dog is:

Excessively bleeding
Elevate the area and apply pressure to the wound. Make sure you clean it out with saline to get rid of any dirt and debris and then apply a firm bandage.

Choking
Use your fingers to remove the obstruction. If this doesn't work you can try the Heimlich manoeuvre to try help dislodge it.

Burnt
Keep the affected area under running cool water for a LEAST 10 minutes.

Poisoned
Get in touch with your vet or a poison control centre. Your dog's age, general health, and what has poisoned them will all be evaluated to help give you a good recommendation. Depending on what they say, you may have to induce vomiting in your dog.

Having a seizure
Use a calm voice to comfort your pet but never try and stop the seizure - just make sure your pet is not able to hurt themselves. Seizures that last longer than five minutes will need medical attention and advice from your vet.

Giving CPR to your dog
CPR may be necessary in instances such as your dog has choked on something, the object has been removed but they are still unconscious.
  • Check they are breathing
  • If not, move them onto their side and extent their head and neck back.
  • Holding their jaw closed blow into their nostrils once every three seconds - be careful to not allow air to escape between your mouth and the dog's nose.
  • If there is no heartbeat you will have to perform a cardiac massage at the same time. You'll need to give three quick but firm chest compressions for every artificial respiration you give.
  • Do this until your dog is again breathing on their own.

REMEMBER
Dogs who are hurt and are severely injured can act out aggressively, even at their owners, so you will need to do everything you can to protect yourself from injury. Always approach slowly and calmly. Kneel down to them and say their name. If there is any displays of aggression go get some help.

If they are not aggressive you may approach with caution. Always be extra careful, especially around their neck incase of spinal injuries.

Whatever the situation, make sure your vet gets to see your dog ASAP and if you are ever unsure about the severity of your dog's injuries - get in touch with your vet because it's always better to be safe than sorry.


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