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Caring for an injured dog

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Caring for an injured dog

In the event of an accident, by properly evaluating the situation and responding calmly and quickly, you can make your dog more comfortable and may even speed his recovery.

In an ideal universe, we would never have to deal with emergencies. Unfortunately, dogs can find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, and accidents do happen. In the event of an accident, by properly evaluating the situation and responding calmly and quickly, you can make your dog more comfortable and may even speed his recovery.

Making a Gentle Restraint
If your dog is injured, you will need to bring him to the vet as quickly as possible. If he's conscious, it's very important that you first muzzle him. No matter how gentle your dog normally is, he will be in pain and frightened- and fear can cause even the mildest mannered dog to become a biter. [An important exception: do not muzzle your dog if he is vomiting or having difficulty breathing].

To make a makeshift muzzle, all you need is pantyhose, a necktie or gauze (about 12-24 inches in length). If you're outside, you can even use his leash. With one of these items, tie a loose knot in the middle leaving a large loop. Calmly approach your dog from behind and gently slip the loop over his snout. Then pull it taut - it should snug, but not cut into his skin. Knot the ends under his chin, then bring the ends around his neck and tie them behind his ears. As soon as your dog has been muzzled, examine his injuries and determine the best way to transport him.

Transporting him safely.
Like humans, dogs should be moved as little as possible when they are injured. If your dog has been hit by a car, fallen or had any injury that may have caused spinal damage, special care must be taken when you transport him. Do not carry him in your arms. Instead, get a piece of plywood, an ironing board, thick cardboard or a sturdy blanket. Then, lifting your dog as little as possible, gently slide the supporting material beneath him. If you are using a blanket, find a second person to carry it with you so you pull it tight, like a stretcher. Does your dog have any broken bones? If so, do not try to straighten the bone, instead create a splint to keep the broken bone in position. If you have placed your dog on a piece of plywood or cardboard, gently tape the injured leg - and the rest of his body - -to the board. A splint can also be created with a ruler or a magazine or newspaper that's been rolled around the limb and taped securely in place. Move him only after you have immobilized his injured limbs.

Treating different injuries
After your dog has been moved to a safe place, there are simple ways you make him more comfortable and give him a better chance of recovery.

If your dog is bleeding, apply pressure to the cuts with a pressure bandage. Sanitary napkins work well for this purpose, but you can also use towels, shirts or blankets.

If your dog has ingested a poison, be sure to take the poisonous substance with you. This will help your vet determine the best treatment plan.

For heat burns, quickly put the burn under ice or cold running water. The easiest way to cool a burn is with the garden house. Just keep the faucet pressure low. If your dog has a chemical burn, flush the affected area with water. Then take your dog to the vet immediately.

Like humans, dogs can go into shock after a serious accident. So be sure to cover him up and keep him warm.

Before you head to the veterinary hospital, have someone call the hospital to let the staff know that are on your way with an emergency. This will give them time prepare for your arrival.

Remember, your dog might seem fine after an accident, but may be bleeding internally. After any accident you should bring your dog to the vet immediately.

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