All Things Dog

What To Do In A Health Emergency

In a perfect world, we would never have to deal with emergencies—but unfortunately they do happen. However, by staying calm and properly evaluating the situation, you can make your dog more comfortable and may even speed his recovery.

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

A Gentle Muzzle

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 snugly—but not too tightly. Knot the ends under his chin, then bring the ends around his neck and tie them behind his ears and examine his injuries.

Common Injuries

Here are some tips for treating common injuries.

Heatstroke: Take your dog to a cool spot and gently sponge him with cool—not cold—water. Also, encourage him to drink small amounts of cool water. Heatstroke can be life threatening, so be sure to bring your dog to the vet immediately.

Bleeding: Apply pressure to his wounds with a rolled up shirt, sanitary napkin, gauze or a handkerchief to slow down or stop the bleeding. Burn: Quickly put the burn under 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.

Poison: Call poison control or your vet to determine if your should induce vomiting. Also, be sure to take the poisonous substance with you. This will help your vet determine the best treatment plan.

Choking: At any sign of choking (gagging, pawing at the mouth, drooling, difficulty swallowing). Do not attempt to remove an object unless you can see and identify it.

Frostbite: Bring your dog to a warm location. Then gently apply warm moist towels to frostbitten areas.

Like humans, dogs can go into shock after a serious accident. So be sure to cover him up and keep him warm. And remember, older dogs have weaker immune systems, so even small cuts can cause health complications. If your dog is injured, always seek veterinary assistance.

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