There are many kinds of emergencies, from automobile accidents to bite wounds, burns, heatstroke, poisoning, and seizures when you may need to know emergency first aid for dogs.
When you have a dog, you know you need to be responsible for its health. There are so many things that can go wrong with a dog, but fortunately, there are solutions out there to help make your pet’s life much easier.
If you love your pet, you might have wondered what you would do if you found your pet needing quick medical attention? Would you know how to apply first aid? This brings me to the next question; have you taken a first aid for dogs course?
If you know first aid for dogs, you can rest easy knowing that you can take care of them before they get to the veterinary clinic. This would improve their chances of recovering from whatever is ailing them.
There are some things you need to know about pet first aid, even if you haven’t had the chance to take the pet first aid course.
🐕 How to Check your Dog's Vital Signs
If your pet is suffering from some kind of illness, it may not express itself until it is too late. Usually, you might tell when your pet is not feeling well.
- Maybe it stops being playful,
- isolates itself,
- becomes aggressive,
- or make noises that dictate that it might experience pain.
Those may be physical signs that you can easily observe. What would happen if your pet does not manifest any of these signs, and yet they are sick? This is where you need to understand how to check for vital signs.
- Check for pulse rates. A higher than normal pulse rate may show a health issue.
- Check their respiratory rate and how they breathe. If you detect something is amiss, perhaps it would be time to see the vet.
🐶 What is First Aid for Dogs?
First aid is the treatment given in an emergency. The purpose of emergency first aid for dogs is to:
- helps to preserve life
- needed to reduce pain and discomfort
- helps to minimize any risk of permanent disability or disfigurement
🦮 Signs Your Dog May Need Emergency Care
Emergency care may be needed if your dog has suffered a serious injury:
- an insect sting,
- household poisoning,
- or any other situation resulting in a life-threatening situation.
🐩 Signs Showing the Need for Emergency Care:
- Pale gums
- Rapid breathing
- Weak or rapid pulse
- Change in body temperature
- Difficulty standing
- Apparent paralysis,
- Loss of consciousness
- Excessive bleeding
🐾 First Aid Treatments to Perform At Home
If your pet is suffering from an emergency, seek immediate veterinary care, but first aid may stabilize your pet.
- Your pet may suffer from external bleeding if they have been injured by trauma. Elevate and apply pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding.
- If your pet is choking, place your fingers in his mouth to see if you can remove the blockage.
- In case you cannot remove the foreign object, give him a sharp rap on the chest to dislodge it.
🦮 Performing CPR on Your Pet
If your pet is unconscious after you remove the choking object, CPR may be necessary.
First check to see if he’s breathing. You should then position him on his side, hold his mouth and nose closed, and blow into his nostrils once every three seconds if he does not breathe automatically. (Ensure no air escapes between your mouth and the pet’s nose.)
While administering artificial respiration, if you do not feel a heartbeat, provide your dog with cardiac massage and chest compressions until he breathes on his own again.
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📖 Keep a Well-Stocked First-Aid Kit
A First Aid kit for dogs should contain details of the pet, including name, age, and previous medical treatments if any.
Then you should include all the supplies, such as gauzes, tweezers, cotton wool, bandages, vinyl gloves, antiseptic wipes, and a sick blanket. This kit could come in handy when you are traveling with your pet.
📋 Have Emergency Contacts Ready
Most people do not have emergency contacts for their veterinary offices.
If your pet falls sick, getting these contacts may be too long, resulting in the pet’s fatality. Always have an emergency number on file at your Veterinarian's Office.
Learn about the nearest location of vet clinics and the hours they open.
What to do in various strenuous circumstances
You need to be prepared in several pet emergencies, even if you do not know much about first aid for dogs.
✔️ How to Treat a Bleeding Dog
Pets are playful, and they may injure themselves in the field or with sharp objects inside the house.
- The first thing to do is to control the bleeding. If the pet loses too much blood, they may die.
- Check the bleeding area, and if possible, clean using running water.
- Apply gauze over the area before taking the pet to the veterinary for a more professional check-up.
Your pet may choke on something and they can’t seem to get it out of their system. Before you take them to the vet, check to see if they are in acute distress.
- Their tongue and gums will turn blue if they cannot breathe well.
- Place your hand over the muzzle and then open the mouth.
- If the object is visible, find a way to remove it without causing damage to the pet.
- Be cautious so as not to force the object blocking the way further down the throat.
- If this does not work, place your hands on the rib cage (at the end) and apply some pressure, pushing up, down, and slightly forward.
- The object should get dislodged. If not, contact your vet immediately.
♨️ Heat Stroke
When you find your dog panting or drooling fast or irregularly, the first thing you do is to check their respiratory activity.
- Are they breathing okay?
- Is the heart beating too fast and too irregularly? If so, your pet may be suffering from a heat stroke.
- Before you take them to the vet, place a wet towel around the head.
- Do not block the nostrils or the eyes.
- Repeat this process a few times; dip the towel in cold water, wring it out, and wrap it on the pet.
- If you have cold water around, pour some on the pet’s back and then take them to the vet.
Exposure to toxins and poisons is one of the dreaded pet emergencies you can ever have. Unfortunately, there are a lot of products inside our homes that could lead to pet poisoning.
Talk of detergents, chemicals, cleaning products, shampoos, and others. If your pet ingests poison, they might start having seizures or lose consciousness.
They may also have difficulty breathing. You should always consult a vet when this happens.
If they came into contact with harmful chemicals in their eyes, wash the eyes under clean, running water before taking them to the vet for further treatment.
🦴 Burns and Broken Bones
If your pet gets a burn from exposure to chemicals, you should wash the exposed area with a lot of clean, running water.
If they get burns from other forms, such as stepping on hot coal, apply ice to keep the burn cold and comfortable. It will heal over time.
Broken bones and fractures may be hard to treat as a first aid. However, you should try to keep your pet as comfortable as possible when they have suffered a fracture, or a broken bone.
A sling works in most cases. Use whatever material is available to create a decent sling.
Then take the pet to the vet for proper treatment.
✨ When your Pet is Having a Seizure
Dogs and cats can have seizures for a variety of reasons. Whenever this happens, you should always consult a vet irrespective of how long the seizure lasted.
In the meantime, make sure that they stay away from any object that may cause harm to them.
- Do not hold the pet down as they might bite you.
- Keep your calm.
- Time how long the seizure lasted, whether it was vigorous and relay this information to your vet. They will know what to do.
🥘 What To Do If Your Pet Eats Something Poisonous
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center's 24-hour hotline (888) 426-4435 can be contacted if you suspect your pet has consumed a toxic substance.
A qualified toxicologist will evaluate your pet's health, what he ate, and how much of it he consumed, and then recommend treatment according to that assessment, including whether to induce vomiting.
They may charge you a consultation fee of $65 on your credit card.