First Aid for Dogs - What You Need to Know

Essentially, first aid for dogs amounts to two clear-cut procedures: 1. If your dog is involved in any type of accident you need to stay rational, act quickly, and above all remain calm. 2. There are some problems, which are discussed later, which you can resolve by yourself. Other types of problems will require you to handle the situation as efficiently as possible before contacting a nearby vet for further help.

First Aid for Dogs - What You Need to Know

Essentially, first aid for dogs amounts to two clear-cut procedures:

1. If your dog is involved in any type of accident you need to stay rational, act quickly, and above all remain calm.

2. There are some problems, which are discussed later, which you can resolve by yourself. Other types of problems will require you to handle the situation as efficiently as possible before contacting a nearby vet for further help.

Here are some of the everyday dog first aid problems that you can resolve on the spot:

Small cuts and abrasions-and after you have removed a thorn with sterilised tweezers:

As long as the injury doesn't involve a deep wound, expose the cut by snipping the fur away with a pair of blunt-ended scissors. Clean the wound with an antiseptic solution, keep a close eye on it to make sure that there is no swelling as this would indicate an infection

A cut that is longer than a half an inch is almost certainly going to need a stitch. If you need to stem the flow of blood from the wound take a dampened piece of gauze, or a clean piece of cloth, and apply firm, but gentle pressure to the wound for five to ten minutes. If you raise the wound up from a horizontal to a slightly more vertical angle, this will also help to reduce the blood flow.

If any blood seeps through after the initial dressing, re-apply a new one. If blood still appears to be pumping out from the wound, take a large piece of gauze or cloth, and using it as a wad, apply it directly to the cut and tie a fairly tight bandage around the whole wound area. Once again contact your vet for further advice.

If any type of bite caused the wound[s] there is a good chance that it will become infected. Clean the wound straight away with an antiseptic solution. As soon as you have done this contact your vet and relate what has happened, and how you have proceeded. It's quite likely that a course of antibiotics will be prescribed.

Injuries to bones, tendons or joints:

You will almost certainly recognize whether a bone is broken straight away. Make sure that you cover, with a clean cloth, any protruding bone. Try not to move your dog, make him as comfortable as possible, and get veterinarian help straight away. Lameness, can have many different causes, you'll need to contact your vet if the problem doesn't resolve itself fairly quickly.

Poisoning:

Two of my dogs were poisoned, and in both cases they survived. The number one rule is to keep all types of poisons well out of reach of your pets. Signs of poisoning can be muscle spasms, vomiting, and excessive thirst. If you suspect that your dog has been poisoned allow him to drink as much water as he wants. If you believe that the poison has got on to the dog's skin; wash it off immediately. Do not make any attempt to force your dog to vomit. If you can, identify what the poison was, and contact your vet straight away with that information.

Insect stings:

If the actual sting is visible remove it with a pair of sterilised tweezers. Be careful that you don't accidentally squeeze the poison sac, as this will force more of the toxin in to the dog's system. You can bathe bee stings with a solution of bicarbonate of soda, and wasp stings respond well to bathing in a solution of vinegar. Cleansing the affected area with an antiseptic wash, and then applying an antihistamine cream can treat all other types of stings.

It's important that you clear your dog's airway if he's been stung inside of the mouth, or in his throat. Slip your two fingers in to his mouth, and pull his tongue forward if necessary. Then contact a nearby veterinary surgery.

Choking:

You'll recognize this problem because the dog will be pawing furiously at her mouth, and often drooling or retching. You will need to react to this immediately and calmly. Take a firm grip of your dog, open up her mouth and see what, if anything, is lodged in her throat. If you can see what's causing the problem, and you believe that you could easily remove it-then do so. If not, then you should leave it.

Some people are capable of doing what is required next, and some aren't. If you don't feel that you're capable go straight to a nearby vet. You need to take a keen hold of your dog, place a hand on either side of his chest, and using a concertina like motion, squeeze five or six times. This should cause your dog to cough up the object. If that isn't so, go straight to professionals like COMET BAY VET HOSPITAL.

Heat stroke:

This problem should never, ever, happen to a dog that is cared for. If it does, then you should immediately move the dog to a cool, shaded area, well out of any direct sun. You should try to decrease her temperature by wrapping her in a towel that has been soaked in cold water. Try massaging her legs to stimulate the flow of blood, and allow her to drink as much cool water as she wants.

Scalds and burns:

Act quickly, and cool down the affected area by dousing it with plenty of cold water. Do not wash the area if the burn has penetrated the skin surface. Instead, cover it with a clean towel or cloth, and quickly contact your vet.

A useful dog first aid kit would include:

A robust pair of tweezers, a pair of blunt nosed scissors, some pre-cut gauze, some cotton swabs, bandages [open weave, and adhesive]. Also include, a towel, some squares of cotton material, a good antiseptic cream, an antiseptic solution, and a jar of antihistamine cream.