Every year, hundreds of dogs in Australia are caught in road accidents, swallow poisonous substances or suffer from heat strokes. If you have a dog, you should know what to do in such an emergency before visiting your vet and that could save your dog’s life.
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Things to Remember
- First off, ensure you and others remain safe. Stay calm and evaluate the situation before doing anything. Wounded animals are scared and in pain and may try to bite anyone who tries to approach them.
- Contact your vet. Have his number at hand and remember his name.
- Have a pen at hand while calling since if the vet is not available and you are given another number, you can write it down.
- If your dog is trying to bite, wrap a tape around his nose and tie it behind his ears or put a muzzle on him, provided he has no difficulty in breathing. Small dogs can be controlled by putting a thick towel over their mouths or heads.
- Never administer human medications to the dog. Most of them will do more harm than good. Also, don’t give food or drink because he may need anaesthesia.
- Drive carefully while taking the injured dog to the clinic.
How to Identify if It’s an Emergency?
Sometimes it’s difficult to know whether it’s an emergency and if urgent care is required. In such a case, call a St Ives vet like Gordon Vet and ask for advice.
You should call your vet, if:
- Your dog appears weak, doesn’t want to get up, and looks dull and depressed.
- He is finding it difficult to breathe or is breathing rapidly and noisily or is continuously coughing.
- There is recurrent vomiting, especially with young or senior dogs. Diarrhoea is a less severe case unless it’s bloody or the dog looks unwell and weak. Give small bits of bland diet like white fish or boiled chicken and visit a vet if it continues for more than a day.
- The dog is experiencing severe pain.
- Your dog wants to urinate or defecate but can’t. Sometimes bladder is blocked, particularly in males and can be fatal if not treated immediately.
- Your pet has difficulty in keeping a balance.
First Aid when Bleeding Occurs
Try to calm down the dog and apply a tight bandage. If necessary, also use a towel or some cloth. Still, if blood is seeping through, put on another tight layer. Use a tourniquet only as a last solution. If the wound is in a place where you cannot put a bandage, firmly press a pad on the wound and hold in place.
Apply a non-adhesive dressing and cover it with cotton bandage or swabs. Next, put a layer of cotton wool. Cover all this with still more cotton bandage. Stick it to the top hair using a surgical tape and cover the whole thing with an adhesive bandage.
Never keep the bandage for over 24 hours.
First Aid for Broken Bones
Try to control severe bleeding but do not use a splint. It’s painful and can make the bone pierce through the skin. Confine the dog while taking him to the vet. If he is small, put him in a box.
First Aid for Burns
Run cold water over the burn at least for five minutes and then call your vet. Don’t use creams or ointments. However, if there would be a delay in visiting the vet, you may apply dressing soaked in saline water on the area. Keep the dog warm.
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First Aid for Swallowing Poison
As far as possible get the packaging of the substance swallowed and keep it handy while calling your vet. If you suspect that the dog has chewed a plant, try to identify the plant. Immediately call a vet clinic like Gordon Vet, a leading Lindfield vet clinic.
Knowing the first steps in an emergency situation can save the life of your beloved dogs. Therefore, you should know them.