Emergencies and first aid
for your dog
Cuts must be carefully
cleaned and disinfected. If jagged and very open,
it is best to have it stitched by the vet If bleeding
profusely first make certain it is not an artery
(this would be bright red and pumping), bandage
firmly with a pressure pad and leave for the blood
to coagulate. Do not remove the dressing too soon
as you could start the wound bleeding again If a
small wound dust with antiseptic powder and leave.
If an artery has been severed, put on a tourniquet
in between the wound and the heart and take immediately
to the vet. Never leave a tourniquet on for more
than 20 minutes. Release for a few minutes so as
to allow blood into the limb again.
Liquid plastic skin dressing
applied to cuts on pads is very helpful for quick
Broken bones need immediate
Lameness can be caused
by a strained muscle or tendon. Keep the dog quiet
with a minimum amount of exercise. If this does
not improve within a few days seek expert veterinary
Teeth If your dog develops
smelly breath or starts pawing its mouth or rubbing
it along the ground, you can suspect tooth problems.
Sometimes, in older dogs, ulcers and bad teeth can
occur. These can be extracted if necessary by a
veterinary surgeon, but a general anesthetic is
necessary. A weekly marrow bone or hard biscuit
will keep the teeth clean and in good condition
If you find them getting dirty, persuade your dentist
to let you have an old teeth scaler and gently scrape
the teeth but be careful not to damage the gums.
If your dog is uncooperative a visit to the vet
Anal Glands Two glands
situated on either side of the anus. If the dog
is producing good firm stools the anal glands will
usually be emptied. If you notice your dog rubbing
its bottom along the ground it is probably due to
the anal glands. Get your vet to show you how to
empty them - it is not too difficult. just a case
of squeezing in the right place!
Ears Examine these
regularly to make certain they are clean and free
from wax. Calamine lotion is excellent for cleaning
ears. Soak a tissue in it and then clean. If the
wax is a dark reddish color there is an infection.
Your vet will) give you an ointment to put in the
ear night and morning which will soon clear this
up. If the ear is sore and has a pus-like, smelly
discharge, your dog is suffering from otitis (canker).
Professional advice is best sought in this case.
Constipation A dessert
spoon of liquid paraffin should do the trick but
if it persists and the dog keeps on straining a
blockage of the bowel can be suspected. Seek veterinary
Feet Check to see that
nails are kept short and trim with nail cutters
if necessary. Be careful not to cut the quick, which
Thorns These can be
painful and sometimes very hard to remove. Soften
the surrounding area by applying a hot compress
and then extract with tweezers. Dab with disinfectant,
dry carefully and dust with antiseptic powder. Make
certain you have got rid of all the thorn.
Stomach Torsion or Bloat
This is a horrible complaint. It is caused by the
stomach twisting over on its axis thus stopping
the gases from dispersing by either mouth or bowels.
Usually associated with excessive exercise after
a heavy meal.
The stomach becomes completely distended and immediate
veterinary attention must be sought. The vet will
operate and return the stomach to its normal position.
If this is not done quickly this condition will
prove fatal. Can occur again.
Heat Stroke This is
an emergency which requires immediate attention.
Dogs left in cars, tied up in the full sun, or left
in concrete runs without suitable shade can all
develop heat stroke Special care must be taken to
provide shade for your dog when living in hot climates.
Heat stroke starts with rapid, frantic breathing.
The tongue and mucous membranes are bright red and
the dog will start staggering. Put it in a tub of
cold water or hose down with a garden hose. It is
imperative to bring the temperature down as quickly
as possible or this will prove fatal. Ice packs
around the body (packets of frozen food can be used)
will also help.
Stings If your dog has
been stung by a wasp, bee etc., remove the sting
where possible and give antihistamine tablets. If
the sting is on the eye or tongue and there is excessive
swelling, consult your vet immediately.