Dog First Aid – Heat burns

Dogs too like humans can sustain injuries from accidents. Humans would instantly complain about their aches and pains but dogs do not have the ability to voice out what they feel . Getting the pet to a vet is not the only responsibility of a dog owner. A dog owner has to notice anything unusual in the behavior or in the appearance of the pet as oftentimes, the change is caused by a health concern.

Dogs can get heat burns although this kind of injury is not really common in dogs given the fact that these animals usually stay away from fires. Dogs though often get into tight spots because of their energetic and inquisitive nature. A dog trying to get the cooling steak beside the grill can get burned by the smoldering coals. A dog being groomed can be burned by the hair dryer. The dog’s tough leathery paw pads are no match to hot pavement or hot coals.

Because of the fur, the dog’s injuries as well as the extent of the damage may not be easily apparent to a dog owner. Skin that was superficially burned will redden and swell. Partial thickness burn is similar to second degree burn where the dog’s skin will redden, swell and have blisters. The two types of burns will cause the dog immense pain. Full thickness burn is similar to third degree burns in humans where the dog’s skin will peel off and there will be swelling under the skin. Dogs with deep burns will not be in pain because the nerves were destroyed. Deeply burned skin will turn either white or black and because of destroyed hair follicles, the hair can be easily pulled out.

Superficial and second degree burns can be treated at home but deep burns are serious cases that would need professional medical attention. Hospitalization is necessary for a dog that has sustained deep burns especially if more than 15 % of the skin was affected. Nevertheless, first aid treatment would still be necessary to stabilize the condition before the pet is transported to the hospital.

The dog’s burn has to be cooled immediately to stop the heat from causing further damage to the tissues. To arrest the damage cause by the heat to the tissues, burned body part has to be immersed in cool water. The burned skin can be covered with a wash cloth soaked in cool water. Pat dry the affected skin. Butter, grease or any ointment must not be applied on the burned skin as it will trap the heat and cause further damage.

More information on heat burns and first aid for dogs can be found at Sarah’s Dogs.

First Aid for Dog Bite Wounds

Dogs eat dogs. Owners would take precautionary measures to prevent dog fights from happening. It is an owner’s responsibility to socialize and to train the pet to lessen its aggression. Apart from being territorial, dogs are pack animals thus dog fights have the tendency to erupt every time dogs congregate in one place. The dogs’ rambunctious play fights often turn into real fights that as dogs have a natural inclination to fight.

A dog can sustain mild to serious injuries from fighting with other dogs. The fur that covers the dog’s skin cannot protect the body from the 200 to 400 pounds of pressure that a dog bite can inflict. The injuries sustained by the dog may appear minor because only small puncture marks can be seen on the dog’s skin. However, the dog bite can cause extensive damage underneath the dog’s skin. Because of the strength of the jaws, a dog’s bite that punctures the skin can also damage tendons and tissues. The bite could have severed blood vessels and pierced vital organs. Many dogs have died from fatal wounds on the throat and abdomen resulting from dog fights.

Dog bite wounds on the face, ears, neck and legs would be easily noticed especially if they are heavily bleeding. Locating puncture wound on the body part thickly covered with fur can be tricky as puncture wounds are not heavy bleeders. A dog’s mouth has large amounts of bacteria thus the risk that the dog bite will get infected is high. The dog may have sustained bite wounds underneath the fur thus the body has to be checked thoroughly.

Dogs fight all the time and being hardy animals most dogs can weather the injuries they have sustained. However, dogs with serious dog bite injuries must have immediate medical attention. Just after the dog was injured, first aid care must be given to save the dog from pain and more importantly, to stabilize the condition of the pet.

Injured dogs are in pain and the owners have to be aware that the dog has the tendency to bite. Thus the dog has to be muzzled for the protection of the person that will administer the first aid treatments. Dog bite wounds must be thoroughly wash with hydrogen peroxide or with warm water to ward off infection. Puncture wounds would heal very fast and bacteria trapped between the skin and the tissues would cause infection. To stem profuse bleeding, direct pressure has to be applied to the wound. Cloth or towel directly applied on the wound would control the bleeding. The condition of the pet can be stabilized with first aid methods but professional medical care would still be necessary especially for serious bite wounds.

Read more about dog bites and first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

Dog First Aid – CPR

CPR can save your dog’s life! Teaching pet owners how to administer CPR is a program supported by animal health organizations and by the American Red Cross. For families with pets, at least one member has to know how CPR is done. CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. This first aid procedure that entails chest compression and rescue breathing will revive pets that have suffered cardiac arrest. Cardiopulmunary procedure is an emergency care that will stabilize the pet’s condition after cardiac arrest.

Airway blockage, electrocution, ingestion of poisonous substances are only some of the life threatening accidents that can happen to a dog.  All dog owners would do anything to keep the pet safe from life threatening accidents. Dogs have an inquisitive and energetic nature and no matter how dog owners try to keep the pet safe, accidents will still happen. As accidents cannot be prevented, the only feasible option a dog owner can have is to be ready to deal with the injuries sustained by the pet by taking dog first aid lessons. CPR can be only chance an owner can have to save the life of the pet. The skill of the pet owner to administer this first aid method can save the life of the pet and can give the pet owner the chance to enjoy the companionship of the pet for many more days. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation involves artificial respiration and chest compression. CPR can be administered by following the ABC process.

Step A is for airway. Check if the dog’s airway is clear. Artificial respiration will be ineffective if the dog’s airway is blocked. If the dog’s head is not injured, it would be necessary to extent the head and to open the mouth to see if the airway is blocked by an object. The blockage can be manually removed if possible or the Heimlich maneuver can be performed.

If the airway is clear, rescue breathing can be done. Lay the pet on his side, hold the snout close with one hand and blow over the dog’s nose.  One breath every 3 seconds must be given until the pet is breathing on its own. Breathing at full lung capacity is necessary if the dog that is being resuscitated is large. Rescue breathing for smaller dogs must be just enough to make the chest rise and not to inflate the lungs.

Chest compression is done to a dog that has lost consciousness and to one that has no pulse nor heartbeat. Position the palm of the hand on the dog’s ribcage over the heart. After the hands are positioned start compressing the chest. Compress the chest 3 times every two seconds. Signs of breathing must be periodically checked

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Dog First Aid – Gunshot Wound

Dogs are well loved animals. Most families would have one or two dogs for a pet . Not all people though are dog lovers. Mean and cruel people would not think twice to hurt a dog. Despite long years of domestication, dogs still have unwanted behaviors that cause them to be punished by less tolerant owners and by mean people. A dog can be shot for trespassing. Gunshot wounds are common injuries sustained by dogs during hunting season. Often times dogs are shot because they are viewed as wild animals by hunters. Many dogs have been injured by the guns of their own masters.

Gunshot wounds can be life threatening injuries and the dog’s well being will be entirely dependent on the help that will be extended by the owner. The dog’s survival from a gunshot wound would depend on how quickly the dog owner can get help for the pet. The three types of traumas a dog can sustain makes a gunshot wound a very serious injury. A gunshot wound will puncture the skin, cavitations will be caused by the shock waves resulting from the entry of the bullet and fragmentation damage to the tissues will occur from the pieces of projectile and from shattered bones if the bullet has managed to hit a bone.

Professional medical attention will certainly be necessary for a dog with gunshot wound but a vet may not always be available and first aid methods will be very important to stabilize the condition of the pet. The owner has to check the airway, breathing and circulation.

Rescue breathing must be started immediately if the dog has stopped breathing. With the dog’s mouth close, breath into the dog’s nostrils. For large dogs 5 to 10 breaths can be given per minute and 10 to 20 breaths per minute for smaller ones. Each breath given should make the chest move slightly. Begin CPR if no heartbeat is felt.

Bleeding can be controlled by applying direct pressure to the wound. Use cloth, towel or gauze to control bleeding. If the towel is soaked through, add another one. The cloth must not be replaced as it would cause the bleeding to start again. Place a plastic bag over gunshot wound in the chest to prevent air from being sucked into the wound. Organs that may have been exposed by the gunshot wound has to be covered with wet cloth to prevent it from drying out .

Read all about Gunshot Wounds and first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

Dog lovers would urge their friends to get a dog for a pet. Dogs are wonderful companions but ownership would entail a big responsibility. Dogs are indiscriminate eaters, very inquisitive and known to have an energetic nature. Due to these characteristic, it is not uncommon for dogs to be in dangerous situations and to sustain injuries. Dealing with an injured dog is part and parcel of dog ownership.

Accidents cannot be totally prevented. Do you know what must be done to a dog that has ingested chocolates or has fallen off the stairs? Because of high prey drive, dogs would not pass up the chance to chase cats. What would you do if the pet had a serious injury because of this habit? Dog owners would have to deal with similar situations one time or another. Needless to say, a fair amount of first aid knowledge would be very useful. Veterinary care would certainly be needed but the dog owner’s first aid know how can save the life of the pet.

First aid for dogs is aimed to save the pet from a lot of pain, to prevent the pet’s condition for worsening and most importantly to save the life of the pet. Unfortunately, not many dog owners would know how to administer first aid to the pet. Bleeding is a sign that the dog has injuries. Not many dog owners are on familiar terms with signs of poisoning, shock and other ailments that would need first aid.

The first thing a pet owner has to do is to stay calm. Seeing the injured pet, the owner’s first thought is to rush to the vet’s. This decision though can cost the owner the dog’s life. A dog owner’s presence of mind and first aid know how could have save the pet’s life. With essential first aid supplies, a fair amount of knowledge and skills and a lot of common sense, a dog owner can hurdle any emergency. A dog owner has to have presence of mind to fully examine the pet and to recognize the symptoms being shown. Even the gentlest pet can turn aggressive when in pain. The airways must be checked. The movement of the chest should be visible and there should be breathing sounds. Any bleeding must be controlled by applying bandage or towels over the wound.

A dog owner has to be able to administer first aid treatments as these emergency situations involving the pet cannot be prevented. First aid for pets would not be too different from first aid for humans. Knowing what must be done would give the pet greater chance to survive.

what is first aid for dogs? Find out more about this and first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

Dog First Aid – Impalement

Impalement injuries are not as common as nicks and cuts, fractures or ingestion of foreign objects. But considering the highly active and playful behavior of a dog, impalement injuries are bound to happen. Dogs get into different scrapes and sustain different kinds of injuries. Poisoning, a foreign object that blocks the airway are some of the conditions that would make an owner take some time to consider what really happened to the pet. The only good thing with impalement is that the injury of the dog will be easily noticed by the dog owner.

Dogs that fall from heights can be impaled on fences or on a tree branch. A dog running with a stick in the mouth can be impaled as well if the end of the stick is shoved into the ground. Dogs have the inclination to roam and one that has trespassed and destroyed other people’s property can be meet a sad fate from the arrow of an irate person.

Many dogs have died from impalement injuries. A dog would be so lucky to have a minor impalement injury. Professional medical attention will be necessary for serious and not so serious impalement injuries. A dog owner may not think of bringing the pet to a vet if the small stick that has impaled the dog on the chest was removed. A seemingly minor impalement injury can in fact cause severe damage. The stick may have caused severe damage to an internal organ. It is also possible that the impalement has caused internal bleeding.

Before bringing the pet to a veterinary facility first aid measures are very necessary to prevent the object that has impaled from creating further damage.

The pain associated with the impalement injury can turn a well tempered dog aggressive. Muzzle the injured dog before administering first aid treatment. Never ever remove the foreign body that has impaled the dog. Movements of the pet and the object that has impaled the pet must be minimized to prevent the dog’s condition from worsening. More damage to the tissues and internal organs can occur if the pet as well as the foreign object are not kept from moving. However, if the life of the pet is in grave danger as when it was impaled on the steel bar of a fence, there will be no other choice but to separate the pet from the stationary object. The removal of the object must be done gently and bleeding must be controlled while the pet is rushed to the hospital.

Sarah’s Dogs provides more information on impalement as well as first aid for dogs.

Dog First aid – Abrasions

Time and time again, a dog owner has to deal with the injuries sustained by the pet. Dog owners are aware of the boundless energies of their pets. As such, dogs are often injured. The dogs injuries can result from dog fights. Dogs trailing a prey would run at top speed and enter thorny thickets. Dogs run very fast and a screeching sound can be practically heard when they try to break the momentum. These adventures results to serious and not so serious injuries. Dogs would limp because of thorns embedded on the paws. The dog can be impaled with a sharp tree branch. Dogs sustain various injuries and the pet would be lucky if an accident only results to minor abrasion.

Abrasion is a minor scrape on the outer layer of the dog’s skin. Because the skin is protected by fur, abrasion does not commonly occur in dogs . Dogs though are very active animals and it would not be unheard of if the top layer of the skin gets injured from being rubbed against hard and rough surfaces. The grinding of the skin against a gravel road or against rocky surfaces can injure the upper layer of the skin. A dog that was hit by a speeding car will be thrown or dragged along the road. Abrasion can also be caused when a tight collar continuously rubs the neck area of the dog. The dog can damage the outer layer of its skin by mutilating itself. Bored dogs or dogs infested with external parasites have the tendency to incessantly gnaw and lick a body part until abrasions are formed.

Generally, abrasion is not a serious concern. Usually, grazes or scrapes are not heavy bleeders as in most cases the epidermis is not affected. There will be no scarring unless the subcutaneous layer of the skin is damaged. First aid treatment for abrasion will be necessary to prevent the wound from getting infected. To save the dog from pain associated with abrasion the dog has to have first aid treatment.

Minor abrasions can be treated at home. Clip the fur away from the affected skin. This must be done to prevent infection and to speed up the healing process. Clean the abraded skin with a saline solution. A solution made from 2 cups of water and a teaspoon salt can also be used to irrigate the wound. All the dirt and debris must be removed from the wound.

A topical antibiotic cream must be applied to the wound three times a day. Bandaging a small abrasions is not necessary. However, abrasions on the feet have to be protected with a non-stick dressing to prevent infection from setting in.

Find out more about abrasions and first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

Dog first aid kit

A well stocked medicine cabinet is a very necessary accouterment in every home especially when there are children and senior members of the family. Due to the boisterous nature, kids are always injured and it is common for senior members of the family to have health concerns. The medicine chest will ensure that immediate treatment will be given to the injured family member. Dogs and other pets will benefit from a first aid kit too. Pet owners have to be ready to deal with the injuries sustained by the pet. Giving first aid to the pet would not be a problem as long as right equipments and medications are at hand. First aid will stabilize the pet’s condition as well as save the dog from pain associated with the injury.

Dog owners must always be prepared for any emergency. As caring for a dog is comparable to caring for a baby, a medicine kit for the pet will be very useful given the fact that accidents can never be prevented. A first aid kit is still a must even if the neighbor is a vet. A vet consult for minor injuries would be very costly. Moreover, the vet may not be around.

A dog owner that has a first aid kit for the dog will be able to give the pet emergency care even late at night. Dogs are great companions thus these animals are taken by the master almost everywhere. A well stocked first aid kit can be a life saver if the dog is injured in the wild where a vet is not available.

A pet owner can buy a ready made first aid kit for the dog or build a customized kit that will be most suited to the lifestyle. Due to nearby animal clinics, the first aid kit of pet owners that live in the city may only contain the bare essentials unlike customized well stocked kits of owners that live in far flung places that are away from animal clinics.

Whether pre-made or customized, a dog’s first aid kit should have equipments like scissors, tweezers, a leash and muzzle, a rectal thermometer, cotton balls and swabs. The kit should also contain bandaging materials in various sizes. The kit should contain antibiotics ointments for the skin and for the eyes, wound disinfectants, antidiarrhea and antihistamines. First aid kit for dogs must have activated charcoal and hydrogen peroxide as these animals are very curious about their surrounding and because they use their mouth to investigate they often end up ingesting poisonous substances. Along with the equipments and basic medications, a first aid kit for the pet has to have the phone numbers of the vet or the location of a veterinary facility.

Find out more about first aid kit as well as information on first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

Dog First Aid – Diarrhea

Because diarrhea is a common disorder of dogs, dog owners would know what first aid methods can be used to stop the pet from passing soft stool. Dogs may succumb to diarrhea several times in its lifetime without showing ill effects thus dog owners are not really concerned with the pet’s condition. After passing soft stool for a few days, the dog’s diarrhea would be resolved even if the owner has not administered any treatment. Passing watery unformed stools is the typical symptom of diarrhea. Although the stool is soft and watery, the dog will be seen straining to defecate and oftentimes may not be able to defecate but only pass gas. The watery stool would have a different color and very bad odor. The dog’s defecation abnormality can be chronic or acute. Acute diarrhea is not a disease but the result of the dog’s dietary indiscretion. Dogs have this habit of ingesting anything that would fit into their mouths. Upset stomach and passing loose stools would result from the dog’s propensity to ingest not only spoiled food but also inedible objects. The frequent passing of loose stool is actually the body’s way of removing substances in the stomach that are not supposed to be ingested by the dog. Acute diarrhea is usually not a serious concern and commonly resolved even without being treated but chronic diarrhea is another matter as this concern can result to the death of the dog if treatment is not administered. Chronic diarrhea can be an indication of the dog’s underlying concern. This digestive disorder can be caused by parasite infestation, viral and bacterial infection and by other canine diseases. Diarrhea, whether acute or chronic have to be addressed as this disorder would result to loss of essential nutrients that could have been used by the dog’s body. Weakness of the dog and susceptibility to other canine diseases are possible outcomes of diarrhea that is allowed to progress. Recurring diarrhea can result to another life threatening condition – dehydration. Letting the stomach rest is the common first aid for diarrhea. Owners would stop feeding the pet. Adult dogs will not be given food for 24 hours. Water is not given to the dog as well. For puppies, food should not be given for 12 hours but the owner should ensure that water is available. After the fasting, bland food like boiled rice and chicken can be given to the pet. This first aid treatment should stop the dog’s diarrhea but of the frequent passing of soft stool persists, the pet must be rushed to the vet’s for medical treatment. More about diarrhea and first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

Learning basic first aid for the pet

Do I really need to learn how to administer first aid to my dog? My dog’s vet is a neighbor. Do you have the same viewpoint? When it comes to the health concerns of the pet, a vet consultation would certainly be the best bet. However, the vet may not always be around. Dog owners customarily take the pet wherever they go as these animals make wonderful companions. An owner’s knowledge of first aid methods would be very useful in emergency situations where vets are not available to administer treatments. The first aid methods learned can even save the life of the pet.

A dog owner needs to act fast in emergency situations to save the life of the pet. To save the injured pet, a dog owner would rush to an emergency facility however, in most serious cases, the pet would expire before treatment is given. The life of the pet could have been saved had the owner thought of administering first aid. However only very few owners can recognize the symptoms of life threatening situations and not many dog owners have learned to give first aid to the pet

First aid for humans and for dogs are pretty similar. The only difference is that with pets, an owner has to be cautious as dogs in pain tend to be aggressive. Basic first aid can be easily learned from animal shelters. It is also possible to learn first aid methods from the vet. First aid can be learned as well from veterinary hospitals.

Learning first aid would be easier by using the ABC approach. A is for airways, B stands for breathing and C for circulation. The airways of the dog has to be checked; owner needs to see if the dog is still breathing. If the heart is beating, it means that the blood is circulating. Artificial respiration must be done to revive dogs that are not breathing. Dogs usually have the ability to heal themselves thus bleeding of minor wounds will be licked. Pressure applies on the wound would be necessary to stop severe bleeding.

Dog owners can never totally prevent accidents that will injure the pet. To be able to administer emergency care, a pet owner has to learn how to administer first aid treatments. Due to the training, vets no doubt will be able to administer appropriate treatment to an injured pet but dog owners can alleviate the pet’s pain and even save the life of the dog with first aid skill and a well equipped first aid kit.

Want to know more about first aid kit and first aid for dogs? Visit Sarah’s Dogs.