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.