Is is especially important for you to be prepared for an emergency when you are traveling with your dog or are away from your "home" veterinarian. With a little preparedness, a potentially disastrous or even fatal situation can be stabilized or minimized until professional care can be administered.
This article is quite lengthy, you can click on any of
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to a specific area on First Aid
|Shock||Vomiting and Diarrhea|
|Cuts, Tears (nails, ears, ect.)||Reproductive|
What is normal?
It is very important for you to understand what is "normal" health for your dog. This includes the following:
Capillary Refill Time (CRT)
Chart A shows the normal range of values for these healthy factors.
Normal parameters for a Bloodhound
|Temperature||100-102 F||Use rectal thermometer, wait 1-2 minutes|
|Heart Rate||70-110 bpm||Check pulse on the L side of the chest or feel the femoral artery inside the back leg|
|CRT (Capillary Refill Time||<2 seconds||Gums should be a healthy pink color, when pressed, they should blanch white and return to pink|
|MM (gums)||Pink, moist|
|Water Intake||3.25 Qt./day|
|Skin Turger||Quick return||Skin on back of the neck should return to normal position quickly after being pinched up|
What is an emergency?
Following is a list of injuries, problems and illnesses that require immediate medical assistance for the health and safety of your dog. While there may be other medical situations that require aid, these are the most common.
Cuts/Torn nails/Cut ears
Vomiting and Diarrhea
Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Bloat is a life threatening emergency. Reaction time from the moment discomfort is detected until veterinary assistance is rendered can have a great deal to do with "survivability" of the episode. It is very important to recognize and treat as soon as possible.
Painful distended abdomen
Attempting to vomit
Praying or crouched position
Curled into a ball
Looking at side
Seeking a hiding place
Vomiting foamy material
Red or white gums
If you are within 1/2 hour of your vet and you know bloat has just begun--get to the vet. If you can't get to the vet or the dog is already shocky or weak, you can attempt decompression.
Walk the dog to encourage motility of the stomach and bowels. Give the dog simethicone to help relieve gas.
Heavy panting, difficulty breathing
Weak, rapid pulse
Remove from heat
Cool the dog by submerging in cool water, hosing down or applying ice packs
Check the dogs temperature and stop cooling the dog if the temperature drops below 103 F
Offer small amounts of water
Seek veterinary care once the dog is stabilized
Pale white or gray gums
Weak and rapid pulse
Weakness or collapse
Keep the dog quiet
Place the dog on a blanket or stretcher to transport
Cover the dog with a blanket to keep him warm
Clear the mouth of any foreign objects
Perform CPR if necessary
Control any bleeding by applying a tourniquet
Do not force anything by mouth
Seek veterinary care as soon as possible
There are many medical reasons why a dog may seizure. Seizures are typically a symptom of a greater problem. Common signs of seizures include, but are not limited to: collapse, paddling of legs, involuntary muscle spasms, growling, urination and defecation, excessive watering of the mouth and inability to respond to his name. Seizures can vary in duration from only a few seconds to minutes
Handle the dog only if necessary to prevent injury to pet or people
If the dog is in a dangerous area, gently pull the dog away by the scruff of the neck, you can gently restrain the dog with a blanket or coat.
Do not give medications or place objects (including your fingers) in the dogs mouth.
Keep the animal calm/non stimulated after the seizure ends. Speak in a low, comforting voice.
If the breathing stops, give artificial respiration
Time the duration of the event
Seek immediate veterinary care and consultation.
After the seizure the "postictal" syndrome
The dog is often wobbly and dazed for up to 2 hours. Confine the dog to a small area. Allow the dog to drink small amounts of water, but do not give any food.
Cuts, Tears (nails,
Nails--if partially torn, cut off the rest of the nail
Apply Quick Stop, flour or ice to assist coagulation
Apply a pressure bandage
Bandage by rolling ear up and wrap to head
Gently flush with water
If deep, bandage and get to vet (possible stitches)
Minor cuts, apply antibacterial ointment with or without a bandage
*refer to the poison tables
When to induce vomiting
YES-if within two hours if ingestion
NO-if it has been over 2 hours
NO-for certain substance: alkali, soaps, detergents, bleach, high concentration catatonic detergents, phenols, pine oils, petroleum, distillates.
How To Induce Vomiting
ipecac syrup-1 tablespoon, can repeat if necessary after 15 minutes
Hydrogen peroxide & salt-1 teaspoon salt to 3 teaspoons of Hydrogen peroxide, can repeat if necessary 10-15 minutes later
(Any eye injury is an emergency)
Foreign bodies in the eye-squinting third lid up, rubbing at eyes, discharge, red eye.
Rinse eye gently with eye wash solution
If foreign body is embedded in cornea, attempt to remove it.
Prevent dog from self trauma
Red "cherry" at the inner corner of eye
Seek veterinary care
Corneal scratches or ulcers
Squinting, tearing, pawing at eye
Do not apply any medications containing a steroid (dex, hydrocortisone, genotocin durafilm)
Seek veterinary care
White or gray tissue, self mutilation, loss of feeling, loss of tissue
Re-warm tissues slowly by applying moist heat, or by immersing in warm water
Do not rub or apply pressure bandages or ointments
Prevent self trauma
Demarcation of dead tissue in 4-7 days
Minor Burns (superficial)
If burn occurred within the hour, apply ice packs for 10 minutes
Gently clip hair from burn margins
Apply antibacterial cream to affected areas
Apply ice packs if possible
Keep animal quiet and prevent licking and scratching
Cover area loosely with gauze, do not apply ointments to severe burns
Seek veterinary care
Flush area with water for 10-15 minutes
Acids-rinse with baking soda water
Alkalis-rinse area with lemon juice or vinegar and water
Withhold food for 24 hours
Place on bland diet such as boiled rice and chicken and feed 2-3 small meals per day for 1-2 days. Gradually reintroduce the regular diet over 1-2 days.
Consult vet if:
No improvement in 24 hours
Dog is acting depressed
Any other signs of illness
Over the counter medications:
Diarrhea--Kaopectate-3 tablespoons every 4 hours
Vomiting and Diarrhea--Pepto Bismol-1 1/2 tablespoons every 4 hours
Apply cold pack
Apply cortisone cream
If any swelling, increased heart rate, shortness of breath--take to vet
Give Benadryl (50-75 mg every 8-12 hours)
With any problem during pregnancy or whelping, consult your veterinarian immediately.
1) More than 2 hours since last puppy whelped
2) Active contractions for more than 30 minutes and no puppies
3) Greenish vaginal discharge
4) Puppy partially expelled for more than 10 minutes
1) Low blood calcium
2) Restlessness, panting, tremoring, shaking, drooling
Pyometra Symptoms (usually 6-8 weeks after a heat cycle)
1) Excessive thirst and urination
2) Decreased appetite, vomiting
3) Lethargy, weakness
4) Brown, greenish vaginal discharge
1) Decreased appetite
2) Hunched, stilted gait, painful abdomen
3) Discolored urine