Site Index

Dog Emergencies

Basic First Aid: Injured dogs are frightened and in pain. They may be uncooperative or frantic, so they may attempt to bite or scratch. That's why it's important that you first carefully muzzle your injured dog and then wrap it in blankets to prevent any further injury.

Keep a first-aid kit in your home for your pets containing bandages, tape, scissors, materials for making a muzzle and simple medications: milk of magnesia (antacid laxative); hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting; antibiotic ointments for the eyes and skin; milk of bismuth (antidiarrheal) and mineral oil. Know the location of the nearest veterinary hospital.

Dog-MuzzlingRMuzzling Your Dog: With a sufficiently long bandage, cloth tape or cotton-made cord, make a loop around dog’s nose and mouth, wraping it around several times, and then secure the muzzle by tying a bow behind the dog’s ears.

Bleeding: Minor bleeding can be controlled by using a pressure bandage. Place a clean sock or washcloth on the wound, then gently apply pressure to the wound. If the bleeding doesn’t stop in five minutes, then transport the injured dog to a hospital.

Heat Stroke: If dogs are confined to poorly ventilated cars or pens, or are even exposed to the hot summer sun for long periods, they can have heat strokes, which can cause them to become frantic, groggy or unconscious. Remove the dog from the overheated area at once and immediately wet it thoroughly with cool water. Rapid cooling is vital. If the dog fails to revive in 2 minutes, promptly transport it to the nearest animal hospital.

Fractures and Shock: If your dog is injured from a fall or is hit by a car, it will may have one or more broken bones and be in shock.  If you suspect that a leg or another body part is fractured, immobilize the dog by wrapping the injured area with a towel, blanket or even newspapers, holding them in place with a cord. Animals with severe injuries are usually in shock, so they must be wrapped in blankets, towels or some other protective covering to conserve heat, even in warm weather, and then promptly taken to a hospital.

Transporting an Injured Dog: If your dog is small, gently grasp it by the skin of its neck and rump, then wrap it in a blanket or put it into cardboard box. Avoid bending the dog’s legs or backbone. If your dog is large, gently slide a blanket under it, keeping the backbone straight. Then pull the dog onto the blanket, making sure that its legs are trailing behind. If possible, get assistance in lifting and placing the dog in the car.

Poisoning: If poisoning results from toxic materials that contact your dog’s skin, use lots of soap and water to thoroughly remove the toxins. Do not use solvents such as turpentine, gasoline, or kerosene. If poisoning results from ingested toxins, quickly induce vomitting by administering one or two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide orally every ten minutes for three doses. Kaopectate should them be given to inhibit absorption of any toxic material that may remain. Seek veterinary advice promptly.

Removing Fishhooks and Thorns: Deeply embedded thorns and fishhooks require veterinary help, since anesthesia will be necessary. If a fishhook is superficially embedded, try to push the hook through, then cut the barbed end with cutting pliers and back the hook out.  Remove a thorn with tweezers and/or a sewing needle. Puncture wounds are always infected, so treatment is necessary.