The knowledge of first aid procedures is an essential addition to anyone’s life, and it can save the lives of those around you.
This applies to your pups, too. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of first aid information that you can use for your pups in times of medical need.
There are two types of bleeding, external – visible on the surface – and internal – concealed within the body. It’s important to prevent excessive blood loss if your pup is bleeding, as losing too much blood could be very fatal to him.
To help your pup if they are injured and have external bleeding, apply direct pressure to the source of the bleeding with cloth, gauze, or tissue. If the blood seeps through, apply an extra layer. You can use your hand or fingers if these are not available.
Keep the compress for a full 10 minutes, but do not lift the compress afterwards as it may dislodge the blood clotting. If it is possible to bind the compress in place, then do so. Make sure your pup remains still and calm to a certain degree, and lie them on their side with the bleeding area elevated to slow the blood flow. If the blood does not stop, seek medical care.
Internal bleeding, on the other hand, is a potentially fatal emergency that requires immediate attention. But you may not notice the signs until it’s too late. Pale gums, rapid breathing, coughing up blood, extremities that are cold to touch, lethargy, and collapse are signs of internal bleeding. If you suspect your pup is suffering from this, keep them as warm as you can and get them to a vet right away.
A deep wound can cause layers of muscle, fat, or bone to be exposed, and this requires immediate veterinary care. Before rushing to the vet, stop the bleeding (refer above), cover the wound with clean cloth or gauze, and keep your pup calm as you take them to the vet with the wound facing upwards. Don’t attempt to flush or clean a deep wound, and don’t try to remove anything you see stuck inside it.
Superficial wounds can be treated at home. All you have to do is gently clean the wound with mid soap and water, pat it dry, and apply an antibiotic ointment. You can then apply a bandage or cone collar to prevent your pup from getting at the wound while it heals. Minor wounds on the extremities, meanwhile, can be treated with a sterile non-stick pad and applying several layers of rolled gauze over it, then finishing with a self-adhesive wrap on the outside. Bandages should not be too tight or too loose, and should be kept clean and dry, as well as changed every one or two days.
It is worth noting that if your pup suffers from a bite wound, he must be treated by a vet immediately, and when you tend to the wound before bringing the dog to the vet, you should wear gloves.
Pain or a limb that can’t move or is stuck at an odd angle are often signs of a fracture. There are two types of fracture: open fractures, which are accompanied by open wounds, and closed fractures, where surface skin is not torn.
To deal with a fracture, control any bleeding (refer above) if you can do so without worsening the injury. Open fractures should be covered with a clean cloth or sterile gauze. You should then take your pup to a vet immediately, taking care to keep him calm and ensure that the injured area is supported.
Don’t try to splint a fracture on your own, and remember not to attempt to clean a wound without a vet telling you too. And do not give human medication to your pup, as it may just make them very sick.
There you have it!
One last thing: remember to always muzzle an injured dog before tending to them, as pups in pain can often lash out, even if they know you very well. The last thing you need is to be injured, too. Keep an eye out for more installments in the series and do like and share away!