Dog Emergencies – 3 Tips to Help You Save Your Dog’s Life
by Linda Boye
Dogs can also suffer injuries or get sick from a number of diseases, and it can happen at times when a veterinarian is not available and you haven’t found out where the nearest emergency animal clinic is located. Since your dog is a dear member of your family, you want to save your dog’s life, but are you prepared to deal with such emergencies?
A life-threatening emergency situation is always frightening and stressing both for the victim and for the helpers. And when the victim is a dog who can’t tell you what happened and where it is hurting, the situation becomes even more difficult to deal with. The best help is to be prepared for an emergency by knowing about the more common dog emergencies.
Below are 3 tips about dog emergencies:
1. Caring for Wounds.
A dog can get bleeding wounds in several ways: By fighting with other animals or by (mainly traffic) accidents. So knowing how to stop a wound from bleeding the dog to death is useful knowledge: Apply a clean piece of cloth to the wound and keep it there for at least 5 minutes, – if possible tape the cloth to the wound. Don’t take the cloth away, since that would probably make the wound start bleeding again. If it is bleeding through the cloth, find another clean piece of cloth and put it firmly around the first piece of cloth. Using hydrogen peroxide to disinfect the bleeding wound is not a good idea in this case, since it will slow the clotting of the blood and lead to a larger loss of blood. The clotting of the blood in the wound is nature’s way of stopping the bleeding, so it is important not to disturb it.
2. Poisons in the Mouth?
Another common dog emergency situation is that your doggie has got something in his mouth, which is poisonous to him, and he may even have swallowed some of it. Some amphibians like toads, newts and the like excrete poisons on their skin (to keep other animals from eating them!) and if it gets into a dog’s mouth it can become dangerous if it is left there or worse: if it is swallowed. The dog will show that something is wrong with its mouth by drooling and wiping it while whining. You must quickly rinse the dog’s mouth with clean water until you feel that it has been cleaned of the poison. If you don’t have a hose at hand, it may be easier to pour water in his mouth if he is lying down on the side. And you can prevent him from drinking the water by keeping his mouth open until the rinse is finished. It may be difficult to keep his mouth open all the time but since his life may be at stake you must be firm with him and – if necessary – use available materials to keep his mouth open.
If you suspect that your dog has eaten something poisonous, it is important that he is made to vomit the poison if he doesn’t do it by himself. This does not apply if you know that your dog has swallowed for example a caustic liquid (like “drain cleaner”). In that case it would be better to give him some acid (like vinegar), so that the caustic liquid doesn’t have to pass his gullet another time. Likewise if he has been swallowing acid: try to give him something that can neutralize the acid, like magnesia or chalk for that matter.
Because dogs love to feel things in their mouths, choking can be a common (and fatal) hazard. Apart from foreign objects, allergic reactions can make your dog’s throat swell to a point where he can’t breathe.
If the dog is unconscious, you will have to act quickly. First you can try to push out whatever is in his throat by pushing his belly just below the ribs with one hand, while supporting his back with your leg/foot. This is easiest to do when the dog is lying on one side. Since there is a risk of damaging internal organs, don’t push too hard but do it a couple of times. Watch his mouth to see whether something appears when you are pressing his belly, and be ready to remove it with your other hand. If nothing comes out after a couple of pushes, you could quickly let two fingers search his throat for an object, – while you are still pushing with the other hand.
Actually: If you can lift your dog by the hind legs, you can instead try to hold him firmly by the thighs and lightly shake him downwards. This could make the foreign object fall out in a gentle way.
If he is still choked by something, you could try to give him artificial respiration by closing his mouth and placing your mouth over his nose (he is your best friend!). Blow into his nose until his chest rises visibly and then push again as before. This can be repeated until the obstruction comes out.
If this doesn’t seem to work or if he’s conscious and won’t let you push his belly as described above, you will have to use tools to get the obstruction cleared, Back him in between your legs or better: have someone restrain him. Open his mouth and if necessary keep it open with what is available, while you check his mouth for whatever the obstruction may be. Try to get it out with a spoon or any other suitable tools at hand. The best tool is a pair of long blunt tweezers, as those sometimes used in the kitchen. You should still be cautious when pulling the obstruction out, but on the other hand, the life of you dog may be at stake if you don’t get it out!
This is just some examples of what a dog emergency situation could be, – with a little imagination you could also come up with emergencies like broken limbs, shock, dehydration and so on.
If you want to be prepared for handling dog emergencies and maybe save your best friend’s life, I recommend that you read an ebook called “Secrets to a Healthy and Happy Pooch”. This will give you a basis for doing the right things in those scary emergency situations. Your dog will thank you for it!
About the Author
Linda Boye is the author of The Dog Lover’s Essentials MegaPack, which contains 3 ebooks and 9 audio visual presentations on dog care, dog recipes, dog health and dog training. To find more great dog related tips and articles, check out http://www.happydoglife.com/