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First Aid for your dog

This article has been produced as a guide only.
For expert help and advice always consult your vet.

Here is a brief guide to the first steps and basic equipment requirements.

Treatment of First Aid is based on 3 aims and 4 rules

Preserve Life
Prevent Suffering.
Prevent the situation from deteriorating.

Don’t panic
Maintain the airway
Control hemorrhaging
Contact the vet as soon as possible.

First Aid Steps

Step I - Restrain the animal
Even the most placid and friendly pet can become aggressive, unpredictable and frightened when hurt. Form a running noose with its lead and carefully put this over the dogs head. Many dogs feel more secure with the familiarity of a lead over its neck in the presence of humans. Beware that dogs may still want to bite at this stage so form a muzzle with any piece of material you have to hand, and position this firmly in place. The animal can now be examined.

Step 2 - Examination
Check for bleeding and stop bleeding with pressure, if hemorrhaging keep the pressure up till a vet or nurse arrives. Check gum colour if very pale your dog could be in shock. Wrap it in a blanket and keep warm. Also make sure the airway is clear. Clear the airway by placing tongue on side of mouth and remove any obstructions you can see. Once bleeding is controlled and the airway unobstructed, leave the animal in as comfortable a position as possible until either the vet arrives or transport is arranged.

Transport to the vets surgery
If the dog can walk or limp to the vehicle, then allow it to do so. This can often be less painful for the dog than being manhandled, use your own judgment.

If you have to lift the dog place them in a towel or blanket and two people should lift the animal. Small dogs can be carried by putting your right arm gently around its neck like a large wide collar and using your left arm to scoop the body up. Larger dogs can he carried by putting your right arm around its front legs and your left arm around its hind legs.

Whatever the size of the animal. always take into account the location of the injury and never block the airway. Hold the animal close to your body and make sure that the dogs head cannot turn and bite you!

Never feed an animal in case they need surgery or anesthetic.

If the dog has a suspected spinal injury. Improvise, use a stretcher.

First Aid Kit

Having a first aid kit for your dog is always a good idea. Keep it in an obvious place in the house or car or both.

Here’s a list of basic materials to get you started:

Container: Airtight and light. Perhaps brightly coloured, so easy to find.
On the lid of your first aid box, write the telephone number of your vet. Plus the 24 hour emergency number of a vet in your area. Plus your dogs name, plus collar and lead.

Scissors: Blunt ended ones for cutting bandages or hair around a wound.

Tweezers: Round ended ones are best for pulling out thorns & splinters.

Cotton Wool: Buy it in rolls rather than balls.

Bandages: Two or three different widths.

Antiseptic: Always in diluted solution form. Hibiscrub and surgical spirit are very good

Sticking Plaster: Fabric based and or Steristrip skin suture are ideal.

Gauze Pads: Buy sterile ones for applying to wounds.

Eyewash: Lots of brands available on the market. Sterile saline is very good.

Disposable gloves.

Most Important
Always be kind, caring and understanding at all times.

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This article has been reproduced courtesy of Dogs

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