Almost every dog owner has ever seen the dog cut a bale. But what should I do if my dog gets injured? What are the most common injuries and when is there an emergency?
When is there an emergency & when do I have to go to the vet immediately?
An emergency is an acute life-threatening situation in which immediate intervention is necessary to maintain life functions. This can be a serious injury, poisoning, or a life-threatening condition (e.g. parvovirus infection in puppies or gastric twist). Heavy bleeding, arterial injuries, cardiac and respiratory arrest are also emergencies in which a veterinarian should be consulted immediately.
For more harmless injuries, it is enough to see a veterinarian during the day. These include minor cuts that do not bleed heavily or are slightly lame. If dogs show pain reactions, e.g. from bite wounds or fractures, there is no need for a life-threatening condition. On the other hand, unusual rest, a flat pulse, dilated pupils or pale gray mucous membranes as a result of a state of shock can be life-threatening. Therefore, dog reactions to injuries must be closely monitored. An insect bite in the catch area with the risk of airway swelling is also life-threatening.
Frequent injuries to dogs & what to do first
The most common injuries in dogs are: bite injuries, car accidents with light (skin injuries), moderate (limb, rib and head fractures) and life-threatening (spinal injuries, lung injuries, bladder rupture, internal bleeding) injuries and bale cut injuries due to broken glass.
A common injury: cut bale & what to do
Almost every dog owner has experienced that the dog comes back after a walk or a game with an injured paw. In this case, the owner can provide first aid himself. A tight emergency bandage is applied with dressing material, which stops the bleeding and protects the injury from dirt. Particular attention should be paid to padding the inter-toe spaces with cotton to avoid chafing the skin. This can also be practiced at home on a healthy dog, so that you can handle the head in a stressful situation. For deeper cuts, the dog should definitely be presented to a veterinarian.
Assess the circulatory situation of dogs
To assess the circulatory situation of dogs, place your hand on the inside of the thigh of the dog. The pulse can be easily felt there. This is usually 70 to 160 beats per minute. It is advisable to practice pulse measurement several times in a healthy dog in order to be able to detect a change in an emergency.
Another indication is the blood supply to the lips and their color. Dog owners can simply pull up the dog’s lips and assess the color. A pale pink mucous membrane is normal. Deviations, such as pale mucous membranes, indicate a lack of blood. If they are more bluish, there may be a lack of oxygen. Dark red mucous membranes can indicate heat stroke, among other things.
It is also important to measure the dog’s body temperature rectally using a clinical thermometer. A temperature of 38.0 to 39.0 ° C is normal. A dangerous fever can only be assumed at temperatures above 40.5 ° C. If the temperature is below 38.0 ° C, the dog suffers from low temperature. This is much more dangerous and can be an indication of a life-threatening situation. In this case, the dog should be warmed up immediately and the veterinarian should supply the dog with a warmed electrolyte solution.
More tips about first aid for dogs
A list of accessible small animal practitioners should be available at dog shows, dog places and competitions – even better is a consultation with a practice about their accessibility in emergencies after work or at weekends at events.
Furthermore, it is advisable to practice on a healthy dog in a stress-free atmosphere for emergencies. This includes measuring fever, checking the heartbeat and pulse, assessing the mucous membranes and putting on a bandage. In this way, the dog owner can keep a clear head in an emergency. To get stressed would also make the dog even more insecure, which would make treatment even more difficult. To be prepared, every dog owner should also have a small emergency pharmacy at home or in the car.
Diseases that may require a visit to the vet
If the dog’s body temperature exceeds the normal range, this can have various causes. A veterinarian should be consulted if the fever is very high or the general condition of the dog is poor.
Young and older dogs in particular are affected by cystitis. If suspected, the dog should be presented to a veterinarian, since consistent therapy is crucial for long-term treatment success.
Diarrhea, also called “diarrhea”, is one of the most common symptoms of digestive tract disorders. Because the causes of diarrhea can be varied, a veterinarian should be consulted to initiate specific therapy.
The first aid kit for at home
- Bandage material (gauze bandages, self-adhesive bandages, cotton bandage and plaster tape)
- digital clinical thermometer
- Scissors with rounded tips and tweezers
- Tick pliers
- Wound disinfectant, hand disinfection, disposable gloves, disinfectant wound ointment
- Muzzle or snare
- clean ceiling
- Pitot tube and fixed rail