Having a better understanding and assessment of the situation and his condition will help you decide on your next steps. There are several first-aid care methods applicable to emergency situations that will be tackled in this piece. Any first aid administered to your pooch does not serve as immediate veterinary care. However, it allows you to reduce the chances of immediate danger, at least until he gets professional help. So what do you need to do during dog emergencies?
Assessing the condition of your dog
The very first thing you should do when you are stuck in an undesirable situation is to call your vet. Describe the current situation of your dog, and the vet may give you advice on first-aid methods and how to safely transport your pet to the clinic. This information serves as a general guide on his vital statistics.
Pulse and heart rate (normal resting rate)
- Small dogs: 90–120 beats per minute
- Medium dogs: 70–110 beats per minute
- Large dogs: 60–90 beats per minute
Gently place your fingers on the inside of the dog’s hind leg. Slide your fingers upward to reach his abdomen. Caress back and forth until you detect the pulsing blood. Count the number of pulses in fifteen seconds, then multiply it by four. The answer will be the final beats per minute (bpm).
Dogs have a normal temperature between 100–102.5 degrees.
What to do when the dog has an episode of “heart and breathing problem”
It is possible that your dog’s heart may temporarily stop after facing an injury or accident. It is important to provide him with heart massage and artificial respiration immediately. Then have someone call your vet for immediate advice.
- Put the heel of your hand at the back of your pet’s elbow on his left chest.
- Put your other hand on top and put firm pressure carefully. Put lighter pressure for small dogs compared to deep-chested and large canines.
Gently position your pooch with his neck stretched out.
- Check his tongue and see for any airway obstructions and pull it forward.
- Hold his mouth closed.
- Lower your mouth over his nostrils and release three to four big breaths. Give ten to twelve times of breath each minute.
- If there is still no heartbeat, place him on his side or back.
- Do five chest compressions in one quick breath.
- Continue the process until you hear him breathing on his own.
What to do when the dog is bleeding
External bleeding is easy to recognise and requires immediate attention, and some may even need stitching. The main goal of this process is to stop the bleeding or at least reduce bleeding as much as possible.
- Position the bleeding area to an elevated position above the level of the heart (if possible).
- Check for the presence of foreign material in the wound. You may use tweezers to remove any foreign body present.
- Firmly press down the affected area with the palm of your hand or fingers (for small dogs). Cut off or shave his fur surrounding the affected area if it prevents you from tending the wound.
- Gently apply a bandage and make sure that it is not too tight. It is vital to clean the wound to prevent infection. Stopping the bleeding should be your priority before cleaning the wound.
- Lastly, take him to the veterinarian right away where he may be prescribed with some antibiotics to fight off infection.
First-aid care for dog heatstroke emergency
Heatstroke could happen to canines left inside cars or any area without proper ventilation. Apart from that, there are also some that have exerted their efforts beyond their limits on hot days. Watch out for the following signs: panting and drooling, vomiting, abnormally hot skin, loss of coordination, and collapse.
- Look for a cool and well-ventilated place.
- Prepare ice packs, cool water, or a towel soaked in cool water. However, do not soak him in cold water.
- Provide him with fresh water once he has cooled down.
First-aid care for dog’s fractured bones
You can spot a dog with fractured or dislocated limbs when he has positioned himself in an unusual or unnatural position. Should this occur with your pooch, there is little to none you can do at home. As such, consider bringing him to your vet right away. Try your best not to make any unnecessary movements with his body as this is extremely painful and distressing.
In these extreme situations, it is vital to assess the condition of how to approach your pooch. Here are some of the warning signs that your dog may lash out:
- Barking or growling
- Ears straight back
- Hair standing up
- Wagging tail or tucked between legs
- Submissive posture: lying down with belly exposed
- Excessive licking
Although submissive, having a fearful dog can result in a biting dog. As smart creatures, there is a long list of the canine’s body language. That means they are capable to act and do things on their own. However, as domesticated canines, they find an inclination to follow cues from their owners. Be alert and gentle in approaching your affected pooch. His reaction also depends on how you handle the situation. Be sure to be calm and controlled with confidence during dog emergencies.
Are you prepared to do the necessary actions on any pet-encounter crisis? The life of our furry pets largely depends on your reaction and measures taken on the situation. Keep in mind that preparedness is often the key to saving one’s life. Most importantly, keep calm and do not succumb to unreasonable fear and panic.