Quick and certain action is needed for initial medical care. We’ll explain how to provide first aid for dogs.
An animal in a great amount of pain or in shock may act unpredictably. Therefore, be especially careful when approaching an unfamiliar animal and keep your distance in case it reacts aggressively. Otherwise, it may try to bite you or to run away from you despite being injured. This would only make his or her situation worse.
Keep calm and don’t let the situation upset you. Your pet can sense exactly how nervous you may be. And don’t you want to convey a sense of security rather than frightening him further? For this reason, try to avoid unnecessary sudden movements and most importantly, don’t scream.
First aid: warmth in the case of shock
If an animal has been hurt in an accident, there is an increased risk that it is suffering from shock. This can lead to the circulatory system collapsing, causing death. Typical signs of shock include listless behaviour, rapid heartbeat or rapid breathing. The body temperature will also plummet dangerously. Therefore, quickly wrap the animal suspected of shock in warming blankets.
Cardiac massage for dogs
Lay the animal on its right side and bend its left front leg slightly, so that its elbow points to the lower left quarter of its chest. You will find the proper starting point for heart massage directly behind the tip of the joint. For smaller breeds, only use your pointer finger and middle finger to apply pressure on the chest – use both hands for large dog breeds.
First aid for respiratory arrest
If a dog or cat has suffered from respiratory arrest, the same first aid rules apply as with humans. Check the throat to see if it is obstructed by any blood, vomit or small objects. If this is the case, wrap a tissue around your finger and clear the airway. If the animal still isn’t breathing, it will need artificial respiration. To do so, put your mouth on the animal’s nose, hold its mouth shut and blow air into its nose until the chest expands. Repeat six times every minute.
Removal of a foreign object
Cut away the fur around the injury so that hairs do not land in the wound. Remove the object with tweezers. If possible, have a second person there to help you by holding down the animal. Rinse the wound with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution (available from the chemist) to prevent infections. Cover the wound with a bandage. In case of insect stings, use tweezers to remove the stinger and then cool the area.
How to stop heavy bleeding
Extreme loss of blood is life-threatening. You can stop heavy bleeding with a pressure bandage by holding aseptic gauze on the wound and fixing it with an elasticated bandage. If one of the legs is injured and it won’t stop bleeding, you will have to bind it to staunch the blood flow temporarily. Loosen the bandage briefly every twenty minutes to prevent complications.
First aid measures cannot replace veterinary care! Therefore, always bring the stabilised animal to your vet. Call animal rescue in cases of serious injury and notify the police if a wild animal has been injured.
Call into your local store today to discuss your dog’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.