Tuesday, 25 August 2015

K9 first aid – what to do first in an emergency

Whether on a long journey or a day trip, it's good to be prepared for illnesses or injury in your dog, should it occur. But would you know what to do in an emergency situation? These points will guide you through the priorities of handling an injured/ill dog.

Keep calm!
Try to stay calm. You'll find it a lot easier to help your dog if you're not panicking.

Ensure your own safety
Assess the surroundings and make sure that you are safe before approaching your dog – you can't help him if you're also in danger of hurting yourself!

Secure your dog
Being careful not to aggravate any injury your dog may have, make sure he is secure in some way to avoid him running off.

Check the colour of your dog's gums.
Reassure your dog
Talk to your dog gently and calmly to reassure him. 

Assess your dog's condition
If he'll allow you to, assess your dog's condition. How is his breathing? Can you hear any unusual noises, such as gurgling? Is his airway blocked? If yes, and it is safe to do so, try and remove the blockage. What colour are his gums? Check his heartrate. Is he bleeding from anywhere?

If your dog displays signs of aggression, try and secure a
makeshift muzzle around his mouth.
In the event of aggression ...
Your dog may display signs of aggression due to fear and/or pain – in this instance, endeavour to tie a makeshift muzzle around his mouth.

Treat injuries 
Treat and secure any injuries to the best of your ability.

Organise transportation
Arrange a way to transport you and your dog to your vet for treatment.

Call your vet
Ring ahead to let your vet know you are on your way and the nature of your dog's illness/injury so they can be prepared for your arrival. 

The information and images for this article are taken from Emergency first aid for dogs – at home and away by Martin Bucksch.

What should you do if your dog treads on a shard of glass, begins choking on a foreign object, or has an allergic reaction to an insect bite?
Including information on foreign travel, vaccinations, and general travel preparation, this compact and easy-to-understand guide provides the help that might be urgently needed to save the life of your faithful, four-legged friend.

Vet Martin Bucksch lists the most common emergency situations, gives tips on how to perform first aid, and provides advice on emergency treatment.

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