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Dogs are like children - they play hard and they get boo-boos. Knowing how to give appropriate first aid to your dog can save him prolonged pain, shock, and even save his life.
The key to responding well to an emergency is to be prepared. Having a fully-stocked first aid kit and knowing how to use everything in the kit is important.
Also, be sure you know where you should go if you have an emergency, especially when it happens after hours. It is a good idea to put a list of emergency numbers (your vet's, animal hospital's, your local animal poision control center's) in the first aid kit.
Never give a dog first aid treatment that is not muzzled and restrained. Your dog may be an angel when he is fine and well, but he may bite (yes, even you!) when he is in pain and in shock.
Remember to take care to protect yourself. Safety first.
If your dog is unconscious, but you do not know why, check first to see if he has choked on something:
If your dog is unconscious and not breathing, but you cannot see anything blocking his airway, then you will need to give him CPR. Here is a very useful video teaching you how:
You may want to check with your local Red Cross to see if you can attend a pet CPR class for some practical training.
In an emergency, first aid is not a substitute for veterinary treatment. However, before you are able to get your dog to a vet, knowing how to provide emergency dog care to your pet in these situations can be of great help:
Before treating your dog for bites and stings, find out if possible the culprit that has bitten or stung your dog to ensure that she is being treated in the most appropriate way. For example, if your dog has been stung by a bee or wasp, a good treatment is to put a slice of freshly cut onion on the affected area.
If the culprit is unknown, try to treat your dog to minimize the pain, swelling, and possible infection that may arise from the bite or sting. However, if your dog has a serious reaction to the bite or sting (e.g. intense swelling especially on the face, or difficulty in breathing), then please get her to a vet immediately.
Herbal and homeopathic remedies are effective in alleviating pain and swelling caused by insect bites and bee stings. Antimicrobial herbs can also be used to prevent infection.
Giving your dog first aid for burns is more or less the same as giving first aid to people. The most important thing when your dog suffers a burn is not to panic. Try to determine how serious the burn is.
The degree of burns indicates the degree of damage to the tissues. There are three degrees of burns. They are:
** The herbal and homeopathic first aid burn treatment described here are for minor burns (first degree and minor second degree with minimal blistering) only. If your dog suffers a serious burn, please take him to a veterinarian immediately.**
Whenever we are giving our dog first aid for burns, we should first and foremost try to cool down the injured area so that prolonged damage to the skin and muscle tissues will be minimized. We should then take measures to minimize possible infection at the site of injury.
To cool down the injured area, clean the area gently with sterile saline, or very clean water. Then submerge the burnt area in cold water to relieve the pain. Never apply any greasy substance (such as ointment, salve, or oil) to the burnt area. Also, do not cover the area with a bandage or cloth.
To keep the burned area clean, use sterile saline to wash the area a few times a day. After each wash, apply any of the following herbal remedies to the affected area:
A quick and easy rinse can be made by seeping 2 teabags of chamomile or peppermint in a cup of hot water. Let the tea cool down and then use the cooled tea as a rinse.
The key to giving your dog first aid for cuts is:
If your dog is young and active, chances are he will get cut or scraped once in a while.
If the wound is not deep and the bleeding is not serious, it will heal itself pretty quickly. In this case, just giving first aid treatment to your dog is sufficient. You probably don't need to take her to the vet. Here is what you can do:
For deeper cut wounds, please see this page.
There are a lot of things in our house that can be poisoning to our dogs, such as antifreeze, some house plants, some common foods like chocolate, grapes and raisins, and more!
Please refer to these pages:
Please also click on the following links to see what to do in the following situations: