January 17, 2018

Building a first aid kit for the dog

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In a home where there are children or aging family members, a well stocked medicine chest is a must. Children and older members of the family are often affected with health problems. With a medicine chest ailing members of the family can receive emergency care. This is true with pets as well. Pet owners have to be ready to deal with the injuries sustained by the pet. With the right equipments and the appropriate medicines, a dog owner can administer first aid to the pet. First aid kit ensures that the owner can administer measures that will stabilize the pet’s condition before it is transported to a veterinary facility.

A dog owner needs to be ready for any eventuality. As caring for a dog is comparable to caring for a baby, a medicine kit for the pet will be very useful given the fact that accidents can never be prevented. A medicine kit will be necessary even if a veterinary facility is next door. Running to the every now and then would be a costly habit. A vet will not be available at all times.

A dog owner equipped with a first aid kit can give the pet emergency care anywhere and anytime of the day. Dogs are great companions thus these animals are taken by the master almost everywhere. In the wild or in far flung places where no veterinary facility is nearby, a well stocked medicine kit in the car can save the life of an injured pet.

A dog owner can buy ready made kits or create a customized kit. For instance, the first aid kit of a pet owner that lives in the city where animal clinics are nearby would have different contents from the kit of a pet parent that customarily takes the dog hunting or camping in the wilderness.

Basic equipments for the dog’s first aid kit are scissors, rectal thermometer, cotton balls and swabs as well as leash and muzzle. Various sizes of bandaging materials will also be necessary. The kit should contain antibiotics ointments for the skin and for the eyes, wound disinfectants, antidiarrhea and antihistamines. Activated charcoal and hydrogen peroxide would be very necessary because dogs are prone to ingesting poisonous substances. First aid methods can stabilize the condition of the pet but veterinary attention would still be necessary. The phone numbers of the vet written on the cover of the first aid box makes it easier for the anxious pet owner to contact the vet.

Find out more about first aid kit as well as information on first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

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First Aid for a dog with heat burns

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Dogs too like humans can sustain injuries from accidents. But while humans would cry because of the pain, dogs would nurse their injuries silently . The responsibility of a dog owner goes beyond getting medical care for the pet. A dog owner has to notice anything unusual in the behavior or in the appearance of the pet as oftentimes, the change is caused by a health concern.

Dogs normally stay away from open fires thus heat burns are not common injuries of dogs. However, dogs are very active and inquisitive animals. A dog that is reaching for a leftover on the counter top can be scalded by a steaming cup of coffee. Dogs that resist being groomed can be burned by the hair dryer. The dog’s tough leathery paw pads are no match to hot pavement or hot coals.

A dog owner has to be discerning as the dog’s burn injuries may not be too apparent because the skin is covered with fur. Superficial burns are characterized by reddening and swellings of the skin. Reddening and swelling of the skin as well as the formation of blisters are the symptoms of partial thickness burns or second degree burn. The two classifications of heat burns would have the dog in pain. Full thickness burn is similar to third degree burns in humans where the dog’s skin will peel off and there will be swelling under the skin. Deep burns cause the destruction of the nerves thus the dog would not really feel pain. Deep burns will result to white or black (charred) skin and hairs that can be easily pulled because the hair follicles were destroyed.

A dog that has sustained deep burns would need to be hospitalized while dogs with superficial burns can be treated with first aid. Hospitalization is necessary for a dog that has sustained deep burns especially if more than 15 % of the skin was affected. Nevertheless, first aid treatment would still be necessary to stabilize the condition before the pet is transported to the hospital.

The dog’s burn has to be cooled immediately to stop the heat from causing further damage to the tissues. To arrest the damage cause by the heat to the tissues, burned body part has to be immersed in cool water. Another first aid alternative is to use a wash cloth soaked in cool water on the burned area. Pat dry the burned skin but take care not to rub the burned area. Contrary to what was commonly believed, butter, grease or ointments would not heal the burned skin, more damage to the tissues will be created as the heat will be trapped in the affected tissues.

More information on heat burns and first aid for dogs can be found at Sarah’s Dogs.

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Dog First Aid – Gunshot Wound

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We are a race of dog lovers. Dogs are the most popular choices for a pet and these animals form strong ties with their owners . Not all people though are dog lovers. Sadly, many dogs get hurt because of cruel people. Dogs have some bizarre behaviors and one that has filched food from the barbecue or one that has dug holes in the garden will be punished. A dog that trespasses and pesters people can be shot. Gunshot wounds are common injuries hunting and non-hunting dogs sustain during hunting season. Dogs can be mistaken by hunters as wild animals because dogs can easily blend in with the landscape. The gunshot wound may have come for the dog owner’s own gun.

Your dog may be one tough guy but in cases such as this, the dog would depend on you. Gunshot wounds are emergency situations that would need urgent treatment and the life of the pet is oftentimes saved by first aid treatments. The three types of traumas a dog can sustain makes a gunshot wound a very serious injury. A gunshot wound will puncture the skin, cavitations will be caused by the shock waves resulting from the entry of the bullet and fragmentation damage to the tissues will occur from the pieces of projectile and from shattered bones if the bullet has managed to hit a bone.

A gunshot wound is a serious injury thus urgent medical care must be given to the dog but first aid measures will still be important to stabilize the dog’s condition. Airway, breathing and circulation are the basic life support that must be checked.

Rescue breathing must be started immediately if the dog has stopped breathing. With the dog’s mouth close, breath into the dog’s nostrils. Give large dogs 5 to 10 breaths per minute and 10 to 20 breaths for smaller dogs. Each breath given should make the chest move slightly. If the dog has no pulse or heartbeat CPR must be started immediately.

Bleeding has to be controlled and this can be done by applying direct pressure to the wound. Apply gauze, a clean towel or cloth directly to the wound to control bleeding. Place another towel over the one already soaked through. The cloth must not be replaced as it would cause the bleeding to start again. Gunshot wounds in the chest must be covered with plastic to prevent air from being sucked in. To prevent any exposed organ from drying out, it must be covered with a wet towel .

Read all about Gunshot Wounds and first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

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Dog First Aid – Heatstroke

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We humans can remove our coats, jackets and other cold weather gears when the weather warms up. Our four legged friends wear their fur coats all the time thus they are more susceptible to heatstroke. Dogs do not sweat like humans because their very few sweat glands are located in the paws. To be able to regulate body temperature, dogs would pant. The dog’s body temperature though cannot be easily normalized simply by panting. This is the reason why heatstroke is common in dogs.

Heatstroke or hyperthermia is a very serious condition that can happen to a dog instantly. A dog that is left in the car with close windows or one that is left chained in the yard under the heat of the sun can succumb to hyperthermia. Heatstroke is a deadly condition that occurs when the dog can no longer disperse the heat that the body gains from its environment. The breakdown of cells caused by high temperatures will thicken the blood and result to dehydration. Apart from causing the blood to clot, a dog’s temperature that reaches 106°F will have a quick and very serious effect on the heart, liver, brain and other vital organs. If the body temperature is not quickly reduced, these conditions would lead to the death of the dog.

A dog owner has to be aware of the signs of heatstroke so that first aid can be immediately given to the pet. Rapid panting is one of the first signs of heatstroke. Thick saliva will drip from the bright red tongue. The dog would either have pale or red gum. Vomiting, diarrhea and a state of general weakness are other signs. The dog can die if treatment is not administered at once.

Remove the pet from the hot confined area at once. First aid treatment’s objective is to reduce the elevated temperature of the dog. This can be done by soaking the dog in cool water. Temperature can be dropped immediately by hosing the dog’s body.

Wet rolled towels can be placed on the dog’s head and neck. Temperature can be cooled rapidly by putting ice packs on the dog’s feet and by sponging the groin area. The temperature of the dog has to be reduced but very cold or ice water must not be used as it will constrict the blood vessels and prevent the heat from escaping. The cooling efforts must be stopped when the dog’s temperature has dropped to 103°F.

Read more about heatstroke and first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

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Dog First Aid – Limping

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There are various reasons why a dog would limp. Walking without putting weight on one limb is one of the tricks that can be learned by the pet. Injuries that can result to the limping of the dog can happen because these animals are very active. A sprain, a stone that was lodged between the dog’s toes, a thorn that was embedded on the dog’s paws would make walking difficult for the pet. The pain caused by a broken nail would make a dog limp. Limping that is caused by these conditions is not serious so that the dog will be able to walk normally even without treatment.

Treatment though would be necessary for some kinds of limping. The reason why the dog is limping may be serious enough to warrant urgent medical attention lest it results to permanent walking disability. Limping is a condition most common in large breeds because it is quite easy for the paw, foot and legs to get injured because of the considerable weight of the body. Even the normal activities of playing and running can result to cuts, sprains and torn ligaments.

Proper first aid for these injuries would alleviate the pet’s discomfort and also prevent the dog’s condition from worsening. As with any kind of injury, immediate treatment makes for speedy recovery. First aid treatments would stabilize the condition and save the pet from immense pain. Fortunately, unlike other injuries that would not be easily apparent, limping would be easily noticed by the owner.

The dog owner has to evaluate the injury of the pet. As the dog is limping, the feet and the legs will be examined. Stones that were stuck between the toes will be removed. It is necessary to manipulate the toes and the joints of the foot. The dog would yelp if the sprained foot is manipulated. Dogs have the inclination to wander so that the limping is often caused by a cut paw.

To prevent infection, antibacterial soap must be used to thoroughly wash the dog’s wound. Apply antibiotic ointment and bandage the affected foot or paw with sterile gauze. A limping dog may have fractures or dislocated bones. Never try to set the bone or realign the dislocated joints. Treatment methods for these kinds of injuries must be performed only by vets. As a first aid measure the dog owner can splint the foot with rolled newspaper. Wrapping the makeshift splint with a piece of cloth will prevent further damage to the injured foot as it is immobilized.

Learn more about limping as well as first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

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First Aid treatment for a bleeding dog

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Many dogs have died from shock resulting from profuse bleeding. Dogs can die from internal bleeding as apart from the fact that there is no first aid treatment for this condition, symptoms are not readily apparent so that the life saving treatment is not given to the dog in time. Accidents can happen to the dog because these animals jump, climb, explore, run and chase prey oblivious of oncoming traffic. Learning how to give first aid is one of the responsibilities of dog owners given the propensity of these animals to get involve in accidents. A dog owner would naturally panic once the injured pet is seen but to be able to administer first aid treatment the pet owner has to be calm.

Because of the inquisitive and energetic nature dogs seem to have an invisible magnet for accidents. A dog owner has to be prepared to deal with the injuries of the pet. Dogs commonly sustain minor cuts and abrasions and these injuries can be easily resolved using the contents of the first aid kit. The dog may sustain serious injuries that would need a vet’s attention but the pet owner would still need to administer first aid that will stabilize the pet’s condition.

A quick that is accidentally cut when trimming the dog’s nails can cause the pet to bleed. Although the dog may bleed a lot and leave bloody marks on the floor this is not a serious condition as it can be easily resolved with styptic powder. If the pet comes home trailing bloody footprints because of a profusely bleeding wound, can you administer first aid?

First aid for pets is pretty much the same as first aid for humans. Losing two teaspoons of blood pet pound of body weight can make a dog go into shock thus first aid measures would be very necessary to control the bleeding. A bandage or a towel must be applied directly on the wound. To maintain the pressure, the soaked through towel must not be removed. Another first aid method that controls bleeding is to elevate the bleeding body part above the heart. Bleeding can be reduced as well by applying pressure to the pressure points. Tourniquet can stop heavy bleeding but this dangerous method must be administered only by a competent person.

Internal bleeding is rather hard to recognize as no bleeding will be noticed in the dog. Internal bleeding commonly results when the dog was hit by an oncoming car or had fallen from heights. Symptoms of internal bleeding are weak pulse, shallow breathing and pale gums. There is no first aid for a dog that is bleeding internally. The dog would need emergency medical care.

Bleeding? More information on this and first aid for dogs can be found at Sarah’s Dogs.

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