January 16, 2018

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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