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A Guide to Emergencies and First Aid in Dogs

A Guide to Emergencies and First Aid in Dogs
Dogs
,
Emergencies
Share this article
A Guide to Emergencies and First Aid in Dogs
A Guide to Emergencies and First Aid in Dogs
Dogs
,
Emergencies
A Guide to Emergencies and First Aid in Dogs
Share this article
A Guide to Emergencies and First Aid in Dogs
As a pet parent, you want to keep your dog as healthy and safe as possible, so it's important to be prepared and aware of what to do if they are suddenly injured or unwell. That way, you can act quickly and confidently while getting them help.

General emergency guidelines

By following the steps below you can prevent further injuries and keep yourself and your dog safe while seeking prompt veterinary help:

1. Stay calm

It's natural to panic if your furkid is hurt or unwell, but staying as calm as possible will help you to think more clearly, communicate with the people who can help, and reassure your dog.

2. Check for immediate danger

Check your surroundings to ensure you and your dog are safe. If not, consider whether you can move somewhere safer.

3. Call us

Calling our nearest branch is one of the most important steps. In serious emergencies, it may save time if another person is with you and can transport you and your dog to the clinic while you talk with us.

4. Gather information

While on the way to our clinic, it's a good idea to make a note of relevant details that our vets may need to know. Consider forming a timeline of when any injuries or symptoms occurred so the vet can help your dog more quickly.

Specific scenarios – First aid and next steps

The first aid and actions required in an emergency will vary depending on the specific scenario. The list below provides information about what you can do to help your dog in various emergencies:

Wounds, broken bones, and bleeding

If your dog has a wound, the most important things to do are to keep it clean and stop the bleeding. A clean cloth, towel, or other fabric can be used to apply constant pressure to wounds that are bleeding significantly. Most bleeding will stop after five or ten minutes of continuous pressure, however, if this is not the case, apply pressure until you arrive at the clinic. Wounds that aren't bleeding significantly can be loosely covered to prevent contamination or licking; for instance, a clean sock could be used to protect a wound on a paw, while a loose t-shirt might help to protect a wound on your dog's belly or sides. Remember, contacting your nearest branch is an important step too, so if another person can apply first aid while you call us, this will save time.

Collapse

If your dog collapses, it's a terrifying thing to see. However, staying calm will mean you can take in more information about what happened. The first thing to do if your dog collapses and doesn't quickly regain consciousness is to try to rouse them, check that their airway is clear (beware of putting your hands in their mouth as they may unintentionally bite you), and check whether they are breathing. If they do not come around, call us without delay and stay with your dog so that you can answer any questions or follow any instructions from the vet. Again, if you have another person around to transport you to the clinic while you talk, that will save time. If your dog isn’t breathing and you can’t feel a pulse, the vet might ask you if you can perform chest compressions by rhythmically pressing on the chest.

Seizure

It's really important not to approach your dog while they're having a seizure, even though you want to help them. During a seizure, your dog won't know what's going on and they may act aggressively. Instead, make sure that the space around your dog is clear so that they don't injure themselves, and focus on collecting information like how long the seizure lasts and how your dog behaved beforehand. It's a good idea to call the vet clinic to organise an appointment, but don't move your dog until they have recovered. Even after the seizure has ended, your dog may still be disorientated or out of sorts for a few hours, so handle them carefully and keep noise and bright lights to a minimum.

Heatstroke

If your dog is affected by heatstroke, they will be panting and struggling to breathe. If you spot the signs, it's important to act quickly to cool them down and get them to your nearest branch. If you are home, put them in the bath or shower and pour cool running water over them. To transport them, wet towels combined with a fan or air conditioning can help. As always, call us at the earliest opportunity to let us know that you are on your way.

Choking

If your dog is choking, don't delay in calling one of our branches. Check whether your dog is breathing and check their gum colour (they should be pink). Sometimes, a thrust or squeeze similar to the Heimlich manoeuvre can dislodge the blockage; however, you should get to the clinic as quickly as possible.

Poisoning

Many different types of substances are toxic to dogs, including foods like grapes, raisins, chocolate, onions, and garlic. Certain medications and chemicals can also cause toxicity, as well as plants like lilies, tulips, and daffodils. If you think your dog has eaten or come into contact with something that could be poisonous, contact us immediately. The vet can make them vomit (if it is safe), give medication to prevent further toxin absorption, and recommend tests and treatment as appropriate. Keeping hold of the packaging from the substance you are concerned about and showing it to the vet will help them decide what care your dog needs.

Summary

It's not easy to stay calm in an emergency with your dog, but the advice above will help to guide you so that you can get them the help they need quickly.

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As a pet parent, you want to keep your dog as healthy and safe as possible, so it's important to be prepared and aware of what to do if they are suddenly injured or unwell. That way, you can act quickly and confidently while getting them help.

General emergency guidelines

By following the steps below you can prevent further injuries and keep yourself and your dog safe while seeking prompt veterinary help:

1. Stay calm

It's natural to panic if your furkid is hurt or unwell, but staying as calm as possible will help you to think more clearly, communicate with the people who can help, and reassure your dog.

2. Check for immediate danger

Check your surroundings to ensure you and your dog are safe. If not, consider whether you can move somewhere safer.

3. Call us

Calling our nearest branch is one of the most important steps. In serious emergencies, it may save time if another person is with you and can transport you and your dog to the clinic while you talk with us.

4. Gather information

While on the way to our clinic, it's a good idea to make a note of relevant details that our vets may need to know. Consider forming a timeline of when any injuries or symptoms occurred so the vet can help your dog more quickly.

Specific scenarios – First aid and next steps

The first aid and actions required in an emergency will vary depending on the specific scenario. The list below provides information about what you can do to help your dog in various emergencies:

Wounds, broken bones, and bleeding

If your dog has a wound, the most important things to do are to keep it clean and stop the bleeding. A clean cloth, towel, or other fabric can be used to apply constant pressure to wounds that are bleeding significantly. Most bleeding will stop after five or ten minutes of continuous pressure, however, if this is not the case, apply pressure until you arrive at the clinic. Wounds that aren't bleeding significantly can be loosely covered to prevent contamination or licking; for instance, a clean sock could be used to protect a wound on a paw, while a loose t-shirt might help to protect a wound on your dog's belly or sides. Remember, contacting your nearest branch is an important step too, so if another person can apply first aid while you call us, this will save time.

Collapse

If your dog collapses, it's a terrifying thing to see. However, staying calm will mean you can take in more information about what happened. The first thing to do if your dog collapses and doesn't quickly regain consciousness is to try to rouse them, check that their airway is clear (beware of putting your hands in their mouth as they may unintentionally bite you), and check whether they are breathing. If they do not come around, call us without delay and stay with your dog so that you can answer any questions or follow any instructions from the vet. Again, if you have another person around to transport you to the clinic while you talk, that will save time. If your dog isn’t breathing and you can’t feel a pulse, the vet might ask you if you can perform chest compressions by rhythmically pressing on the chest.

Seizure

It's really important not to approach your dog while they're having a seizure, even though you want to help them. During a seizure, your dog won't know what's going on and they may act aggressively. Instead, make sure that the space around your dog is clear so that they don't injure themselves, and focus on collecting information like how long the seizure lasts and how your dog behaved beforehand. It's a good idea to call the vet clinic to organise an appointment, but don't move your dog until they have recovered. Even after the seizure has ended, your dog may still be disorientated or out of sorts for a few hours, so handle them carefully and keep noise and bright lights to a minimum.

Heatstroke

If your dog is affected by heatstroke, they will be panting and struggling to breathe. If you spot the signs, it's important to act quickly to cool them down and get them to your nearest branch. If you are home, put them in the bath or shower and pour cool running water over them. To transport them, wet towels combined with a fan or air conditioning can help. As always, call us at the earliest opportunity to let us know that you are on your way.

Choking

If your dog is choking, don't delay in calling one of our branches. Check whether your dog is breathing and check their gum colour (they should be pink). Sometimes, a thrust or squeeze similar to the Heimlich manoeuvre can dislodge the blockage; however, you should get to the clinic as quickly as possible.

Poisoning

Many different types of substances are toxic to dogs, including foods like grapes, raisins, chocolate, onions, and garlic. Certain medications and chemicals can also cause toxicity, as well as plants like lilies, tulips, and daffodils. If you think your dog has eaten or come into contact with something that could be poisonous, contact us immediately. The vet can make them vomit (if it is safe), give medication to prevent further toxin absorption, and recommend tests and treatment as appropriate. Keeping hold of the packaging from the substance you are concerned about and showing it to the vet will help them decide what care your dog needs.

Summary

It's not easy to stay calm in an emergency with your dog, but the advice above will help to guide you so that you can get them the help they need quickly.

Keep Reading
Keep Reading
Keep Reading
Subscribe
Always be up to date!
Receive a digest of the latest events and offers for you and your pet every month.
As a pet parent, you want to keep your dog as healthy and safe as possible, so it's important to be prepared and aware of what to do if they are suddenly injured or unwell. That way, you can act quickly and confidently while getting them help.

General emergency guidelines

By following the steps below you can prevent further injuries and keep yourself and your dog safe while seeking prompt veterinary help:

1. Stay calm

It's natural to panic if your furkid is hurt or unwell, but staying as calm as possible will help you to think more clearly, communicate with the people who can help, and reassure your dog.

2. Check for immediate danger

Check your surroundings to ensure you and your dog are safe. If not, consider whether you can move somewhere safer.

3. Call us

Calling our nearest branch is one of the most important steps. In serious emergencies, it may save time if another person is with you and can transport you and your dog to the clinic while you talk with us.

4. Gather information

While on the way to our clinic, it's a good idea to make a note of relevant details that our vets may need to know. Consider forming a timeline of when any injuries or symptoms occurred so the vet can help your dog more quickly.

Specific scenarios – First aid and next steps

The first aid and actions required in an emergency will vary depending on the specific scenario. The list below provides information about what you can do to help your dog in various emergencies:

Wounds, broken bones, and bleeding

If your dog has a wound, the most important things to do are to keep it clean and stop the bleeding. A clean cloth, towel, or other fabric can be used to apply constant pressure to wounds that are bleeding significantly. Most bleeding will stop after five or ten minutes of continuous pressure, however, if this is not the case, apply pressure until you arrive at the clinic. Wounds that aren't bleeding significantly can be loosely covered to prevent contamination or licking; for instance, a clean sock could be used to protect a wound on a paw, while a loose t-shirt might help to protect a wound on your dog's belly or sides. Remember, contacting your nearest branch is an important step too, so if another person can apply first aid while you call us, this will save time.

Collapse

If your dog collapses, it's a terrifying thing to see. However, staying calm will mean you can take in more information about what happened. The first thing to do if your dog collapses and doesn't quickly regain consciousness is to try to rouse them, check that their airway is clear (beware of putting your hands in their mouth as they may unintentionally bite you), and check whether they are breathing. If they do not come around, call us without delay and stay with your dog so that you can answer any questions or follow any instructions from the vet. Again, if you have another person around to transport you to the clinic while you talk, that will save time. If your dog isn’t breathing and you can’t feel a pulse, the vet might ask you if you can perform chest compressions by rhythmically pressing on the chest.

Seizure

It's really important not to approach your dog while they're having a seizure, even though you want to help them. During a seizure, your dog won't know what's going on and they may act aggressively. Instead, make sure that the space around your dog is clear so that they don't injure themselves, and focus on collecting information like how long the seizure lasts and how your dog behaved beforehand. It's a good idea to call the vet clinic to organise an appointment, but don't move your dog until they have recovered. Even after the seizure has ended, your dog may still be disorientated or out of sorts for a few hours, so handle them carefully and keep noise and bright lights to a minimum.

Heatstroke

If your dog is affected by heatstroke, they will be panting and struggling to breathe. If you spot the signs, it's important to act quickly to cool them down and get them to your nearest branch. If you are home, put them in the bath or shower and pour cool running water over them. To transport them, wet towels combined with a fan or air conditioning can help. As always, call us at the earliest opportunity to let us know that you are on your way.

Choking

If your dog is choking, don't delay in calling one of our branches. Check whether your dog is breathing and check their gum colour (they should be pink). Sometimes, a thrust or squeeze similar to the Heimlich manoeuvre can dislodge the blockage; however, you should get to the clinic as quickly as possible.

Poisoning

Many different types of substances are toxic to dogs, including foods like grapes, raisins, chocolate, onions, and garlic. Certain medications and chemicals can also cause toxicity, as well as plants like lilies, tulips, and daffodils. If you think your dog has eaten or come into contact with something that could be poisonous, contact us immediately. The vet can make them vomit (if it is safe), give medication to prevent further toxin absorption, and recommend tests and treatment as appropriate. Keeping hold of the packaging from the substance you are concerned about and showing it to the vet will help them decide what care your dog needs.

Summary

It's not easy to stay calm in an emergency with your dog, but the advice above will help to guide you so that you can get them the help they need quickly.

Keep Reading
Keep Reading
Keep Reading
Subscribe
Always be up to date!
Receive a digest of the latest events and offers for you and your pet every month.
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