Would you know what to do if something was wrong with your dog? The reality is most of us rely on the fact that we can easily visit a vet but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for the worst. Like most animals, dogs are inquisitive and this can sometimes lead to injury. From wounds to seizures, there are many different ways your pet can get hurt and knowing what to do in these situations could save their life.
The procedure is similar to that of a human wound: apply pressure, ensure the area is cleaned and apply a firm bandage. Most wounds will also require antibiotic treatment so the safest option would be to visit a vet. If the wound continues to bleed after it has been bandaged go back for a second time.
In extreme cases poisoning can cause death so contact your vet immediately. There are a number of things that could potentially poison your dog which may seem harmless to humans. These include household plants such as tulips, daffodils and rhododendrons. Household cleaning products, lawn fertilizer and even certain pet medications can also be poisonous to dogs. Some human foods are also known to cause vomiting and diarrhea. Grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, avocado and (unsurprisingly) alcohol are also a no-no, so ensure they are kept out of reach. However there are some foods that both humans and dogs can share, check them out here.
Although they may seem minor to us, insect bites can not only be irritating for your dog but also potentially dangerous. Fleas, ticks and mites are the most common and minor symptoms include swelling and inflammation, which can be easily treated with medication. If your dog is bitten by a snake, you may notice respiratory distress, shallow breathing and anxiety and should seek immediate help from a vet. In the meantime, try to keep your pet calm and place a bandage on the affected area, applying constant pressure to help slow the venom from spreading around the body.
Burns and scalds
If your pet experiences a burn by a hot object or liquid then it’s important to flush the area in cold running water for at least 10 minutes (ideally longer). The process is similar for chemical burns but be sure to wear a protective layer on your own hands to avoid also being burned. Try to keep the area under cool water for ideally 20 minutes and seek immediate advice from a vet. For electrical burns, ensure the source of electricity is unplugged and turned off before touching the dog and treat them in the same way as you would for heat or chemical burns.
There are many causes of seizures, the most common being idiopathic epilepsy (which is inherited). Seizures often occur when there is a change of brain activity, for example waking up or during excitement. It is important that you don’t try and stop the seizure and instead clear the area so the dog is unable to hurt themselves and use a calming voice to reassure them. If the seizure lasts for more than five minutes seek help from a vet.
Rosie is a pet obsessed journalist originally hailing from the UK and now based in Sydney.