Last updated on June 7, 2016
Do you know first aid tips for dogs?
One Summer morning, two frisky Cockapoos were playfully exploring their fenced yard when Rudy caught Abigail off guard and bounded at her from behind the rose bushes. As Abby took a tumble landing dazed and confused, a bee flew passed her. The twosome, quickly distracted by this new found fun, attempted to play a game of pounce with the tiny buzzing creature. Fun did ensue for a few moments, but it then turned nasty as the bee planted his stinger right onto the tip of Rudy’s nose! The pup pawed furiously at his face, and as it began to swell, Rudy started looking more like a bulldog than a fluffy canine!
Dogs generally paw at and remove the insect’s stinger, but should you see one through your pooch’s fur coat (or on his nose, lip, paw or elsewhere), scrape it away with a credit card, popsicle stick or similar stiff object. Pulling the stinger with fingers or tweezers could rupture the poison sac allowing the toxin to enter your pet’s body. Administer 1 mg Benadryl per pound of your dog’s body weight (usually comes in 25mg tablets so a smaller half will suffice for most kitties) and apply a cold pack (a bag of frozen peas works well) to any swelling. Should severe swelling or any breathing difficulties develop, get to your Veterinarian at once as if the pet goes into anaphylactic shock (a severe allergic reaction), professional medical treatment is needed.
Holding an injured or ill dog for medication or treatment is not always an easy chore. Restrain your best friend by shooing him into a bathroom so that you have control of the situation in a small room that has necessary supplies. You may try to swaddle small dogs in a towel to safely hold, but it’s nice to have a second pair of helping hands with larger fellows – one to hold the back side while you examine the sharp end! Any time an animal is in pain, there is potential for a bite, so having a properly fitting muzzle is a good idea because once you are bitten, it becomes a human first aid incident, and the dog won’t get the prompt care he needs.
“Don’t wish you HAD learned Pet First Aid” was one of the first quotes I received from a student after taking my Pet First Aid Class, and it says it all! I’ve now had the privilege of teaching more than 10,000 humans what to do (and millions more on national television segments), but there is always something else to learn in regards to the health and welfare of your furry best friend. Don’t wait until tragedy strikes before you learn animal life-saving skills. Nine out of ten dogs are likely to experience an emergency at some point in their lives, and according to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), 25% more could be saved if their humans attempt even one first aid technique BEFORE getting them to veterinary care. Pet First-Aid is the first thing we do in a line of medical treatments to limit pain and prevent further injury. It is by no means a replacement for your veterinarian, yet by knowing what to do at the time the injury takes place, you can lower body temperature, prevent blood loss, alleviate choking, induce vomiting in poisoning incidents or perform rescue breathing and CPR.
The enticing smell of a summer time barbeque may be hard to pass up, but it is best to stick to your dog’s normal diet to avoid intestinal issues. For upset tummies, administer 1 teaspoon of Mylanta® (other brands may contain too my salicylic acid – aspirin) through a needless syringe or eyedropper, for every 10-15 lbs. your pet weighs. Withhold food to let her stomach rest, but keep water readily available to prevent dehydration. If blood is present in vomit or diarrhea, or if these are symptoms of an illness or obstruction, seek immediate veterinary care.
If your dog has swallowed a food item that she should not have (any non-caustic poison that doesn’t burn the esophagus), induce vomiting by administering 1 Tablespoon 3% Hydrogen Peroxide for a 10-15 lbs cat onto the back of her tongue. If this doesn’t cause her to vomit within 30 seconds to 5 minutes, seek immediate veterinary care.
Heat Stroke is a life-threatening emergency that requires veterinary treatment. The goal is to remove the animal from the source of the heat, prevent internal body temperature from continuing to rise and transport to a veterinarian as quickly as possible. Pets don’t sweat to regulate their body temperatures (normally 100.0°F – 102.5°F). They release heat through their tongue, nose and foot pads. Dogs pant to exchange cooler outside air with the warm humid air in their lungs while cats don’t usually pant until they are overwhelmed by the heat. If the outside air isn’t cooler than an animal’s body temperature, the animal can succumb to Heat Stroke. Without prompt attention, Heat Stroke can result in brain damage, kidney failure, cardiac arrest and death. Older and overweight pets as well as short-nosed breeds are at the greatest risk.
- Walk dogs during the cooler parts of the day and stick to shady areas and grass. Even beach sand can burn paws and make a canine body too hot!
- Always make sure pets have a supply of cool fresh water. If that outdoor water bowl has become a bird bath, is empty or is sitting in the blazing sun, it is not a good source of hydration for Fido!
- Make sure dogs in fenced yards always have shade to retreat to. Notice the situation at different times of the day and year to make sure the shade cast by your lovely backyard tree isn’t only on the other side of the fence in the neighbor’s yard leaving your dog in the hot sun.
- NEVER leave a dog in a parked car for even a moment. If he can’t get out with you at every stop, he is better off home in a temperate environment.
- Get to know your groomer! Blow drying animals in a well-ventilated area is important to their health, and cage dryers (big boxes containing your pet into which air is forced to dry them) must be carefully monitored, so choose a groomer you know has your pet’s best interest at heart.
- Pay particular attention to senior, over-weight and brachycephalic (flat faced) pets who have more difficulty breathing even at comfortable temperatures.
Signs & Symptoms include: heavy panting, gasping, vomiting (if not yet dehydrated), foam around the mouth, weak or high pulse, inability to drink, bright red or suddenly bluish gums and loss of consciousness.
What to do:
- Move pet to a cooler environment. Indoors is best with a cool fan blowing on your pet but even a shady sidewalk or grassy area can help.
- Wet the animal with room temperature water (not ice as it restricts blood flow). Think “From the paws up!” getting the skin on the paws, pits, groin and belly skin cooled is most effective in quickly cooling your pet. Water often skids off fur on breeds with undercoats and does not cool skin when applied to their back.
- If you place your dog or cat into a tub or pool, do not let the water rise higher than the belly. Immersing him to the neck will cause him to cool too quickly resulting in hyperthermia.
- Rubbing alcohol or witch hazel wiped onto the inner flaps of the ears and pads of the feet has an amazing cooling effect. Do not however douse an animal with an entire bottle of rubbing alcohol. This could cause a sudden change in body temperature and result in Shock.
- Placing a cool pack (or bag of frozen peas) on dog or cat’s neck and groin can prove helpful in cooling him off as the cooled blood flowing through those arteries cools the rest of the body. Remove pack every few minutes to make sure you don’t cause frostbite to animal’s tissue.
- Never force pet to drink as he could aspirate fluid into his lungs. Dribble a little water from an eye dropper or spray bottle to keep him hydrated. At the Veterinarian’s office, fluids will likely be administered subcutaneously (under the skin or intravenously).
- Check your pet’s temperature and if it is 104°F or higher, get to the Veterinarian immediately! Wrap animal in wet sheet or towel, turn on car air conditioning and drive quickly but safely.
- If pet goes unconscious, rub a little honey or Karo Syrup® on his gums to increase blood sugar level, and be prepared to administer CPCR.
- If the pet cools too quickly and temperature drops to 100°F, cover him with a blanket and place a 2-liter bottle filled with warm (not hot) water next to him as you transport him to the Animal ER.
Fortunately for Rudy, his human knew exactly what to do to alleviate pain and swelling from his bee sting because she bones up on her Pet First-Aid skills every few years.
Do you? In addition to knowing what to do, you must learn the location of your nearest Animal ER and have an up-to-date Pet First-Aid Kit for your pooch. Weekly perform a Head-to-Tail check-up of your dog feeling for lumps and bumps, noticing the condition of his skin and coat and making sure no unusual odors or discharges are coming from any body part. By getting to know your pet from head-to-tail and what is normal for your individual dog, you will more quickly notice something ‘not quite right’ and get him the help he may desperately need.
For 16 years Denise Fleck’s Sunny-dog Ink motto has been “Helping people to help their pets,” and she has…teaching more than 10,000 pet lovers animal life-saving skills and millions more on national television segments, yet better pet parenting is still a secret in many communities. Therefore, in her 2016 role as Pet Safety Crusader™, Denise will journey across the Southern U.S. beginning September 15th to “Be the one who makes a difference” by helping large numbers of people help their pets in one concerted effort! Pet First Aid classes, Pet Disaster Preparedness training and readings of her children’s books will be part of the fun as she travels 10,000 miles in 49 days to 16 cities — from California to Florida, north to Virginia, across to Tennessee, down to Arkansas and back across the Southwest. Super hero sponsors are needed to be the ‘wheels beneath her RV.’ Learn more about this epic adventure, Denise’s line of Pet First-Aid Kits, books and instructional posters at www.sunnydogink.com
Fidose note: Always talk to your dog’s veterinarian for any assistance or questions with medicine or before administering medication you have not used under a veterinarian’s care prior.
CONTEST IS CLOSED AND THE WINNER IS CHERYL CHERVITZ!
To help keep dogs safe, Fidose of Reality has teamed up with Denise Fleck to give away a copy of her book, The Autumn & Winter of Your Pet: Make Those Senior Years Golden and her Dog First Aid and CPR pocket book
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