10 Signs to Take Your Playful Puppy to the Vet Right Away
Just like humans, emergencies can happen to your pets at any time. For example, your dog may stop breathing, or its heart stop beating. In such situations, performing immediate emergency measures and going to the hospital can prevent the worst. As a pet owner, you are responsible for detecting your pet’s unusual behavior and its severity and, more importantly, knowing how to respond according to the problem. So, what emergency measures can a pet owner take in various situations? Let’s look at 10 emergency treatments to save your pet.
Fractures and Dislocations
In treating a pet’s fractures or dislocations, ‘fixation’ is crucial. Do not try to return the broken or dislocated joint to its original state; instead, keep it in its current state. The goal is to prevent secondary injuries. Tailbone fixation requires a complex technique, so immediately take your pet to the hospital. If necessary, gag the dog to prevent biting, and if there is bleeding, compress the blood vein to stop bleeding before fixating.
If your pet is in pain after a collision or a hit, it may let out a high-pitched sound. If it is paying attention to and trying to cover the part it got hurt, it’s likely a bruise. What you should watch out for is a head injury. If your pet’s gait seems unusual or refuses to move, it could be seriously injured, so try to keep it still and take it to the hospital as soon as possible.
Abrasions or cuts are dangerous because they can lead to bacterial infections. If there is bleeding, stop the bleeding, then clean the wound with running water. After disinfecting, it’s best to protect the wound with a bandage. If the wound is deep, go to the animal hospital immediately. Calm the pet if it is startled or in pain.
Treatment for burns depends on the severity of the wound. For minor burns, cooling is the best treatment, but for moderate burns, it’s best to go to the animal hospital. In cases of chemical burns, rinsing is the best solution. Determine what type of chemical caused the burn and head to the hospital. Some dogs may be in shock due to the sudden event or severe pain. Perform artificial respiration if necessary.
Electric shocks can be dangerous for both pets and humans. It’s risky to approach or touch a dog that has collapsed from electric shock. First, make sure you don’t get electrocuted before proceeding with treatment. Be careful if the dog has urinated, as the urine can also conduct electricity. Put on rubber boots and gloves to avoid getting shocked. If the dog is biting a cord, use a wooden stick or something that doesn’t conduct electricity to remove it from the mouth and unplug the cord. Check the dog’s condition and, if there are burns, provide appropriate treatments and take the dog to the hospital.
Dogs, having almost no sweat glands, can’t cool down their body temperature by sweating, making them susceptible to heat stroke quickly. If your dog’s breathing becomes heavy and drools excessively, it could signify heat stroke. If the redness of the gums intensifies and the heart rate increases, the body temperature could exceed 104°F. In such cases, immediate emergency treatment is needed before taking the pet to the hospital. If symptoms such as convulsions, vomiting, or pale gums appear, it’s a severe condition.
Immediate treatment is necessary if sudden convulsions occur. When a seizure happens, remove anything that could cause injury, remove strong stimuli such as loud TV sounds or bright lights, and wait for the seizure to pass. Putting a rolled-up towel in the mouth is an excellent idea to prevent the dog from biting its tongue, but there’s no need to force it as you could get bitten during the seizure.
Foreign Object Ingestion
If your dog accidentally swallowed a foreign object, first confirm what the object is. If it’s stuck in the throat, remove it immediately. If it has reached the end of the esophagus or stomach, it should be removed by gastric lavage or surgery at the animal hospital. If the swallowed object is a drug, some are better vomited out, while others can injure the esophagus or throat if forced vomiting, so visit the animal hospital.
There’s no guarantee that you can rescue your pet by diving in, so wait for rescue and wear a life jacket when rescuing. Rescue methods include throwing a tube or board for the dog to catch, using a long stick to reach the shore, or rescuing from a boat. After rescuing the dog, lay it down with its head low and pat its chest to make it vomit water. If it doesn’t vomit, hold its hind legs, turn it upside down, and slowly shake it. If this still doesn’t work, perform artificial respiration.
Heart-related Emergency Conditions
The most severe emergencies are heart-related. The heart rate may significantly increase or decrease, and the breathing rate increases. The pet may have difficulty breathing and vomiting, and the gums may turn blue or gray. It’s best to go to the animal hospital immediately, but if that’s not possible, you should provide a portable oxygen can for the pet to breathe. In this case, the portable oxygen can is not sprayed directly on the animal but is put into a bag for the animal to breathe. If the heart is not beating, perform CPR along with artificial respiration.
By. Hyein Oh