Dog physiotherapeutic treatment is beneficial for your dog and helpful in rehabilitation after surgery or injury, and general health prophylaxis. dog physiotherapy plays an important role in aiding dogs’ recovery from fractures, muscle and ligament injuries as well as lameness in limbs, as it provides pain relief, increases the rate of healing, improves muscle mass, helps restore the dogs’ movement and eventually improve their quality of life.
However, what makes for effective physiotherapy in your dog? What can you do for its success? Can you predict how quickly progress can be expected? I would like to answer these questions for you in the following article so that your dog can benefit as much as possible from canine physical therapy.
What Should You Pay Attention To When Choosing A Canine Therapist?
Which therapist is the right one for your dog? – You have to clarify this in advance because the right selection plays a role in the effectiveness of the therapy in your dog.
Training for a dog physiotherapist has not yet been standardized and anyone who wants to can still call themselves a dog physiotherapist. However, a two-hour massage seminar on Saturday morning does not provide a sound knowledge of the anatomy, pathology and therapy of dogs. When choosing your future dog therapist, you should therefore pay attention to their information on their training.
It is also beneficial for your dog if your future physiotherapist is ready to work with other specialists such as veterinarians, naturopaths, and nutritionists.
Your vet may be able to provide a recommendation. Sometimes, however, there is unfortunately still a lot of competition among some medical professionals or a lack of recognition towards animal physiotherapists. You can ask other dog owners in your area or your dog school if they can recommend someone.
There are animal physiotherapists whose work is mobile. They come to your home to treat your dog in its familiar environment. If you are not mobile yourself or if your dog is extremely anxious in a strange environment, this can be a pleasant treatment option. However, your dog will not be able to enjoy hydrotherapy in the underwater treadmill or pool. This option is only available to dog physiotherapists with their own practice rooms.
In addition, listen to your gut feeling from personal contact with the employed canine physiotherapeutic practitioner. Mutual sympathy and the way the practitioner treats your dog are important criteria for choosing a therapist because trust and cooperation contribute to a successful treatment.
This is How you Support Your dog’s therapy success
During the treatment, you can support the therapist’s work in various ways. Basically, your dog is grateful for the presence of his trusted caregiver and benefits from the therapy you pull together with the therapist.
How can you support the therapist During the treatment?
Your canine pet shouldn’t eat anything before physiotherapy. There should be a minimum of two hours between feeding your dog and therapy. Otherwise, the body is busy with digestive activity, which will further stimulate the blood flow through massage and that could be a burden. But you can take special and small treats with you during the treatment. These can serve as motivation and reward when performing various exercises in a playful way. As a result, dog physiotherapy is associated with something positive in your dog’s mind, more as a great activity than a therapy.
If more motivation is required, you can do it vocally, physically, and by giving treats or using a toy. Your therapist will certainly give you appropriate instructions, otherwise, just ask if and how you can support. The first few sessions in an underwater treadmill or in a hydrotherapy pool may be a very strange experience for your dog. You can accompany this familiarization phase calmly and confidently, and also set targeted stimuli for your dog from outside the water.
Your presence, on the other hand, can help when a high degree of relaxation and rest is required of your dog, such as a massage or electrotherapy. The more relaxed your dog is, the better.
A tip for your dog’s hydrotherapy treatment on an underwater treadmill: It is advisable to take a dog coat with you on the way home so that your dog does not get cold, especially in winter or for old, very young or weak dogs. In practice, toweling your dog off after getting out of the water may not be enough to completely dry the dog again. There are dog bathrobes that are particularly cozy and water-absorbing, such as microfiber drying coat.
Many dogs feel the need to drink and urinate after treatment. You should allow your dog to do this because the metabolism-stimulating treatments release waste products and stimulate the body’s entire fluid balance.
By the way, it is possible that your dog will develop sore muscles after the treatment sessions, especially at the beginning of therapy. It can tell by your dog having to get up more difficultly or feeling less desire to move in the first days after treatment. That is completely normal. We all know that from our own experience of working out in the gym. Moderate exercise and perhaps massages counteract these complaints. However, if you are concerned about severe or prolonged symptoms, contact your therapist to be on the safe side.
Therapy support at home
When you get home, the physiotherapy treantment for your dog is not over yet. – If your therapist gives you homework, you should exercise your dog at home according to the therapy plan. It is important to the continual recovery of your dog. Just like in human physiotherapy, the same applies to dogs: regular, shorter rehabilitation sessions are better than one single long training session. In this way, you optimize the achievement of the desired therapy goals. Your therapist will explain the rehabilitation program, duration, and daily steps you need to do with your pet dog in detail. If possible, follow the instructions. If unexpected problems arise, contact him on the safe side, because you don’t want to expose your dog to any additional risk, but rather to support him in his recovery.
Note: The more often you practice rehabilitation with your dog between professional treatment sessions, the greater the chance for your dog to get back its functionality quickly. Your physiotherapist needs your cooperation to achieve the success of full functionality returning in your dog. Last but not least, this also minimizes the costs that it will incur for the therapy.
Almost every household has other practical aids such as hot water bottles, red light lamps, grain pillows, cold/hot packs. In addition to your hands, you can also use various brushes or a hedgehog ball for massages.
If more specific therapy is to be implemented at home, some animal physiotherapists are already prepared for this and lend small devices such as magnetic field or other special devices for a small fee.
You can also support your dog in his therapy through nutrition. If necessary, discuss this with your canine physiotherapist or nutritionist. Nutrition is particularly important for dogs that are expected to lose excess weight. High-quality food with a high protein content can also be helpful for targeted muscle build-up, for example in dogs who are exercising after an operation.
How Long Does It Take to Achieve Success?
Unfortunately, there is no general answer to this question. It depends, among other things, on the underlying illness or impairment, the basic constitution of your dog, and the continuation of the therapy at home.
With pain-relieving measures such as heat therapy, manual therapy or massages, effective results can be achieved in just 1-2 sessions. Building muscle or improving neuronal problems simply takes longer per se. Your therapist can probably estimate the approximate duration of therapy after the initial consultation.
After operations, it is important to follow the surgeon’s instructions for the postoperative phase exactly. Unfortunately, too much exercise can sometimes be harmful. Sometimes the patient needs to be kept quiet for several weeks. However, that does not have to mean that a dog physiotherapy treatment cannot start. The field of physiotherapy is very broad, such as wound and scar treatment, manual lymphatic drainage as well as heat / cold therapy. Such measures could lead to an improvement in the condition of your dog and thus increase its quality of life.
If, which is unlikely, no progress can be seen for a long time, speak to your therapist without hesitation. He may see more with a trained eye than you as a worried dog owner and can provide a plausible explanation. Under certain circumstances, however, a modification of the therapy program or a discussion with the veterinarian is necessary, who can prescribe medication if necessary.
You can see that in addition to choosing the right therapist, your cooperation may also play a vital part in the effectiveness of recovery treatment. Patience and frequency of exercise are sometimes required, but your dog will thank you for its unbroken zest for life after its recovery.
The car is an indispensable part of our lives, whether it is only used for shopping or for a road trip on vacation. What is normal for us is initially alien to a dog. Some dogs think it’s great, some are afraid of riding in a car.
So how can you train your dog to ride in the car in a relaxed manner? What helps with problems? Where is your dog allowed to ride in the car anyway? How do you best secure it? You will get answers to all of these questions in this guide about taking your dog on a road trip.
Driving Safely With Your Dog In The Car
Before you go on a long journey with your dog, you should think about where and how you will transport it safely. The road traffic regulations stipulate that a load must be secured and restrained in such a way that it cannot slip and endanger the driver even in the event of emergency braking. A dog is considered a load and must be secured as such.
If you get caught when your dog is traveling freely, this can result in a fine of money and even points. If your dog has an accident, your insurance will not have to pay for the damage.
Apart from a possible punishment, it is safer for your dog if he is restrained. After all, you don’t just drive with your dog for fun. Likewise, your dog will be thrown around in the event of an emergency stop and can seriously injure itself if it is not properly secured. After all, thousands of car accidents are caused by drivers distracted by their unsecured pup.
There are basically two ways to keep you and your dog safe on a long road trip:
With a dog seat belt or a dog harness
In a dog crate or carrier
Even if you see it often: simply transporting it in the footwell is not allowed. Depending on how big your dog is, you have more or fewer options to drive with your dog safely. Because where there is space for smaller dogs on the front passenger or back seat, only the trunk remains for large dogs.
Transport Your Dog In the Trunk with a Mesh Divider or Dog Crate
For many dog owners, this is the most obvious solution for driving a car with their dog. Either the back seat is occupied by the children or the dog is so big that it only fits in the trunk. It’s also easy: open the trunk, the dog jumps in and off you go.
However, this is not necessarily the safest solution – unless your trunk is so small that your dog has hardly any freedom of movement there and cannot move forward.
These solutions are ideal for safe transport in the trunk:
A Car Net Barrier or Mesh Divider: With a net barrier or mesh divider, you make sure your dog cannot climb forward to you in the driver’s compartment. It also prevents your dog from being catapulted forward and through the windshield like a bullet in the event of an emergency stop or an accident. It is important that you use a stable and thick divider net that cannot slip.
A Dog Transporting Crate The safest option, especially for large or medium-sized dogs, is a transporting crate or box in the trunk. A dog crate is a good option since your canine passenger already gets used to a crate from home. Of course, it depends on your dog and your car which type of box you can use: does a regular one fit, or do you need a custom-made one? In addition to safety, another advantage is that your dog cannot look out when the box is closed. This can be very useful if your dog is scared. It is best to begin crate training first before you take him on a road trip with you.
Transport Your Dog In The Back Seat
Just like being in the trunk, your dog must be secured when it is riding in the back seat of your car, not only for yours but also for his protection. You can do this either with a transport box or a seat belt. Which of the two options you prefer will depend on your dog’s size and preferences. Small dogs fit in a transport box in the back seat of your car, while large dogs can only be strapped in. Some dogs prefer to ride in a box so that they don’t see much of their surroundings, and others get car sick and they have to look outside.
If you want to buckle up your canine passenger while driving, you need a special car harness to which you can attach the normal seat belt, or you can use a well-fitting and stable car harness and a special safety belt for dogs. In the meantime, there are car seat covers for the back seat to keep your upholstery clean and for more comfort for your dog.
Transport Your Dog In The Passenger Seat
The disadvantage of being transported in the passenger seat is that your dog is certainly the most restricted in his freedom of movement. After all, you have to especially prevent your pet dog from jumping into the steering wheel and causing an accident.
In addition, the size of your pup is also the determining factor on whether to ride in the passenger seat. After all, it has to either fit in its transporting box or strapped onto the seat. If this is the case, you have options similar to those in the back seat. There are also protective blankets for the front passenger seat, which are shaped like small boxes and in which you can easily strap your dog and transport it safely.
Secure the Dog In The Motorhome
The considerations for driving a car with your dog also apply to a road trip with the motorhome. Again, you have to think about how to secure your dog. You can also customize the motorhome and have it expanded in a dog-friendly manner. The possibilities range from a ventilated transport box in the rear area to a doghouse under the table. Other options are a transport box, which you protect against slipping in the motorhome with straps, or a safety harness to which you attach the belt.
What is right depends, among other things, on the size of your dog and your travel companion, but of course also on your wallet.
Driving A Car With Your Dog – This Is How It Works
Some dog owners may worry about the safety of traveling with their pet in their car, but they do not bother to train their dog to get used to it beforehand. Open the door, put the dog in the transport box in the trunk, and off you go. For many dogs, that works without any problems. But some problems would not have arisen in the first place if dog owners had taken a little more time in advance.
The earlier you start getting your dog used to driving in the car, the better it is. As puppies, dogs are particularly capable of learning, but also very sensitive. It is therefore important that your puppy can get to familiarize himself with a road trip in peace and does not have any bad experiences. Even an older dog can still get used to a road trip in a car. The training is the same as a young dog, but it may take a little longer.
Step 1: Cars Are Not Dangerous.
The most important thing is to show your dog that the car is not dangerous to him. Let him explore the vehicle. If your dog is still too small to jump onto the car on its own, give it a helping hand.
It depends on how quickly your dog gets used to the car. Some dogs are curious and look at everything immediately. It takes some dogs a little longer to get used to this strange object. Always remember: a car certainly smells strange to our dogs than it does to us.
Now it’s about making your dog’s stay in the car pleasant. Give him treats or feed him from his bowl so he can associate the car with something positive. You can also put the dog blanket on the car because the familiar smell gives him security.
Note: If your dog doesn’t want to stay in the car yet, don’t force him to do so. Give him time to slowly approach the unfamiliar object. Only when he is no longer shy of the car can you take the next step.
Step 2: Get to Know Engine Noise and Vibrations.
Now you can start the engine so that your dog gets used to the new engine noise. It’s much louder for your dog than it is for us and he will certainly feel the vibrations of the engine much more intensely. So you shouldn’t be driving your car at this stage. Just let the engine running and reward your dog with treats that build a positive association with the running engine.
Step 3: The First Few Meters
Then it’s time for the first road trip. However, you shouldn’t drive a long distance, but a few meters. After a very short distance, you stop and let your dog get out. As a reward, you can play a chase game with him or go for a short walk. You can find out how you can identify the right reward depending on the situation here: Dog-friendly rewards
If that works well, you increase the duration in small stages. Make sure your dog is doing well and not getting too upset. Your goal should always be to keep your dog relaxed while driving. With this step-by-step approach, there is little risk that your dog will be overwhelmed or have bad experiences. So it takes patience and time to get your dog adapted to riding on the car and rewards at this stage are still necessary.
By the way, dogs are good at making connections. If your first short car journey goes to the vet, he will certainly not want to jump into the car pretty quickly.
Step 4: The First Long Car Trip with Your Dog
If your dog is relaxed on short car trips, you can now plan the first long road trip. Plan out enough water and bathroom stops on your route so as not to overwhelm your dog.
Tips: Make sure from the beginning that your dog does not get out until you allow him to. It can be very dangerous for him to jump out of the car.
If you follow all of these steps and take enough time, you and your dog both should be able to enjoy the journey.
Help, My dog Is Having Trouble On the Trip
For some dogs, a long journey by car is stressful because they had negative experiences.
The stress can be that your dog howls or barks because he is extremely antsy and panting heavily or even vomits. If your dog suffers from restlessness during driving and manifests one or more of the symptoms mentioned, then you should take a step back with the training or start all over again. Sometimes it may even be necessary to just bring him near the car and do pleasant things there.
If your dog vomits while driving
If your dog gets sick while driving, there can be two reasons:
either he gets upset so much that he vomits
or he may suffer from travel sickness
The reasons for this are the same as for humans: your dog is sensitive to the movements and cannot process them. Symptoms range from profuse salivation to vomiting.
To find a solution to this, you need to find out the reasons. The fast-moving pictures are difficult for him to process, so he shouldn’t be able to look out the window. If he gets sick while driving, you should avoid feeding him before the drive, or just feed him a small meal.
Sometimes it also helps to change your dog’s position. As with humans, there are dogs who get sick if they cannot look ahead. My dog Milla sits buckled in the back seat. If she can look outside, everything is ok, if her view is blocked by a high car seat cover, she has to vomit.
If that doesn’t help either and if you don’t make any progress despite regular training, then you should seek advice from an animal health practitioner or veterinarian. There are both herbal remedies and medication from the veterinarian against travel sickness in dogs.
Driving With Your Dog
You can see that driving a car with your dog is a complex issue. In addition to gradually getting used to the strange vehicle, your dog must also be adequately secured – for your and his own protection. If you don’t know your dog passenger very well, choosing the right place in the car is not that easy.
But if you take enough time to teach your dog to ride along and find the right spot, it will pay off in the long run. Because this not only makes it easier for you to get through everyday life together, but you and your dog can also go on many beautiful excursions together.
Spring is just around the corner and nature is awakening to new life. The flowers sprout everywhere and attract hungry insects. During this beautiful season, dogs love to romp across the meadows and wallow in the fresh grass. It can happen that these nosy dogs are stung by insects, for example when they step in an anthill or disturbs a wasp nest or beehive. Some insect bites are harmless, while other insect stings can be dangerous for a dog, ranging from mild irritation to life-threatening shock. In this article, you will learn how to properly provide first aid measures if your dog suffers from an insect sting.
First Aid For Insect Bites
I can still remember the situation as if it had just happened yesterday: My dog Luna is digging enthusiastically in a meadow when she suddenly throws herself on the ground and rolls around vigorously. I am amazed and take a closer look: Luna is besieged by wasps! She disturbed a wasps net while digging. Of course, the wasps don’t think that’s funny at all and attack both Luna and me.
The consequence is a bitten dog. Fortunately, this happened right around the corner from a veterinarian who came over immediately and treated Luna as a precaution with allergy drugs and then ordered her to rest.
But what do you do when a vet is not available and your dog has been stung by a wasp, hornet, bee, or bumblebee?
How to Do the Right Thing With Insect Bites In Your Dog
Some dogs are known to snap at insects. If they are stabbed in the mouth or throat in the process, it can be very dangerous for them. But a sting can also happen by chance. Some insects hang around the bowl, especially in summer, and sting your dog while eating or drinking. It can also happen that your dog accidentally steps on an insect.
In the best-case scenario, you will immediately recognize that your dog has been stung. Maybe you see or notice it because he suddenly howls, whines, paws at its face, chews at its foot, or begins to swell in some part of the body.
Other signs of an insect bite in dogs can include:
Rattle and shortness of breath
Please remember that dogs can also be allergic to insect bites. Below you will find out more about the symptoms in the section “This is how you recognize an allergic shock”.
If you notice any unusual behavior in your dog and it is just the insect season, it is best to examine him immediately for any possible insect stings. Bees leave their stingers behind after stinging, but this can also happen with wasps. These left-behind stingers continue to secrete venom into the dog’s body. If you discover a stinger, remove it directly with tweezers or scrape it away with a credit card and flick it off the dog’s coat.
It is usually sufficient to take the following first aid measures:
Soothe the sting site with cold water or an ice pack and press on the affected area for 10 minuets to minimize swelling. Wrap the ice pack with a thin cloth, or otherwise it will get too cold if you press it on one spot for a long time.
Try household remedies such as vinegar or a sliced onion drizzle on the sting site.
To prevent your dog from scratching or licking at the bite wound, use a head cone to avoid infection.
Afterwards, keep an eye on your dog, because as already mentioned, an allergic reaction can also occur. If you are unsure, it is best to take your dog to a nearby veterinary clinic.
If your dog has been bit in the face, throat, or respiratory tract, extra caution is required. This is usually associated with swelling, which can lead to shortness of breath or even suffocation.
In this case, the following measures are important:
If possible, remove the stinger and cool the affected area intensively. Again, you can use cold water or a wrapped cool pack.
If the bite wound is located in the mouth or throat, you can give your dog ice cubes or ice cream to lick. If your dog finds it difficult to eat, feed liquid food to him or mix the dry food with water.
It is now important to monitor your dog very closely and to take him to a veterinarian as quickly as possible when emergency occurs. Under no circumstances should you treat your pet with medication on your own, as some remedies from human medicine are dangerous for dogs.
This Is How You Recognize An Allergic Shock
An allergic shock can be caused by an insect bite, but it can also be caused by medication or food that your dog is allergic to. The degree of allergic reaction varies with dog breeds and the type of insect bites. The symptoms of an allergy are similar to us humans and can manifest themselves as follows:
Severe itching. Your dog may roll in the grass or on the floor in an attempt to scratch at itching area.
Rash / redness
Dizziness. Your dog isn’t alert to the surrounding environment or stumbles.
Shortness of breath. If the swelling occurs in the respiratory passage,
Weakness or even loss of consciousness
Excessive drooling. If the swelling occurs in the throat, your dog finds it hard to swallow its saliva and drools excessively.
Even an initially mild itch can quickly result in life-threatening shortness of breath in the case of an allergy. Therefore, take any signs of an allergic reaction seriously and consult a veterinarian.
In order to keep a calm head in an emergency, it makes sense to take part in a first aid course.
This is How You Can Prevent it
By prevention, I don’t mean that you should destroy or exterminate all the insects around your house. Rather, it’s about taking a few protective measures to avoid insect bites. This includes, among other things, teaching your dog not to snap at insects, preferably from the puppy age. It may look funny, but it can be a real danger for him. For example, praise him when he behaves calmly around a flying animal. This way you reinforce this desired behavior in your dog.
By the way, catching food in the air can increase the chance of snapping at insects. Therefore, it makes sense not to teach your dog this in the first place or to stop doing it again.
Another measure is to clear away your dog’s food bowl during insect season after they have eaten. Hornets and wasps like meat and are attracted by leftovers. You should also check the drinking bowl regularly and remove insects from it.
If your dog has been stung before and you know he is allergic, you should get medication from the vet. Keep this with you so that you can access it quickly in an emergency, even when you’re on the move.
Almost every dog is stung by an insect at some point in its life. Often times, the consequences are harmless and you may not even notice the sting.
However, if your dog has been bit in the neck or throat, it can become life-threatening. An allergic reaction is also possible after an insect bite. Therefore, you should treat the sting immediately and then watch your dog carefully.
Fortunately, a few preventive measures can significantly reduce the risk of a sting.
Gastric torsion in dogs is a serious condition that many dog owners fear. Without any warning, the dog’s stomach rotates or twists – an incident that can be fatal. Since it is important to react quickly in such a case, every dog owner should know the symptoms. In this article, you will learn what a twisted stomach is, how to recognize it, and what first aid measures to be taken.
What is Stomach Torsion and What causes It?
The dog’s stomach is located in the abdomen by two points. The dog’s stomach is not tubular or spherical but a large, muscular, sac-like organ located between the esophagus and small intestine.
If a stomach torsion (also known as volvulus or gastric dilatation) occurs, your dog’s stomach twists on its own, thereby blocking the entry and exit of the stomach and cutting off the blood supply. The constricted blood vessels strain the circulation and gases accumulate in the dog’s stomach, which causes the stomach to bloat and be hard. Since blood stops flowing into the stomach, the tissue is damaged and dies. If the dog is not treated in a timely manner, the stomach wall can no longer withstand the pressure and will leak. If an emergency operation is not carried out early, gastric dilatation leads to an excruciating death within a few hours.
Is My Dog at Risk of Developing Gastric Volvulus?
Medium-sized and large dogs with a deep chest are prone to stomach torsion, but owners of smaller dogs should not feel too safe. Dachshunds, beagles and the like can also suffer from this condition, which is often fatal. After all, 30% of gastric bloat are diagnosed in small to medium-sized dog breeds.
However, dog owners should be particularly careful if their canine companion belongs to the following breeds: Great Dane, German Shepherd, Boxer, Doberman, Irish Wolfhound, Hovawart, Setter, King Poodle, Newfoundland, or St. Bernard. These breeds are particularly often susceptible to a stomach twist.
Another risk factor is age: stomach torsion is more common in older dogs, but young dogs and puppies are also at risk of developing this ailment.
Symptoms: This is How you recognize Gastric Twisting In Your Dog
In order to recognize a stomach torsion as early as possible, you should notice the following symptoms:
Panting, moaning, and profuse drooling
Restless, your dog cannot find a comfortable position and he wants to go out
your dog tries to vomit but nothing comes up
Your dog is shaking or shivering
The abdomen behind the ribs swells and hardens, causing shortness of breath
Your dog is restless and appears apathetic
As the condition progresses, these symptoms also appear:
Faded mucous membranes
An increased heart rate
Heart and circulatory problems
That your dog is trying to throw up but in vain is a pretty clear indicator of stomach torsion. The esophagus is constricted by the stomach rotation, which is why your dog can’t throw up anything. If your dog drinks something at this point, he will vomit the water again within a very short time. Dogs affected by a stomach twist usually lie down and get up again immediately. He is unable to find a comfortable position.
The distended stomach in your dog can put pressure on blood vessels， which lowers his blood pressure and can cause the dog to go to shock. The distension can also place pressure on the diaphragm, preventing the dog from being able to breathe easily.
You can easily see and feel the distension of the stomach from the outside. The front as well as the rear part of the abdomen increase in volume considerably. If you tap lightly on the back ribs or the bulging stomach, you can hear a hollow noise, similar to a drum. Due to the deteriorating circulatory system, your dog appears restless and ultimately apathetic. Your dog’s pulse increases very quickly and sometimes can hardly be felt.
Gastric torsion threatening your dog’s life can develop manifests itself within half an hour to an hour, among other things. Finally, your dog can no longer stand or walk.
What to Do In Case of Stomach Bloat In Your Dog
If your canine companion shows signs that his stomach is upset, take him to a veterinarian immediately. Your dog can only be saved through prompt emergency surgery. If the torsion in the stomach is not treated in time, your dog will die within a few hours.
Despite the possible consequence of the condition, it is important to stay calm: You have to get your dog into a car as quickly as possible because as the condition worsens, it is difficult for the dog to walk on its own. That can become a problem, especially with large and heavy dogs.
If you have a dog at a high risk of gastric dilatation, you should always have at least three phone numbers of veterinarians at hand. In this case, you can have your dog operated on at night within a very short time. It is best to inquire in advance whether the operation can be performed quickly late at night in order to be prepared for an emergency.
This is How the Stomach Torsion is Treated
As a rule, the dog’s circulation is first stabilized by an infusion. The vet will also cure a bloated stomach by pricking through the abdominal wall with a special syringe. With an X-ray, the vet can be certain that the stomach is twisted.
The stabilization is followed by an operation as soon as possible. The dog’s belly is opened and the stomach is untwisted and repositioned. The vet will also empty and rinse the stomach. What’s coming next depends entirely on whether other parts of the stomach or the spleen have been damaged by poor circulation. If the organs are intact, your dog’s belly will be sewn up. Part of the stomach wall is attached to the abdominal wall to prevent the stomach from twisting again. This procedure is called a gastropexy. Although most veterinarians will perform gastropexy after a gastric twist, you should express a desire to have one.
If the spleen or parts of the stomach wall have already died, the vet will have to remove them, which increases the time in operation and significantly reduces the dog’s chances of survival.
Even after the operation, your dog can die within a few days from the consequences of the torsion in the stomach. Intensive observation, care, and follow-up checks are important in the first few days, which is why it makes sense that your dog stays at the vet. A full recovery is likely a few days later.
The death rate from a stomach twist is between 15 and 45 percent. Time plays an important role here: the earlier the dog is treated, the better its chances of survival.
How Can I Prevent A Stomach Torsion In My Dog?
The causes of a gastric torsion have not yet been clear and there are hardly any preventive measures. To reduce the risk of this ailment, you shouldn’t feed your dog one large meal once a day, but several times a day, each time in a smaller portion.
Avoid any physical activities within an hour after feeding your dog. Running around on a full stomach can increase the risk of gastric dilation. Stress is also suspected as a trigger – this should be avoided, especially when eating. Whether these causes will cause a stomach twist has not been proven, so it is only a matter of theories.
For owners with dog breeds susceptible to stomach torsion, there is the option of having a prophylactic gastropexy performed: The dog’s stomach is sewn to its abdominal wall, even though it has not previously suffered from gastric torsion. Since genetic factors can also play a role, this procedure may be worthwhile if your dog’s parents have had a stomach dilatation. You should discuss with your veterinarian whether prophylactic gastropexy is necessary for your dog.
A twisting of the stomach is a serious emergency condition that requires immediate action, which is why it is important to be aware of symptoms and to always know when to contact a veterinarian, even at night. Time is the top priority in curing gastric volvulus in dogs.
When I watch some dogs frolicking or running around, I often wonder if they’re made of rubber. They seem so flexible and agile that I am really impressed. Nevertheless, the bones of our dogs have their limits and can break.
In this article, I will describe how you can recognize a broken bone in your dog and what the correct first aid measures are in such a situation.
First Aid Measures for Broken Bones in Dogs.
Some of you may experience broken bone in your leg or arm and know how painful it is. At one time, I slipped on a flight of stairs and fell heavily to the ground. Ouch, my arm was broken. A dog can also get fractures from falls. An accident or severe biting can also result in this injury. But not all breakages are the same.
A bone can break once and several times. Meanhile, muscles, veins, nerves or tendons are also often damaged. There is a distinction between closed and open fractures. An open fracture is one in which the bone breaks through the skin. Not only do you have to treat the fracture but also the wound.
What to Do In Case of an Broken Bone In Your Dog
Although all sorts of bones can break in a dog, including the ribs, in the following I will mainly explain the measures to be taken for a broken limb. Why? Because you probably won’t be able to diagnose any other fractures yourself.
If you suspect that your dog has suffered internal injuries as a result of an accident, you must take him to a veterinarian immediately. Only there can your dog be x-rayed and examined more closely.
On the other hand, you will most likely recognize a broken limb. Your dog will limp or no longer put any weight on the leg/paw. The injured area may also be severely swollen. Your dog may whine loudly and avoid being touched there. Because a broken bone is so extremely painful, your dog can react very violently. Therefore, for your own protection, you should put a muzzle over your dog so that it can be cared for safely.
What you can do:
To keep the injury from worsening, you need to immobilize your dog. One measure is to keep him on a leash.
To immobilze the fracture, a wooden slat, stick, ruler or rolled up newspaper are suitable. You will also need a long tie to hold the splint in place. The splint helps to keep the injured part still. At the same time, it prevents further injuries from the break.
The aim is not to maneuver the bone back into its original position, which is the vet’s job. You can only support the injured area with a splint and thus prevent deterioration:
First, you pad the broken area with something soft and secure it with a bandage.
Then you attach the splint and secure it with a bandage.
Avoid putting any more weight on the injured leg and drive to the vet as soon as possible!
Tip: Be careful not to tie the splint too tightly. Otherwise, the blood flow will be stopped and the leg could die.
With a broken limb, your dog can no longer walk independently. It means you have to carry it to the car. For a small to medium-sized dog, it is somehow feasible. A carrier can be useful for large, heavy dogs.
In the event of a broken bone in your dog, safety is important in addition to the caring – yours and that of your dog. Make sure you keep him on a leash and put on a muzzle if necessary. The ultimate goal is to get him to a veterinarian, whether with a temporary splint or without. Only in this way can a broken bone be manipulated back into the correct position and treat appropriately.
Again and again, you can read in the news that a dog has to be rescued from an overheated car during the summer months. Many dog owners are not even aware that the temperatures inside a car can skyrocket in a very short time. This can be life-threatening for your dog.
Not only in a car, but also outdoors, too much sun or heat is a danger to your dog. Just like us humans, dogs can also get heatstroke or sunstroke. Therefore, you should know how to protect your dog from the heat and what to do in an emergency.
In this post, I will guide you through the first aid measures for heatstroke and sunstroke in dogs.
Aren’t heatstroke and sunstroke the same thing? No, there is a difference between the two.
Heatstroke is caused by high temperatures that a dog can not escape. In this situation, its body temperature rises to dangerous levels that can damage multiple organs, which can be fatal in the worst case. The decisive factor for heatstroke is the temperature of the environment, not direct sunlight.
The brain of your dog overheats when it suffers from sunstroke. That is not due to the ambient temperature, but rather the direct sunlight on your dog’s head or neck. A sunstroke can also be life-threatening.
Dogs are susceptible to sunstroke because they do not sweat all over their skin just like us. They sweat through their paws and tongue. To cool off when the heat strikes, they pant heavily and lose a lot of body fluids. If they are unable to drink at high temperatures, they can have a circulatory breakdown or heatstroke. It happens not only in the blazing sun but also in the shade for some animals.
For example, a car heats up in no time at high temperatures without being in direct sunlight. The same goes for other shady places where the heat builds up. It is particularly stressful not only for sick dogs, but also for old dogs because their organism is partially weakened. It is therefore important to ensure that they drink enough water and can retreat to a cool place as possible.
But even healthy dogs are troubled by hot temperatures. Therefore, you should never move longer walks or physical activities to lunchtime, but rather to the early morning or evening.
What to do If Your Dog Has a Heatstroke
Of course, it is important that you are aware of a possible heat stroke in your dog. The following symptoms can be a sign of heatstroke:
A very quick and shallow breath
Your dog is staggering with imbalance
Your dog passes out
His body temperature is increased
A rapid pulse
Pale mucous membranes
Your dog is exhausted and reacts sluggishly
What you need to do is cool down your dog. First, make sure that your dog is moved to the shade immediately and offer him cool water (not ice-cold water) to drink. Make sure he drinks slowly instead of drinking a large amount of water at once. It is best to hand him the water in small portions.
Place cool, damp towels around your dog’s neck, head, and groin area. Replace the towels as soon as they get warm. Also, cool his paws and legs with water. Remember to cool your dog from the bottom up, because that protects the circulation. Do not just pour cold water over your dog’s body. This sudden cooling is too huge a burden for the organism and can lead to a collapse of the circulatory system.
If your dog can walk on its own, you can also let it walk carefully through water. Keep a close eye on your pet dog at all times. If your dog passes out, lay him on his side in a stable position.
Important: Is your dog already unconscious or about to lose consciousness? Then you have to cool it faster! It is ideal if you have running cold water to soak it completely wet down to the skin.
If your dog has suffered a heat stroke, it is essential that you take him to a veterinarian after taking the emergency measures.
Sunstroke In Dogs
Sunstroke is a little more insidious than heatstroke. Why? Because it can also take place when the temperature is not that high. The decisive factor is actually the direct sunlight on the head or neck of your dog. It is possible that your dog is sitting in an air-conditioned car, but the sun is still shining directly on its head. Just imagine that you are stuck in a traffic jam for a long time and your dog cannot escape the sun in the car. Despite the pleasant temperature, there is still a risk for him. Overheating can cause swelling in the brain, in which fluid is deposited – a life-threatening situation. Another consequence of sunstroke is meningitis.
It is even possible that your dog suffers from both sunstroke and heatstroke when exposed to both heat and direct sun.
Consequences of Sunstroke In Your Dog
This can range from dehydration to death. The consequences of sunstroke may include:
Multiple organ damage
How to Do the Right Thing In Case of A Sunstroke In Your Dog
Symptoms of sunstroke are similar to those of heatstroke and include the following signs:
Your dog passes out
Stumbles with imbalance
Breathes quickly and shallowly
High pulse rate
High body temperature
Excessive and fluctuating gasps
In contrast to heat stroke, a dog suffering from sunstroke usually has a normal body temperature. However, it is necessary to cool it down as gently as possible with damp cloths and cool water. Self-cooling cold compress is also helpful. Place the towels on the neck and head, and keep the paws and legs wet with cool water. You should never pour a bucket of cold water over the dog. After cooling down, you should take your dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
How to Prevent Heat Stroke or Sun Stroke In Your Dog
Both heatstroke and sunstroke can be avoided if you follow a few basic measures. It is important that you should not infer the body temperature of your dog from your own heat sensation. What is bearable for you may be too much for him. Because dogs sweat differently from us humans, heat is a greater burden for them.
1.Avoid all strenuous activities for your dog in the heat, including sports, intensive interaction with other dogs or yourself.
2.Make sure your dog always has enough water available and can drink at any time – even on the go.
3.Always let your dog walk in the shade on hot days. This also applies if you are talking with other people while walking.
4.Never leave your dog alone in the parked car in hot temperatures. This article explains how your dog can stay alone in the car.
5.Always secure your dog in the shade, not in the sun.
6.When driving a car, make sure that your dog can protect itself from direct sun.
Sunstroke and heat stroke are two emergencies that can be avoided. Should it happen anyway, slow cooling is especially important so as not to overwhelm your dog’s circulatory system. In both cases, it is advisable to go to the vet after taking immediate measures, as the consequences can be life-threatening. During the hot months, you need common sense and take the proper measures so that you and your dog can get through the summer safely.