First Aid for Dog Wounds and Bleeding
My dog is romping around when suddenly she squeals and holds her paw in the air. I look closely at her paw and become aware that she stepped into something sharp, probably a shard. What should I do now? How do I stop the bleeding? And what shouldn’t I do under any circumstances?
In an emergency, all sorts of questions come to mind, aside from the concern for your dog. That can make it difficult to keep you calm and do the right thing.
But which first aid measures are appropriate for dog wounds and bleeding? In this article, I will guide you through some first aid measures for bleeding and bite wounds.
First-aid measures for Dog Bleeding
Heavy bleeding usually results from an accident, a bite, or a fall. If your dog has a bleeding wound, nothing helps: you have to do something! If you have a minor injury, you probably know how to take care of it. But it looks different if your dog is badly wounded.
Like us humans, losing a massive amount of blood can be life-threatening. It is therefore vital to stop massive bleeding as quickly as possible.
What to Do In Case of Your Dog bleeding Heavily
The symptoms of this emergency are clear: your dog has a wound that is bleeding profusely. Massive blood loss naturally affects your pet dog’s cardiovascular system. Therefore, you not only have to stop the bleeding but also keep an eye on the so-called vital signs of your dog.
- The breathing
- The heartbeat
- The body temperature
- The mucous membranes
To know whether your dog’s values differ from his normal, you should know his normal. These can differ a lot from dog to dog, depending on its breed, size, and/or age.
Either you measure these values in your healthy dog yourself or have it done by a veterinarian. It is helpful if you note the values down on a piece of paper or on a phone and take the paper with you. In an emergency, you can assess and compare the vital signs.
But How Do you Stop A Heavy Bleeding?
If possible, you should immediately apply pressure to the artery with your finger. And then use a pressure bandage to stop bleeding in the wound. At home, you should have a first- aid kit with various bandages.
You can follow the steps here:
- You put a sterile fleece on the wound.
- Press a rolled-up gauze bandage onto this fleece.
- Now fix it as tightly as possible with a gauze bandage.
If your dog is injured in one leg, you should raise the leg to a high position when transporting it to the vet to slow down the bleeding.
A pressure bandage is not a permanent solution, but the first aid for emergencies. In the worst case, it can completely squeeze a vein or artery and thus interrupt the entire flow of blood.
If you have applied the pressure bandage to your dog’s limb and it becomes thick, you should loosen the bandage slightly.
Sometimes it may also be necessary to tie off the injured area. You should only do that if a pressure bandage is not enough or the bleeding cannot be stopped. Tying off is feasible on the condition that the wound is on the leg or tail.
You can use whatever is suitable to tie off, for example, a cord, belt, sock, shoelace, or even a gauze bandage.
You can tie the limb, the leg, and above the bleeding area, but not directly on a joint. If the bleeding is on the dog’s tail, tie off directly at the base of the tail. Tie a bow, not a knot. This is the only way to easily open it again.
The affected area is allowed to be tied for a maximum of 10 minutes. Otherwise, it can die due to the lack of oxygen supply.
After these ten minutes, you have to remove the cord/belt/etc. Loosen gently so that the injured part is supplied with oxygen again. You can then tie again, if necessary, for a maximum of 10 minutes.
After you have provided your dog with one of these first-aid measures, you must take the fastest route to a vet.
First-aid Measures for Bite Wounds
Dogfighting usually looks pretty dangerous. Fortunately, many of them are more harmless than they might seem to you. Nevertheless, a bite injury could occur. However, a fight is not always the reason for such an injury. Sometimes one dog suddenly attacks the other dog and bites the latter without much warning.
With every bite wound, you have to clean it thoroughly to avoid infection.
What to Do In Case of A Bite Wound
Sometimes the skin is only slightly injured after a bite, and sometimes the consequences are much worse. Some of the wounds cannot even be noticed from the outside, for example, injured muscles or tendons as well as internal bleeding. If your dog was bitten and its skin was injured, germs can get into the wound. Weeks later, this can lead to nasty inflammation. So take every bite wound seriously, no matter how small, and clean it well.
Here’s what you can do with a bite wound:
- First, you should put your dog on a leash to secure it. The brawl may make him panic and want to run away.
- Examine it closely for bite wounds. To do this, cut away the fur so that you can see and treat possible injuries better.
- Keep in mind that your pet may have bite marks elsewhere. After all, the other dog has fangs in both the upper and lower jaw. Thus, one bite can lead to multiple wounds.
- Depending on the severity of the aftermath of the biting, you may need to treat other injuries such as stopping excessive bleeding.
Do you have a small dog that has been grabbed by the neck and shaken by a large dog? Then that can lead to serious internal injuries and/or an injury to the spine. It is therefore imperative that you drive to a vet after dogfighting.
Such dog bites can lead to a shock, i.e. circulatory failure, in a dog. So keep an eye on your dog and check his vital signs. Signs of shock can include apathetic behavior, an unsteady gait, excessive trembling.
We are all aware that dogs can be injured at any time. In an emergency, however, you will be under double stress because you are not prepared. As a dog owner, you cannot know all the first-aid measures for every conceivable injury. However, you should be informed about the treatment of bite wounds or heavy bleeding and also attend a first aid course. So you know exactly what to do to help your dog properly.