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First aid for a dog [step by step [examples + infographic

First aid of the dog

Dogs are extremely often subject to random accidents.

Sometimes they owe it to their great curiosity about the world, but often they fall victim to the thoughtlessness or cruelty of people.

Almost 60% patients admitted to medical centers constitute so-called emergencies.

Unfortunately, many of them do not survive

The vast majority the most important factor in the success of treatment is time, in which any steps were taken to remove the cause of the threat to life and stabilize (if possible) the condition of the pet.

Therefore, the owners have a great responsibility, because they are usually the first to notice that there is something wrong with the dog.

It is obvious that in critical situations concerning their pet, keepers seek first aid from a veterinarian.

But is there anything you can do yourself to help him?? Can you win against time and essentially increase your friend's chances of survival?

Mostly, yes.

You just need to know what to do and not be afraid. And that's what this article is supposed to do.

After reading it, you will know what to do in a life-threatening situation for your dog.

This study is a kind of continuation and supplement to the article on first aid in cats.

As you will surely notice, dear reader, many situations coincide, as do the states in which representatives of both species may find themselves.

The methods of help are exactly the same, therefore I will not duplicate this information.

If you would like to broaden your knowledge on this subject - I strongly encourage you to read the article "First aid for a cat ".

  • First aid kit for a dog
  • Normal dog's vital signs
    • Internal body temperature
    • The color of the dog's skin and gums
    • Capillary filling time
    • Dehydration test
    • The number of heartbeats per minute
    • Heart rate in a dog
    • The number of breaths a dog has
    • Reactivity
  • Diagram of what to do in a critical situation
    • Security
    • How to immobilize a dog?
    • The 3C rule - quiet, dark, warm
  • First aid for a dog: ways of dressing injuries and wounds
  • Dog First Aid: Wound Management Techniques
    • Paws and fingertips
    • Dressing the dog's limbs
    • Dressing the tail
    • Dressing the ears and head
    • Dressing around the dog's neck
    • Chest and shoulders
    • Hips and sides of the torso
  • First aid in a dog: ways to fix fractures
    • Regardless of the type of fracture
    • First aid for fracture of the dog's spine
    • Broken paw in a dog
    • Pelvic fractures
  • First aid for a dog: critical situations
    • Assessment of the dog's vital signs
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation in a dog
    • 10 kg) "> CPR in medium and large dogs (> 10 kg)
  • Acupuncture in a dog
  • Main ailment
  • First aid for a dog: loss of consciousness
  • First aid for a dog: shock
  • First aid for a dog: bleeding and hemorrhage
  • First aid for a dog: breathing difficulties
  • Extreme internal body temperature
    • Mild hypothermia (body temperature in the range 32.3 - 37.2 ° C)
    • Moderate hypothermia (temperature 27.8 - 32.2 ° C).
    • Overheating of the body - hyperthermia / heat stroke in a dog
  • First aid for a dog: bites and poisoning
    • First aid for poisoning in a dog
    • Substances and products that are dangerous for the dog
  • First aid for a dog: coma
  • First aid for a dog: difficult childbirth
  • First aid for a dog: gastric dilatation and torsion
  • Safe transportation
  • Prevention of problems
    • Sterilize your dog
    • Never leave your dog in the car
    • What is the correct number of breaths for a dog?
    • What is the correct number of heartbeats for a dog?
    • What is your dog's normal body temperature?

First aid kit for a dog

First aid kit

Regardless of the situation you may be faced with, you should always have at your disposal a few tools and materials that are necessary for the provision of pre-veterinary care first aid dog.

Therefore, it is worth preparing a small first aid kit now, in which you can put the basic emergency kit.

For dogs, this will be:

  1. A list of the most important information relating to your dog. It's a good idea to view it on a regular basis and update it as needed. It contains data such as:
    • Telephone number of your dog's vet and on-call hours.
    • Telephone numbers of at least two of the nearest veterinary clinics with 24-hour and holiday duty. Also find out if it is possible for a veterinarian to travel to the scene.
    • Characteristics of the normal vital functions of a dog. It should be prepared when your pet is healthy and regularly updated with any changes. This will require you to systematically (on average once every 3 months) check the dog's vital parameters and compare them to those recorded earlier. Initially it may be difficult for you, but the more often you will "examine " your pet, the easier it will be for you to spot even slight changes in the future (if, of course, such changes occur). Additionally - a regularly updated list is an invaluable help and a great reference point for a veterinarian in a situation where your dog becomes ill (download the list by clicking on this link). Enter the following details in your list:
      • internal body temperature,
      • the color of the skin and gums,
      • capillary filling time (in. capillary time - crt),
      • test results for dehydration,
      • the number of heartbeats per minute,
      • heart rate number,
      • breaths per minute,
      • normal consciousness, way of reacting.
  2. A muzzle (preferably light, openwork, not making it difficult for the animal to breathe and not forcing it to breathe through the nasal cavity) and / or a tape to fix the mouth.
  3. Dressing materials:
    • sterile gauze pads (various sizes),
    • sterile gauze,
    • elastic bandage,
    • knitted bands - various sizes,
    • triangular scarf,
    • wound sealing plasters (various sizes),
    • strong adhesive tape (to immobilize the dog on a stiff surface),
    • protective film,
    • bubble wrap (to immobilize limbs).
  4. Electronic thermometer (with flexible tip).
  5. Scissors with rounded ends.
  6. Narrow tweezers.
  7. Nasal aspirator or blower (to suck up secretions).
  8. A syringe (may be useful for administering liquid medications).
  9. A clean towel or blanket.
  10. Thermal blanket.
  11. Cotton swabs.
  12. A clean cloth.
  13. Sterile saline solution for washing wounds.
  14. Antimicrobial liquid soap for washing wounds.
  15. Wound antiseptic solution (rivanol, octenisept e.t.c.).
  16. Pharmacy gasoline or any other agent that facilitates the removal of patches from the skin.
  17. Vaseline or other greasing agent.
  18. Activated carbon.
  19. Antibiotic ointment (eg. tribiotic).
  20. 3% hydrogen peroxide solution for poisoning.
  21. Liquid paraffin.
  22. An antihistamine preparation (e.g. Claritine - pills, Fenistil - gel).
  23. Antidiarrheal preparation (e.g. Smecta or veterinary product).
  24. A bleeding inhibition powder for use on smaller wounds (e.g. broken claw).
  25. Latex gloves.
  26. A small flashlight.

Normal dog's vital signs

As you have noticed, our handy list includes some data that characterizes a dog's normal vital signs.

They should be assessed when your pet is fully healthy, in a safe, peaceful and familiar place, and a minimum of 30 minutes has passed since walking, playing or excitement.

It is best to make the evaluation at the same time of the day.

Internal body temperature

How to measure your dog's temperature?

How to measure your dog's temperature?

  1. Grease the tip of the thermometer with paraffin or petroleum jelly.
  2. Lift the animal's tail slightly upward, exposing the anus. If the pet is restless, ask another person for help. It should firmly but gently immobilize the pet, holding one hand under its belly in such a way that it does not suddenly sit down during the measurement. If you are taking the temperature of a large dog and he is reasonably calm, you can kneel on one knee and put the other under his abdomen, preventing him from changing position.
  3. Insert the thermometer halfway into the anus of the pet, all the time making sure that the movement is gentle and smooth. Watch out for sudden movements and changes in your friend's position.
  4. After taking the measurement, gently remove the thermometer, wipe it with a tissue and read the result. Disinfect the tip of the thermometer with alcohol.

The normal body temperature of a healthy adult dog while resting varies between 37.5 ° C and 39 ° C.

There is a fairly large relationship between the age, body size and weight of dogs and temperature: Large breed dogs generally have a lower temperature than small breed dogs.

On the other hand, in puppies, body temperature may physiologically be as low as 0.5 degrees higher than in adult dogs.

Also, most hairless dogs exhibit an elevated body temperature (e.g. a naked Peruvian dog is usually approx. 39 ° C).

Obese dogs, on the other hand, tend to have a slightly lower temperature than lean dogs.

Normal body temperature values ​​in dogs:

Adult Dogs Puppies
Small breeds38.5-39.0 ° C38.6-39.3 ° C
Medium breeds38.0-38.6 ° C38.3-39.1 ° C
Large breeds37.4-38.3 ° C38.2-39.0 ° C

Temperature abnormalities that you may encounter:

  • Temperature 39.1-39.3 ° C - low-grade fever.

It's not too bad yet.

An elevated body temperature is a sign that something is happening in your body that it is trying to cope with.

Sometimes, after intense play, exercise or strong excitement, the body temperature rises, only to return to normal after a while.

However, if low-grade fever persists, consult your veterinarian, follow his advice and monitor body temperature at least once a day until it reaches reference values.

  • Temperature 39.3 -39.4 ° C - fever. In case of high temperature, contact your veterinarian, preferably on the same day.
    • Temperature 39.3 - 39.4 ° C - low fever.
    • Temperature 39.5 - 40 ° C - moderate fever.
    • Temperature 40.5-41 ° C - high fever.
  • Temperature higher than 41 ° C is a critical situation - requires Immediate visit to the veterinary clinic and taking steps to defeat it.
  • Temperature 41.7 ° C - that's it agonal state. Such a high internal body temperature leads to irreversible changes in the body and, consequently, to the death of the animal.
  • Temperature 37-35 ° C and less - the state of cooling down the body known as hypothermia. It is not always a symptom of a disease - sometimes a dog stays in an environment with a low ambient temperature (e.g. in windy, winter weather, which is additionally accompanied by snowfall). However, it is often the first symptom of serious disorders, so if you find that your body temperature is lower than normal, you should always consult a veterinarian.
    • Temperature 32.3 - 37.2 ° C - mild hypothermia.
    • Temperature 32.2 - 27.8 ° C - moderate hypothermia.
    • Temperature lower than 27.8 ° C - severe hypothermia.

The color of the dog's skin and gums

What should be the color of the dog's gums?

This parameter is very easy to assess and, at the same time, crucial for monitoring important vital functions of the animal.

You should never give up on it, because - while in critical situations you can skip the temperature measurement and assess it subjectively by applying the outer surface of the hand to the dog's body - any sudden change in the color of the mucous membranes may require an immediate reaction from the owner, even before it arrives. he with the victim to the doctor.

Leather color should be judged where the fur is least abundant:

  • armpits,
  • groin,
  • belly.

Normal skin is light or pigmented (depending on dog breed).

Sometimes it is difficult to judge the skin color in dogs, so it is best to judge the color of the mucous membranes.

Gently lift the animal's lip and evaluate the color of the gums.

In proper conditions it should be pink, and any deviation from this rule should be consulted with a veterinarian.

Many dogs have pigmented gums (brown or black), so if you can't find even a small pink spot on the gums or the medial surface of the lips, try gently pressing your thumb against the medial corner of your dog's eye.

A small fragment of the conjunctiva should then become visible (veterinarians assess the color of the mucous membranes in this way).

If this is difficult to do, try to inspect the vaginal mucosa (gently open the labia's labia) or the foreskin (you can gently "fold " the tip of the dog's foreskin).

When assessing the mucous membranes, it is worth paying attention to them humidity.

Differentiating whether the mucosa is correct or incorrect in color and moisture will allow you to judge if your dog needs veterinary help:

  • Pale, white, gray or porcelain mucous membranes can be a signal anemia or shock. They are usually one of the first symptoms hypothermia, inundation, swallowing a foreign body, bites by wasps or bees, flatulence, smoke poisoning and many other serious diseases, so when you find them, do not delay visiting a veterinarian.
  • Blue or livid mucous membranes - a fairly typical symptom respiratory problems, which occur e.g. as a result smoke poisoning, suffocation, inundation, attack asthma (rare in dogs), hypothermia, and even cardiac arrest. In such a situation, an immediate visit to the doctor is necessary. However, it should be remembered that in some breeds of dogs (e.g. chow-chow) the blue discoloration of the tongue and gums is typical and is not a disease symptom in them.
  • Cherry or bright red mucous membranes occur at carbon monoxide poisoning or in the course heat stroke. Bright red tongue may point to overheating, foreign body swallowing or choking. A visit to the veterinarian is necessary.
  • Yellow mucous membranes, gums (often also skin) - indicate evident liver problems and jaundice . The dog should be examined as soon as possible.
  • "Dirty" or Brown mucous membranes could be a sign sepsis.
  • The viscosity of the mucous membranes may be the result dehydration, Burns, swallowing a foreign body, shock, collapse, smoke poisoning and many other. This should not be underestimated and the symptom should be consulted with a vet as soon as possible.
  • Excessive salivation and very moist mucosa oral cavity can be the result irritation of the oral mucosa, poisoning or even stomach twist.
  • In turn, dry mucous membranes are a symptom dehydration.

Capillary filling time

When examining the mucous membranes, you should also evaluate capillary time.

This is the time when the capillary blood vessels in the mucosa fill up with blood again after pressing a finger on the gum area. Capillary time is an extremely important parameter determining the efficiency of the circulatory system.

How to assess the capillary time (crt) in a dog?

  1. Unwrap the dog's lip just like you did when assessing the color of the mucosa.
  2. Find a pink, unpigmented area and apply pressure to it gently but firmly, leaving a whitish mark when you lift your finger away. This temporarily squeezes blood out of the capillaries and stops its flow there.
  3. Count the time from the moment the pressure is removed from the gum until its color aligns with the rest of the mucosa. This is the time when the blood vessels will fill with blood again.

Correctly, the capillary time should be 1-2 seconds (according to some authors, 1-1.5 seconds).

  • When capillary time you define on about 2-3 seconds - Your dog may not be in the best condition. It is possible dehydration, heart disease, powerful ache, hypothermia, hypoxia or shock. Contact with a doctor is recommended.
  • When capillary time totals more than 3 seconds this is a sign of serious trouble and you must go to the clinic immediately! Your dog might be dehydrated and / or in shock.
  • When capillary time is less than 1 second this is a critical situation. You must take your pet to the doctor as soon as possible as it may pass heatstroke, sepsis or be in phase shock.

Dehydration test

Dehydration is a pathological condition in which the body's water level drops below the level required for proper functioning.

This situation is life-threatening for your dog and you must show it to the doctor as soon as possible.

Among the many causes of dehydration, the following should be mentioned:

  • diarrhea,
  • vomiting,
  • prolonged fever,
  • insufficient water intake (especially in periods of increased water demand, e.g. during hot weather or long-term training),
  • when treating heart failure with diuretics.

The first symptom of dehydration is loss of skin elasticity and this is the trait that is judged when checking the degree of dehydration.

How to check if your dog is dehydrated?

  1. Grab the dog's skin fold just behind the head at the base of the neck. This is where the skin tends to be at its loosest.
  2. Pull the skin back a little while slightly tensing it.
  3. Let go of the fold and evaluate how long the skin is returning to its place.

Under the right conditions, if your dog is properly hydrated, the skin immediately returns to its place when stretched.

The longer it takes to correct a fold of the skin, the more dehydrated your pet is.

If the skin has not flinched after pumping and still remains in an unusual position - you must take your dog to a doctor.

The number of heartbeats per minute

It is important that you learn to measure your pet's heartbeat correctly, as in critical situations his life can depend on it.

So please take the time to master this skill.

How to measure your dog's heartbeat count?

  1. Place your dog in a position that is comfortable for him. You can also test a standing animal.
  2. Put your hand on his left chest, just behind the bend of the left front paw.
  3. When you feel a rhythmic heartbeat, count it within 15 seconds.
  4. Multiply the result by 4. It is the number of beats your heart beats per minute.
  5. To be sure that you have taken the measurement correctly, repeat it 2 or 3 times and then average the result.
  6. You can also put your ear to your pet's chest and try to hear its heartbeat. However, this method of heart rate assessment may not work for you when you need to assess your heart rate in noisy, anxious surroundings.

The correct number of heartbeats / min in a dog:

Adult Dogs Puppies
Small breeds90-120 (up to 160)100-125
Medium breeds70-9085-120
Large breeds60-8080-115
The correct number of heartbeats / min in a dog

Note that the heart rate of puppies is higher than that of adult dogs - it can vary by as much as 20-40 strokes.

In many medical conditions or after accidents, your heart rate may slow down too much or too much.

Both of these conditions are very disturbing and you should show your quadruped to the vet as soon as possible.

Possible heart rate abnormalities:

  • Tachycardia - tachycardia. Its common causes include dehydration, ache, hypoxia, electrolyte disturbances, sepsis, anemia, stress, overactive thyroid gland and heart failure. This is a condition where the heart rate is:
    • > 160 bpm in large breed dogs
    • > 180 impacts / min. in small breed dogs
    • > 200 impacts / min. in puppies
  • Bradycardia - bradycardia. We talk about it when the heart rate is slow and the number of heartbeats is less than 60 / min. It happens as a result of: electrolyte disturbances, adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroidism, poisoning organophosphorus compounds, advanced hypothermia; bradycardia it also appears in the course heart disease, urethral obstruction, conduction disorders in the heart muscle, by overdosing on certain medications (e.g. opioids) or excessive tension of the vagus nerve.
  • Cardiac arrest is a critical situation and requires immediate action resuscitation!

Heart rate in a dog

A valuable skill is to assess your pet's heart rate. The best place to measure it is femoral artery.

How to check your dog's heart rate?

  1. Put the dog on its side, place the index and middle fingers against the skin of the medial surface of the dog's thigh, fairly close to the groin (about halfway along the femur). Do not use a thumb that has a heart rate and can easily be mistaken for a dog's thumb.
  2. Gently press on this area to look for a pulse. Don't be disheartened if you don't manage to feel your pulse right away - this is a difficult art, but once you find your pulse, you won't have a problem reassessing it. You should feel a gentle and rhythmic throbbing under your fingers.
  3. First, try to count the number of heartbeats in 15 minutes. Multiply the result by 4 and compare it to the one you got when determining the number of heartbeats. You can do these two activities at the same time - one hand on the chest and the other on the dog's thigh. In a healthy, calm dog, the heart rate should correspond to that of the heart.
  4. Then focus on the quality of the pulse wave - it should be well felt, rhythmic, symmetrical (i.e. the same on both pelvic limbs) and should correspond to the heartbeat.

Heart rate abnormalities you may encounter:

  • Too strong jumping pulse - can accompany the first stage shock.
  • Poor heart rate - referred to as threadlike pulse - usually occurs in shakes, by pneumothorax, could be a sign fluid in the pericardial sac.
  • Heart rate missing - that is, when the heartbeat is not accompanied by a palpable pulse wave - it is usually found with various types arrhythmias.
  • No Pulse Wave:
    • If no heartbeats can be felt in the chest as well, the heart has stopped beating. Start CPR immediately!
    • If you are experiencing heartbeats but still don't feel your pulse - see your vet as soon as possible.

The number of breaths a dog has

To count your dog's breaths, watch his chest movements. If the breaths are equal, you can count them in 15 seconds and multiply the result by 4.

Normal number of breaths / min for a dog:

Adult Dogs Puppies
Small breeds15-1822-25
Medium breeds14-1721-24
Large breeds13-1620-23
Correct number of breaths / min for a dog

When assessing breathing, take into account the environment in which the animal is located (dogs breathe in hot weather and it is completely natural) and the current state of activity (dogs after play, exercise, emotional agitation or in the presence of a bitch in heat have an increased number of breaths, which should return to the physiological value after the stimulus causing it ceases).

Also remember that fatty individuals and pregnant bitches breathe faster.

Under normal conditions, the dog breathes calmly, quietly and easily (exception - short-skulled breeds, in which the characteristic snoring and wheezing are heard).

You may encounter the following abnormalities that should be consulted with a doctor as soon as possible:

  • Increased breaths per minute - may be one of the first symptoms respiratory problems and, if the dog's condition deteriorates, should be examined by a veterinarian.
  • Significant panting, putting your elbows to the sides, a relieving position with an outstretched head and neck - this is a critical situation! Your dog shows the first symptoms of failure respiratory .
  • Symptoms of j.in. and additionally a dog gets tired, breathes through the open mouth, gasping for air, the gums turn blue - emergency situation! Animal due to respiratory failure chokes .
  • Slow, shallow breathing, the dog begins to lose consciousness - respiratory collapse! Be prepared for the need to carry out artificial respiration.
  • Hold your breath - necessary artificial respiration and immediate medical attention!


How to determine your dog's reactivity?

Healthy dogs, staying in a familiar and liked environment, are calm and relaxed, show a normal state of consciousness and normal reactions to stimuli reaching them.

They are said to be conscious and reactive.

Depending on the type of stimuli - they can be curious, animated, excited, etc.

Since your dog is with you 365 days a year, you are the best to judge what his normal response is.

In the event of a disease, the degree of reaction to stimuli from the external environment it decreases with the advancement of changes.

How to find out how aware a dog is?

  1. First, check if he responds to auditory stimuli. Call him by name, whistle him, clap his hands.
  2. Now it's time for visual stimuli - throw the ball and see if your eyes are following it, take a small ball of cotton wool and drop it in front of his nose.
  3. Finally, gently squeeze his fingertips - he should immediately withdraw his paw.

The following degrees of consciousness can be distinguished:

  • Conscious - normal condition. The mental state of the pet can be described as alive, alert. The dog is interested in the environment, reacts to its name. Both his awareness and excitability to stimuli are normal.
  • Depression - depression / sadness. Dog is conscious but inactive. He reacts to visual and auditory stimuli, but weaker and without enthusiasm. Is dejected, sometimes confused.
  • Stupor - the dog sleeps when not disturbed, does not react to harmless stimuli (such as noise), but wakes up to pain stimuli. Activity significantly decreased, he sleeps most of the day.
  • Coma - does not respond to any stimuli (visual, auditory and painful), he fails to wake him up.

Any abnormalities in your dog's mental state should be consulted with a veterinarian.

In most diseases, one of the first symptoms is apathy, however, disturbances in consciousness can take many forms and appear suddenly.

One note to summarize the paragraph about the dog's vital signs.

Regardless of the values ​​given by me, if your pet is healthy and some of the parameters are slightly different from the norm, then is not cause for concern. All values ​​are averaged, and there is always a certain percentage of dogs with individual traits.

Diagram of what to do in a critical situation

When we see an emergency, we usually panic.

We don't know where to start, what to focus on first.

We want to help the animal, but we don't really know if our activities will harm it.

In such situations, certain patterns of conduct work great, thanks to which nothing escapes our attention and we will be sure that we do everything according to the plan.

So what should you do when witnessing an accident or emergency involving your pet??

  1. Take care of your own safety, the safety of the injured animal and third parties.
  2. Be prepared to immobilize your pet or restrain it.
  3. The 3C rule - quiet, dark, warm.
  4. Recognize if the emergency you are witnessing is also a life-threatening situation:
    • Find out if there are any disorders that require immediate medical attention and deal with them first.
    • Assess vital signs
  5. Perform CPR (if necessary).
  6. Recognize the main ailment and remove the triggering factor if possible:
    • Stop the bleeding.
    • Take care of the wounds.
    • Immobilize fractures.
    • Treat other ailments.
  7. Call the clinic and inform about the situation; tell me you're on your way to them. Let the staff be prepared.
  8. Safely transport your dog to the veterinary clinic


Before you start helping an injured animal, you must ensure proper conditions.

The moment at which you decide to act is also the moment when you take full responsibility for yourself, the quadruped and third parties involved in the event.

Therefore, always properly recognize the situation and adapt your activities to the prevailing conditions.

If you witness a car accident involving an animal and the situation is in a busy street, please take care of your pet's safety first safety of other road users.

Remember about the warning triangle, take your dog quickly and efficiently from the scene, and if it is impossible, properly secure the nearest area.

You have to be careful, because the animal in panic will want to run away, thus not only risking its life, but also posing a huge threat on the road.

Such situations require a calm but firm and deliberate approach.

Then it is worth asking other drivers for help.

If you are helping an injured dog, follow the rule limited trust. Even if it is your own pet that you raised from a puppy, remember that an animal in shock and pain can bite severely.

Therefore, prepare yourself muzzle and quite large blanket, you can wrap it with.

In this way, you will not only protect yourself and other people, but also prevent additional injuries to your person.

How to immobilize a dog?

Proper immobilization of the dog is not only to ensure safety, but also minimizes the risk of additional injuries caused by the dog's uncoordinated movements and panic, as well as facilitates all rescue activities.

First of all, you should protect yourself against possible biting:

Muzzle for a Dog

It is best if it is light, does not make it difficult for the animal to breathe and allows it to gawk (e.g. in hot weather).

Dog mouth strap

In a situation where you do not have a muzzle at your disposal, you can use any strip of material (bandage, long and strong ribbon, or even tie).

Tie the dog's jaw with it, tying a single knot on the upper surface of the muzzle (a second person will come in handy).

Then put the ends of the material under the mandible and tie it again. The last step is to put the ends of the strap on the dog's neck (just behind the ears) and tie it in a bow or knot.

Such immobilization of the jaws, however, requires quick action and the time during which the pooch's face is tied should not be unnecessarily prolonged (especially in patients in a serious general condition).

Elizabethan collar for the dog

Dog collar

For short-skulled dogs (Pekingese, bulldogs and other) putting on a muzzle or a band can be problematic, especially since most of these dogs often suffer from respiratory syndrome and their breathing should not be additionally difficult.

In such a situation, the assumption may work well protective collar (of course, provided that no manipulation of the head is performed).

There is no one perfect method of immobilizing a dog.

It all depends on the type and location of the injury, as well as the size and even breed of the injured dog.

Therefore, below I present a few techniques, the selection of which will depend on a specific situation:

Immobilization on the side

  1. Lay the dog on its side with the injured area facing up.
  2. You should be behind the dog's back so that with your right hand you firmly grasp its right front paw (i.e. the one that is "under " the dog).
  3. Hold it tightly without letting it release.
  4. With the forearm of the right hand, gently press the dog's shoulder against the ground. The pressure should be gentle, but constant and firm (the injured pooch will most likely struggle and if you just loosen the pressure, he will definitely take advantage of it).
  5. Put your left hand around both pelvic limbs of the dog, more or less at the height of the ankles, and with the forearm press the pooch's hip to the ground.

This method works well with large and medium-sized dogs, and breeds with shallow sockets (e.g. Pekingese), where the use of other techniques may be risky (holding the neck firmly may result in the eyeball falling out).

Immobilization by stretching

The method used in small dogs.

Place the pet on the table, grab the skin on the nape of the neck with one hand and the hind limbs with the other and gently stretch the pooch.

You won't hurt your pet, but some dogs (especially miniature breeds) are panicky with this method.

Immobilization of a standing animal

The method is intended for dogs medium and large (above 10kg).

  1. With one hand, wrap the dog's neck from below, gently grasping the back of the neck with your hand.
  2. With the other hand, put your hand around his chest, pressing it tightly against you.

Immobilization with the knees

For small dogs, especially Pekingese (risk of eyeball loss) firmly grasping the neck is not recommended.

It is safer for them to use this method.

  1. Lay your pooch on the floor between your knees, head facing outwards.
  2. Gently press the sides of the animal with the thighs, preventing it from moving.
  3. Place one hand on the dog's head and hold the other jaw down. This way, you will immobilize his head while dressing the wounds.

Sometimes, in the case of small, very nervous dogs, it is worth wrapping them in a blanket or a towel, leaving only the area that you want to treat.

Remember to speak to him gently and reassuringly when carrying out any activities with the injured pet.

The dog may be nervous, agitated, panicked, painful, and reacting aggressively.

You need to stay calm and try to control your fear, as these emotions have the strongest effect on your pet, reinforcing its fear and the desire to run away.

The 3C rule - quiet, dark, warm

The 3C rule - quiet, dark, warm

It is extremely important that during all activities performed with an injured animal, it is provided with appropriate conditions.

Remember that an injured or sick dog (in most cases) is upset, panic often sets in.

Depending on the type and extent of the damage, he is most likely also in pain.

A frightened animal does not know what is happening to it, it behaves instinctively and often - as a result of uncoordinated and chaotic body movements - can cause itself even greater harm.

It is you who must take care of its safety. The basic conditions that you should provide for him are:

  • Peace and quiet. Dogs are incredibly absorbing emotions from people. If you are nervous or, worse, panicked, cool down and try to calm down. Then move (carefully!) the dog in a quiet place, away from an excessive number of people and disturbing external stimuli.
  • Appropriate conditions temperature surroundings. In the vast majority of cases, injured dogs experience a drop in body temperature (especially if there is a risk of developing shock). Keep it warm - wrap it in a blanket, put it on a warm hot water bottle.
  • Excessive lighting, flashes of lamps can further intensify the dog's panic. Therefore, it will be most appropriate to place it in a place where the light intensity will be lower. Dogs calm down in twilight conditions, so try to give them that. Sometimes closing a smaller dog in a dark carrier (eg. on the way to the doctor) can mute him.

First aid for a dog: ways of dressing injuries and wounds

Ways of treating dog injuries and wounds

An injury is any damage to a dog's body.

The variety of injuries is huge, but the most common ones are:

  • traffic accident,
  • animal fight,
  • being bitten or scratched by another animal,
  • snares,
  • kicked by a horse,
  • burns,
  • shot with a firearm or an arrow with a bow,
  • misuse of the dog.

Unfortunately, trauma is one of the most common causes of death in small animals.

These statistics can be improved through faster and better organization of first aid to the injured dog.

You need to become aware of how much depends on taking action as soon as possible after an injury is noticed.

The dog enters the phase ofgolden hour ", Which is the first hour after an injury or massive injury.

It is also the first critical period in which a pet may die if life-threatening symptoms are not properly recognized and stabilized.

The second such period occurs more or less in sequence 3-4 hours after the injury, but such lesions are usually already treated in the veterinary clinic.

The third period occurs after 3-5 days.

In general, injuries can be divided into:

  • Blunt injuries:
    • collision with a car,
    • kick by a horse,
    • improper use,
    • fall from height or from a moving vehicle, etc.
  • Perforating injuries:
    • bullet wounds,
    • piercing with an arrow,
    • puncture of a foreign body,
    • animal bite wounds.

Regardless of the type of wound, remember a few key rules:

  • Bleeding from a wound is a natural instinct to allow washing out of dangerous material. It is the first cleansing mechanism that removes harmful particles and microorganisms from the wound as the blood flows out of the wound.
  • Never rinse or clean wounds that bleed heavily - that can only make the haemorrhage worse. Instead of this apply gauze to the bleeding area and press hard.
  • Damage from which blood is not leaking should be done as soon as possible clean and protect against contamination.
  • If the hair around the wound is long, trim it with an electric trimmer or scissors with rounded edges. This will substantially facilitate further wound management and prevent re-contamination.
  • Wash the wound cool, sterile physiological fluid solution. Try not to touch the wound (injured areas hurt and these activities will definitely defend the animal). If you don't have saline, use boiled, cool water.
  • Sanitize the injured area antiseptic solution (rivanol, octenisept). Do your best do not use hydrogen peroxide - it causes a burning sensation and unnecessarily increases the pet's discomfort.
  • Always check that the dressing is not too tight. If you notice that the paw below the bandage is warmer and swollen, immediately change the dressing without tightening it too much.
  • Prevent the dressing from being licked off or attempted to pull off by the dog. Sometimes it is necessary to wear an Elizabethan collar around the neck of an animal.
  • Change the dressing daily, sanitizing the wound each time.

Dog First Aid: Wound Management Techniques

How to dress a wound in a dog?

Paws and fingertips

  1. Prepare a sterile gauze or gauze pad (adjust the material to the size of the dog and the extent of the damage). Unfold it along its entire length, but the width should match the size of the paw (usually 5-10 cm).
  2. Then fold the gauze in half, put the dog's paw on it so that half of the gauze protrudes in front of the toes.
  3. Bend the dressing material just above the paw.
  4. Wrap the whole thing with a bandage, working from the bottom upwards.
  5. Finish the bandaging on the top (usually just above the wrist or ankle joint) by covering the top of the dressing with a plaster. Try to stick some of the plaster to the hair as well, so that the dressing does not slip off too quickly.
  6. It is important that the dressing is not applied too tightly. You can check this by sliding a pencil between the skin and the dressing material. If you can't do this, chances are your dressing is too tight.
  7. Finally, put a cotton sock on the dressing and stick it with a plaster to the animal's skin.

Dressing the dog's limbs

How to dress a dog's paw?
  1. Put a sterile gauze pad on the injured limb.
  2. Then wrap the gauze with a bandage.
  3. Secure the whole thing with a plaster on both edges of the dressing so that it does not slip off when the animal is moving.
  4. You can slide a sock or a stocking over the dressing material, matching the size of the limb.

Dressing the tail

  1. Put a gauze pad on the injured tail, wrap it with a bandage, the ends of which stick to the skin with a plaster.
  2. Slide the sock over all the way so that it covers most of the tail.
  3. Attach it with patches to the animal's skin, extending 5 cm above the sock.
  4. Then work the patch back to the end of the tail. Do not tighten the patch too tightly.

Dressing the ears and head

How to dress a dog's head?

If one or both ears are injured, it is best to bandage the entire head.

  1. Put a sterile gauze pad or gauze to the injured ear, place the ear on top of the dog's head.
  2. Place the other ear on top in the same way to form a kind of a bonnet on top of the dog's head.
  3. Secure the dressing with a bandage by wrapping it around the head and sticking it with a plaster to the hair.

Dressing around the dog's neck

  1. Place a sterile gauze over the cleaned wound and fix it by wrapping the dog's neck with a bandage.
  2. Make it hard enough so that the dressing does not slip off, but loosely so that it does not obstruct the animal's breathing.
  3. Secure the dressing with a plaster, also sticking it to the hair.

Chest and shoulders

  1. After applying a dressing to the wound, secure it by wrapping it in a "figure-eight" around the chest, first behind and then in front of the front paws.
  2. Attach the ends of the bandage to the dog's skin with a plaster.

Hips and sides of the torso

  1. Put a bandage on the sterile dressing, wrapping it in a "figure-eight" around the body - first in front of and then behind the hind limbs, from time to time also passing the bandage between the hind legs.
  2. Secure the bandage with a plaster.

To make it easier for you dressing a wound in a dog we have prepared the following infographic. Please share as it is important.

Dressing wounds in a dog Infographics | What's in the Squeaky Hair

First aid in a dog: ways to fix fractures

Broken bones can happen in many situations.

Most often it is the result of a car accident, a fall from a great height, hitting or squeezing a door.

Virtually any bone can break, but in dogs it is the most common limb fractures and pelvis. The most common fractures of the limbs and pelvis occur in dogs

Closed fractures (i.e. fractures in which the continuity of the skin has not been broken) are sometimes difficult to spot.

How to recognize a fracture in a dog?

The animal's lameness or limping, as well as swelling of the broken limb, are noticeable.

Sometimes it can only be said that the broken part of the body is held by the dog at a strange angle or "sticks out" unnaturally.

Open fractures are more difficult and dangerous, when the bone fragment breaks through the tissues and skin, often accompanied by profuse bleeding.

In such situations, the dog should be taken to the clinic as soon as possible, because mobile bone fragments can damage vital organs and tissues, as well as increase bleeding, which inevitably leads to shock and immediate danger to life.

Radius and elbow in the forelimb and sagittal and tibia in the hind limb are the longest bones that open fractures most often.

If, while viewing the dog, you see a break in the skin above a suspicious-looking paw, you must always suspect an open fracture.

As a result of a car hitting the dog, it may happen rib fractures or spine.

A broken rib can damage the lung and disruption of the spinal cord can kill the dog.

Here's how you can help your dog if you suspect a broken bone.

Regardless of the type of fracture

  1. Check that the dog is breathing and that you can feel its heartbeat. Be prepared to perform CPR.
  2. Assess the dog for signs of shock. If so, do it first.
  3. Control bleeding or haemorrhage at open fractures.
  4. Do not try to adjust the fractures yourself. The only help is to immobilize the limb.
  5. Before immobilizing the limb, open fractures should be rinsed with clean physiological fluid, and exposed bone elements should be covered with a sterile gauze moistened with sterile fluid (this will prevent the tissues from drying out and contaminating them again).

First aid for fracture of the dog's spine

It can be difficult to judge at times, however - if you witness an accident involving your dog, you may have a fracture of the spine when you notice that:

  • the dog cannot walk,
  • he pulls his hind legs behind him,
  • holds the head in an unnatural way (it can be twisted, twisted),
  • passes urine and feces unknowingly,
  • there is no feeling in the fingertips in the fore or hind limbs (you can check it by pinching it firmly or pricking it with a needle).

Whether or not it is actually happening, it is better to assume that the spine has been injured and handle the animal appropriately.

  1. Take your dog to the doctor immediately, but do this very carefully so that - if possible - the damaged part of the body did not move.
  2. An animal with a damaged spine should be transported to a doctor on a hard, rigid surface:
    • You can carry a small dog on a board or in a plastic carrier.
    • For a large dog, even consider using an ironing board.
  3. Place the item on which you will carry the dog next to him. Before that, gently slide a sheet, blanket or towel under your pet when it is lying. By stretching and pulling gently on the fabric, slide the animal onto the board. For a large dog, ask someone to help you. Do not lift the dog, try to pull it onto the transport surface with a smooth movement.
  4. In a situation where you do not have a sufficiently large, stiff material, move it gently on a blanket, but try to tighten the material as much as possible during the transfer to minimize body deformation.
  5. Restrict the pet's movements during transport. If necessary, fasten the dog with strong tape to the surface on which it is lying (affix the tape across the torso just behind the front legs and just in front of the hind legs).

Broken paw in a dog

First aid for breaking a dog's paw

If you suspect your pet has broken a leg, you should first of all immobilize the limb.

This prevents the bone fragments from further damaging nerves and soft tissues, controls bleeding and minimizes pain.

You can make temporary immobilization rails from any rigid material:

  • cardboard,
  • a rolled up newspaper,
  • color magazines,
  • sticks,
  • rolled towel.

It is a very good material protective film with air bubbles. Remember, however, that a temporary immobilization brace will not heal the fracture; it only prevents further injury from occurring before reaching the veterinarian.

  1. The fracture should be stabilized in such a way that the joints below and above the injury were completely stiffened.
  2. Wrap the limb with a soft cloth (eg. with a bandage or a soft, small towel), then put a rolled newspaper, a stick of appropriate length or a strip or any other stiff material to the paw. Wrap the whole with an elastic bandage. Start wrapping from the foot working your way up. Leave your fingers exposed to check for swelling. If this happens - you need to loosen the bandage. Remember - don't adjust, pull or straighten broken bones. The only purpose of the rail is to prevent the dog from bending and moving the broken limb.
  3. If you have bubble wrap, you can wrap it around the limb and secure it with plaster.
  4. Safely transport your dog to the vet.

Pelvic fractures

If you see your dog is unable to walk and you suspect there may be a pelvic bone injury, you must absolutely limit the pet's movement.

It is best if you lock him in the smallest possible cage or transport and transport him to the clinic.

First aid for a dog: critical situations

You already know how to properly assess your dog's condition.

This skill can significantly affect the effectiveness and speed of giving first aid dog in a critical situation.

However, when we are dealing with it and how to distinguish whether the condition in which your pet is actually requires immediate medical intervention, or you can still wait for a visit to the doctor and try to help your pet yourself?

What to do immediately and what to do next?

Let's start with what we mean by "emergency ".

This is nothing more than an injury or disease condition of the animal which, in the opinion of the owner, requires immediate veterinary attention.

However, it should be remembered that not every emergency is also a life-threatening condition. And here it is essential to know how to distinguish between the two situations.

Assessment of the dog's vital signs

This is important as it gives you information on how serious your pet is.

  1. Assess the dog's level of awareness - call him by name, snap your fingers over his ear and see if he responds.
  2. Check how he is breathing - if he has a breathing problem? Here the principle works: I can hear - see - feel. Hear the dog's breathing by putting his ear to his nostrils, see the chest movements as he breathes, and feel the breath of the exhaled air on your hand or cheek.
  3. Assess if gingival color and capillary time might indicate shock?
  4. Do you feel your pulse?
  5. Can you feel your heartbeat?

When witnessing an accident, injury or any other emergency, first rate your priorities.

The most important thing is to assess whether your pet is showing symptoms that are immediately life-threatening. These are:

  • Cardiac arrest, no pulse!
  • Respiratory arrest, palpable pulse!
  • Loss of consciousness!
  • Shock - pale mucous membranes, rapid breathing, weak, increased heart rate, cold skin!
  • Difficulty breathing!
  • Puncture or a large wound to the chest!
  • Puncture or a large wound in the abdomen!
  • Profuse bleeding!
  • Body temperature too high or too low!
  • Direct action of poison, bites!

If you find any of the above, you must take action.

You can't wait to help because every second counts!

There is no time to waste here and these are the most important symptoms that you should deal with first.

A visit to the doctor is absolutely necessary, but before you get there, try to help the dog.

First aid dog give even in the car (if you are not the driver of course).

If you find that the injured dog does not have these symptoms, you can move on to the next assessment point.

Observe if your dog has any other disorders that require quick action. They can be, for example.:

  • Seizure attack.
  • Coma.
  • Head damage.
  • Acute paralysis or paresis.
  • Inability to urinate.
  • Difficult childbirth.
  • Intense vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Burns.
  • Fractures.
  • Traffic injuries (animal injured in a car accident).
  • Fall from a great height.
  • Separation of the edges of the surgical wound.
  • Frostbites.
  • Flooding.
  • Smoke poisoning.
  • Electric shock.
  • Dilation and torsion of the stomach.
  • Sudden ophthalmic conditions - eyeball prolapse, glaucoma, exophthalmos.

If you observe them in your pet, make an effort give the dog pre-veterinary first aid and take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

But remember: even if you find other injuries, such as. open bone fractures and your dog presents a life-threatening condition, e.g. not breathing, immediately begin the action to restore breathing!

You will deal with the broken paw later - after stabilizing the condition of your pet.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation in a dog

Carry it out if your dog is in respiratory and / or circulatory arrest.

It is usually caused arrhythmia (as a result of heart disease or other systemic diseases).

In most animals, it is associated with respiratory diseases, such as:

  • pneumonia,
  • laryngeal paralysis,
  • cancer,
  • effusion in the lung cavity.

It very often occurs as a result of a strong trauma.

How to recognize it?

The classic symptoms of cardiac and respiratory arrest include:

  • lack of breath and cyanosis,
  • no palpable pulse,
  • no heartbeats; dilation of the pupils,
  • lack of reaction to stimuli (e.g. pinch).

Even if the above symptoms are not found in the victim, and the victim is in a serious condition, be alert to symptoms that warn against respiratory and circulatory arrest. These are:

  • change in the number of breaths, their depth and nature,
  • weak or irregular heart rate,
  • slow heart rate,
  • low blood pressure (you can notice it, e.g. when the bleeding from the wound is disproportionately weak with its extent),
  • cyanosis,
  • hypothermia.

Regardless of the cause of your cardiac arrest and respiratory arrest, you must resuscitate immediately. In a few minutes, the brain will be irreversibly damaged due to the lack of oxygen, so proceed immediately and continue the activities in the car on the way to the doctor.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation in small dogs (
  1. Place the dog on a flat, hard ground (you can place a very small pooch in your hand). Raise his chin, stretching his neck to make the most straight path from his mouth to the lungs.
  2. Open his airways - open the dog's mouth and remove any foreign bodies, pull hard on the tongue.
  3. If your dog has previously been diagnosed with a lack of pulse and breathing:
    • Compress the chest exactly where the heart is. To find it, bend the dog's front leg at the elbow joint - the point on the chest directly below the bend is your pressure point.
    • Place your hands on the dog's chest just after the paw bend and begin compressing the chest rhythmically:
      • compression depth is approx 1-1.5 cm,
      • frequency - 80-100 compressions per minute. This may be difficult to do without prior training (a little more than 1 compressions per second), but even 60-100 compressions in a minute may be sufficient.
    • In the case of small dogs do not inhale!
    • When reanimating the puppy, place it on your hand, place your thumb over the heart and the rest of your fingers on the underside of the baby. Rhythmically press your thumb on his chest to a depth of approx. 0.5-1 cm.
    • Interrupt CPR every minute to check your dog's breathing and heart rate.
    • Continue external cardiac massage until the heart rate is restored or you reach a veterinarian.
  4. If your dog has a pulse but is not breathing, initiate artificial respiration:
    • Place your mouth over your dog's nose (or put them around both the nose and mouth) and blow air twice.
    • Observe the pet's chest while performing artificial respiration - it should rise; however, be careful not to force air into the small dog's lungs too forcefully - this can damage them.
    • Carry on 15-20 breaths per minute remembering to let the air escape freely from the victim's lungs between each inhalation.
    • After one minute, take a 30-second break to check that the animal has not resumed breathing.
    • Continue artificial respiration until the animal begins to breathe on its own or you reach the vet.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation in medium and large dogs (> 10 kg)

  1. Place your dog on a flat, hard surface. You can slip a pillow under his chest. Raise his chin, stretching his neck to make the most straight path from his mouth to the lungs.
  2. Open the airway - open the dog's jaws and remove any foreign bodies, pull hard on the tongue.
  3. If your dog has previously been diagnosed with a lack of pulse and breathing:
    • Make 2 long breaths through your nose.
    • Compress the chest at its highest point (where the ribs are most arched).
    • Place your hands on the dog's chest and start compressing the chest rhythmically:
      • medium dogs - 30 chest compressions; big dogs 15 compressions;
      • oppression depth it 25-50% of the depth of the chest.
    • Continue CPR, keeping in mind that the chest compression to ventilation ratio should be 15: 2 (that is 15 compressions - 2 breaths - 15 compressions - 2 breaths e.t.c.)
    • When reanimating the puppy, place it on your hand, place your thumb over the heart and the rest of your fingers on the underside of the baby. Rhythmically press your thumb on his chest to a depth of approx. 0.5-1 cm.
    • In the case of dogs with a strongly developed deep chest (e.g. bulldogs), resuscitation will be more effective if you do it as follows:
      • Put the dog on its back and cross its front legs over the breastbone.
      • Kneel over the dog so that your knees hug its torso.
      • Grab the dog's crossed paws and put pressure on the sternum.
      • If the dog's body movements during CPR make it difficult for you to act, massage the heart in the classic position.
    • Interrupt CPR every minute to check your dog's breathing and heart rate.
    • Continue external heart massage and artificial respiration until the heart rate is restored or you reach a veterinarian.
  4. If your dog has a pulse but is not breathing, initiate artificial respiration:
    • Place your mouth over the dog's nose (or put them around both the nose and mouth) and blow in the air twice.
    • Observe the pet's chest while performing artificial respiration - it should rise; for large dogs, the air must be blown in quite forcefully.
    • Take 15-20 breaths per minute, remembering to let the air escape freely from the victim's lungs between each inhalation.
    • After one minute, take a 30-second break to check that the animal has not resumed breathing.
    • Continue artificial respiration until the animal begins to breathe on its own or you reach the vet.

To make it easier for you performing resuscitation on a dog we have prepared the following infographic. Please share it, it's very important.

Infographic cat resuscitation | What's in the Squeaky Hair

Acupuncture in a dog

If you are unable to restore your pet's breathing and circulation despite proper resuscitation, you can try to use the wisdom of Chinese medicine.

Acupuncture should never replace resuscitation, but in the absence of the effects of the classic method, it can be used as the proverbial "last resort ".

  1. Take a clean needle and stick it deeply into the slit in your dog's upper lip (just below his nose).
  2. Make a few back and forth movements with the needle.

Sometimes this action stimulates the release of natural adrenaline, which can stimulate breathing and heartbeat.

Main ailment

After your pet has been preliminarily assessed and checked for its vital signs, it is time for you to determine what it is degree and extent of bodily injuries.


  • the condition of the dog,
  • how he breathes,
  • look for bleeding spots,
  • see if there are any fractures,
  • check for open wounds requiring dressing.

First aid for a dog: loss of consciousness

Requires an immediate visit to the veterinarian.

The most common cause of unconsciousness is an injury (traffic accident), but there are many other causes, e.g.:

  • extreme body temperature (too high or too low),
  • severe hypoxia (e.g. in the course of smoke poisoning, flooding),
  • poisoning,
  • diabetes,
  • kidney failure,
  • hypoglycaemia (especially in puppies or miniature dogs).

You will quickly notice that the dog is unconscious - it lies motionless, does not respond to the call.

When you lift his paw and release it, it will fall back to the ground.

Attempts to pinch the fingertips or even prick them with a needle do not cause any reaction.

Pre-emergency first aid for a dog consists in:

  • Make it easier for your pet to breathe (remove the collar, put it on its side, straighten the neck, remove foreign matter from the mouth).
  • Performing CPR - if the dog is not breathing and you cannot feel his heartbeat.
  • Raising the dog's head above the body (you can place a rolled-up towel, but avoid pinching the blood vessels in the neck).
  • Restriction of the animal's movements (possible spinal injury or serious internal injuries).
  • Controlling body temperature - cool or warm your dog as needed.

First aid for a dog: shock

Shock is a medical emergency and requires immediate medical attention
What is shock?

We talk about shock when, as a result of an extreme disproportion between the demand and the supply of the right amount of oxygen and nutrients to the cells of the body, there is a functional impairment and, consequently, the failure of many organs. If left untreated, shock is very quickly led to loss of consciousness with subsequent death of the animal.

The shock may be caused by, among others:

  • heart defect,
  • serious trauma,
  • sepsis,
  • anaphylaxis,
  • stomach torsion,
  • however, in dogs it is most often the result significant blood loss.

Due to the multitude of causes that can lead to shock, there are several types of it:

  • hypovolemic shock,
  • cardiogenic shock,
  • distribution shock,
  • obstructive shock.

Regardless of the cause, however, be alert to the following symptoms of shock:

  • Confusion, difficulty staying on your feet.
  • Weakened interest in the environment, decreased response to stimuli.
  • Pale, bluish gums and tongue (may previously be unnaturally red).
  • Shallow breathing.
  • Irregular heart rate.
  • No reaction to stimuli.
  • Lowered internal body temperature.
  • Capillary time> 2 seconds.

In a situation where you suspect a shock, take your dog to the doctor immediately.

In the meantime, you can mitigate its effects:

  1. Immobilize the dog, do not allow walking or unnecessary movements.
  2. If you see bleeding, try to stop it.
  3. Keep the dog warm - wrap it in a blanket, put it on a warm hot water bottle.
  4. Rub a little honey or sweet syrup on the dog's gums (often with shock there is a sudden drop in blood glucose).

First aid for a dog: bleeding and hemorrhage

Bleeding / haemorrhage in a dog is usually accompanied serious injuries and requires immediate reaction from the owner.

How To Stop A Dog's Hemorrhage?

  1. Find the site of the bleeding and assess its severity.
  2. First, deal with the most serious arterial bleeding - arterial blood bright red and flows out of the wound in rhythm with your heartbeat. Venous blood is dark red and it flows evenly.
  3. Apply a pressure dressing directly over the bleeding area. Do not wash and disinfect heavily bleeding wounds - this will unnecessarily prolong the process of blood clotting and the formation of a stupa. Put sterile gauze or a clean cloth over the wound and press hard. Even when it is soaked, do not remove the dressing. In that case, add another one while continuing the oppression.
  4. If there is still bleeding after five minutes of compressions, wrap the dressing with a bandage.
  5. In case of arterial bleeding, use a temporary (< 5 minut) a tourniquet above the bleeding area.
  6. Lift the bleeding limb above your heart (do not do this if you suspect it has broken!)
  7. With unstoppable forepaw bleeding, apply pressure to the vessels under the corresponding armpit. Use your index and middle fingers to firmly press the paw under the armpit, with your thumb holding the limb from the outside. For hind limb bleeding, find the area where you usually check the heart rate (femoral artery) and put pressure on it with your fingers. When the tail is bleeding, tighten your fingers on its base so that thumb was pressing on the top side of the tail, and the other fingers were squeezing underneath it.
  8. If the ears are damaged and there is current bleeding, apply a gauze dressing or a clean cloth over them. Prepare a makeshift outer dressing from a piece of stocking. For small dogs, cut a piece of stocking around the ankle height, if the dog is large the thigh part of the stocking will be sufficient. Slide the stocking over the dressing so that it covers the ears and neck, without overlapping the animal's eyes and not obstructing its breathing or jaw movements.
  9. Check the dog for signs of shock or cardiac and respiratory arrest at each stage of haemorrhage control. If necessary, do artificial respiration and heart massage (the bleeding site should be kept under pressure while performing CPR).
  10. If you can see an impaled foreign body at the site of bleeding (e.g. glass), do not remove it under any circumstances! This can cause the bleeding to increase dramatically. Gently cover the foreign body with gauze pads or rolled bandages, trying to keep it still. Tie the whole thing gently with a bandage, and during transport to the veterinarian, check that the dressing does not change its position.

Note that in addition to noticeable external bleeding, your dog may also have had hidden internal bleeding.

If you notice in your dog:

  • Rapidly enlarging abdomen after injury, possible ecchymoses or hematomas in the area of ​​the navel.
  • Shortness of breath, gasping, wheezing when breathing.
  • Bleeding from the nose or mouth.
  • Multiple hematomas and ecchymoses on the skin.

could have come to bleeding into body cavities or blood coagulation disorders (e.g. after ingestion of rat poison). Take your dog to the vet immediately!

First aid for a dog: breathing difficulties

Difficulty breathing in your dog is another situation that requires a quick visit to a veterinary clinic.

Respiratory problems can manifest themselves in various ways and proceed with varying severity, however, even slight deviations from the norm should not be underestimated.

If you overlook or ignore difficult breathing, it can be fatal.

Therefore, if you notice the following symptoms in your dog:

  • sudden sharp cough,
  • wheezing or choking,
  • unnaturally loud breathing,
  • shortness of breath, typical symptoms of which include:
    • acceleration of breathing per minute,
    • breathing through an open mouth,
    • cyanosis of the mucous membranes,
    • loud breathing,
    • anxiety, fear,
    • glassy look,
    • neck straightened, head stretched forward,
    • paradoxical breathing (while breathing, the abdominal wall and the chest wall move in opposite directions),
    • strong movements of the cheeks while breathing - when inhaling they are strongly "sucked " into the inside of the mouth, when exhaling quickly they are puffed out,
  • sudden onset of sneezing (often accompanied by nasal discharge), snorting, intense rubbing of the nose area with the paws,
  • short, shallow breathing,
  • difficulty and obvious fatigue while breathing,
  • rapid breathing, choking (unjustified with fatigue, excitement or high ambient temperature),
  • wheezing,
  • audible rales on the breath, discharge from the nose or throat,
  • abnormally slow breathing,
  • respiratory arrest,
  • and any other distressing respiratory symptoms

contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

There can be many reasons for this, and there is a quick and efficient assessment of the situation first aid provided to the dog can substantially increase your chances of survival.

First, try to find the cause of your breathing difficulties and, if possible, eliminate it.

In the article on first aid in cats, I outlined the most common emergencies of the respiratory system and how you can help a suffocating animal.

Even if you don't have a cat - please read it.

Extreme internal body temperature

Body cooling - hypothermia.

This is the reduction of the body's internal temperature below normal values.

It may be the result of:

  • staying in a cold environment (without the possibility of sheltering in the room),
  • cold water immersion,
  • general anesthesia,
  • systemic diseases:
    • kidney disease,
    • adrenal insufficiency,
    • hypothyroidism,
    • poisoning,
    • shock,
    • central nervous system disorders,
  • improperly developed thermoregulation (in puppies),
  • injuries,
  • combinations of these factors.

Low body temperature is very dangerous and can lead to serious multi-organ complications, so it is very important to recognize hypothermia early and act accordingly.

If the dog is unnaturally cool, weak, may have chills, or develop disturbed consciousness, take his temperature as soon as possible.

Adjust further actions to the obtained measurement result:

Mild hypothermia (body temperature in the range 32.3 - 37.2 ° C)

As body temperature drops below normal, a dog's body triggers mechanisms thermogenesis - muscle tremors and acceleration of metabolism.

At the temperature muscle tremors may no longer be present.

The dog might be sleeping, cold to the touch, he tries to curl up as much as possible, to reduce the body surface area exposed to cold.

What you can do when you notice similar symptoms in your dog?

  1. Take your pet to a warm room as soon as possible.
  2. Keep your dog warm - cover him with a towel or blanket.
  3. Measure the temperature of every 10-15 minutes. With mild hypothermia, heated dogs recover fairly quickly.
  4. If the dog is wet, dry it with a towel.
  5. Give your dog warm liquids - water or broth.
  6. If the temperature has not risen after 15 minutes or the animal is weakened, take an additional method. Cover the dog with hot water bottles or hot water bottles or a pre-warmed blanket or towel. Avoid using electric blankets, because there is a risk of too intense focal heating and burns.
  7. Covering the head with a blanket enhances the heating effect as the animal breathes warm air. However, do not use this method if your dog has breathing difficulties or is in poor general condition.
  8. Concentrate on warming the pet's torso and neck.
  9. Continue to warm the dog until its temperature is reached 37 ° C. If after 30-45 minutes the heating system failed to restore the correct body temperature, take the dog to the clinic immediately, continuing the heating in the car.

Moderate hypothermia (temperature 27.8 - 32.2 ° C).

The symptoms of hypothermia worsen.

Dog is apathetic, breathing slows down. May occur initially tachycardia, however, as hypothermia worsens, it does bradycardia.

Normal life activities decline with temperature below 32 ° C. When the temperature drops below 30 ° C occur cardiac arrhythmias. Blood sugar is falling.

How to behave in such a situation?

  1. Warm the animal and go to the vet. Use a warm blanket, towel, and cover the dog with hot water bottles or hot water bottles.
  2. Keep your pet's armpits, groin and neck warm.
  3. Rub some honey on your dog's gums.
  4. Even if the dog's temperature returns to normal, you need to show it to the doctor. Therefore, continue heating in the car and go to the clinic as soon as possible.

Deep hypothermia (temperature < 27,8°C)

At the temperature below 27 degrees peripheral reflexes disappear, and at a dog's pupils no longer react to light and there is a loss of consciousness. A highly hypothermic animal may appear to be dead.

In extreme states pulse and heartbeat may not be felt.

  1. Take your dog to the doctor immediately! This is an emergency!
  2. Cover your dog with a warm blanket or towel, but such low temperatures require active internal heating. So don't wait, just go to the clinic right away.
  3. Rub a little honey into the dog's gums (this may be ineffective, because in such extremely low temperatures, absorption through the mucous membranes is very limited).
  4. If cardiac and / or respiratory arrest occurs, perform CPR.

Overheating of the body - hyperthermia / heat stroke in a dog

When can your dog overheat / heatstroke?

Heat stroke is a very life-threatening increase in body temperature (40.5-43 ° C).

Classic heatstroke develops when the dog is in a high temperature environment and is unable to dissipate enough heat in relation to the amount it absorbs from the environment.

The best and unfortunately the most common example is leaving your dog on a hot day in a tightly closed car or outside in the sun, without access to water and shade.

The so-called. stress heat stroke, when this animal is physically very active in an environment with high temperature and humidity.

They are most vulnerable to overheating short-skulled dogs and those in which it occurs laryngeal paralysis, collapse of the trachea or narrow nostrils, e.g.:

  • bulldogs,
  • Pekingese,
  • pugs.

Systemic diseases running from hypotension, and being overweight increase the risk of heat stroke and exacerbate its course.

What are the symptoms heat stroke in a dog?

Initially there are:

  • gasping,
  • fast heart rate,
  • strong heart rate,
  • hyperemia and dryness of the mucous membranes,
  • the dog is weak.

The internal temperature is usually within the limits 40.5-43.0 ° C.

Later, as the stroke gets worse, it comes to weakening of the central nervous system and it develops shock.

In your dog, you may notice:

  • poor heart rate,
  • gray mucous membranes,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea.

With prolonged panting, it comes to respiratory fatigue, breaths become shallower, they appear epileptic symptoms, coma, and then death. Heat stroke is a situation that requires an immediate vet visit.

But what can you do to help your dog?

If the internal body temperature is within the range of 39-41 ° C:

  1. Lead or move your dog to a cool room, turn on the fan to blow through the cool air.
  2. Wrap your dog in wet, cold towels or dampen his coat with water and then point the fan at him. You can put a cold pack 'and / or ice packs wrapped in wet cloths around the armpits and groin area.
  3. Provide him with fresh, cold water and let me drink as much as I like. You can also wet the mucous membranes with drops of cold water.
  4. You can put your dog's paws in a vessel of cool water.
  5. Measure the temperature every 10 minutes. When it drops to 38 ° C you can stop chilling the dog.
  6. Even if the temperature is back to normal, you must show the pet to the doctor the same day.

If the temperature exceeds 41 ° C:

  1. Take your dog to the doctor immediately.
  2. Cool the animal. Wet the dog's coat and skin with cold water, point the fan at him. The dog should be placed where there is the greatest draft. Place cold compresses in the armpits and groin. If you have alcohol at home, rub it over your dog's armpits and groin. Place cold, wet towels on the animal's head and neck and change them frequently. Ice baths are not recommended as they cause rapid contraction of the superficial vessels.
  3. If the pooch wants to drink, let him drink as much as he wants. Provide him / her with cold, fresh water, and if you have electrolytes (e.g. Gastrolit) - give them to the dog. A stroke is accompanied by dehydration, and with it the loss of valuable micronutrients. If you are thirsty, moisten your dog's mucosa with water.
  4. When the dog's body temperature drops to 39.4 - 40.0 ° C, stop cooling it down to avoid hypothermia.
  5. If your dog develops shock, take your dog to a doctor as soon as possible. In a situation where the temperature is over 39 ° C, do not wrap it in a blanket. If, on the other hand, you managed to beat her to 38 ° C, and the pet is shocked - wrap him in a blanket or towel while on the way to the doctor. Massage a little honey into your dog's gums.
  6. If the heart and / or breathing is stopped - take CPR.

First aid for a dog: bites and poisoning

These are also situations that require immediate consultation with a veterinarian.

Due to the effects of poisons or venoms and their violent impact on the body, the sooner the dog receives help, the less damage will be caused by the toxic substances in its body.

First aid for poisoning in a dog

Poisoning most often occurs when an animal consumes a toxic substance in a dose that is harmful to it.

Dogs most often swallow:

  • sweets in abundance,
  • medications left on top,
  • rat poison,
  • lick off sweet ethylene glycol,
  • gnaw poisonous plants.

However, the animal does not always have to swallow poison to become poisoned.

Poisoning can also occur:

  • by inhalation (when the pooch inhales vapors of dangerous and harmful substances),
  • through the skin and mucous membranes (e.g. on contact with a poisonous substance that quickly penetrates through undamaged skin and mucous membranes),
  • through soft tissues (e.g. injection of a drug at the wrong dose or a mistake resulting from giving the wrong drug).

Substances and products that are dangerous for the dog

Medicines for use in humans

First aid for drug poisoning

All substances included in popular painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs used in humans and available in almost every home. Belong to them:

  • Paracetamol,
  • Ibuprofen,
  • Naproxen,
  • Acetylsalicylic acid,
  • Vitamin D,
  • Sedatives,
  • Salicylates.

Insecticides (insecticides), agents to combat mites (acaricides), rodents (rodenticides) and snails (muluscicides)

  • Strychnine,
  • Thallium,
  • Coumarin,
  • Warfarin,
  • Brodifacoum,
  • Difenacoum,
  • Boric acid,
  • Naphthalene,
  • Metaldehyde,
  • Arsenic,
  • Cholecalciferol.

Plant and animal protection products and artificial fertilizers

First aid for poisoning with plant protection products
  • Organophosphorus compounds:
    • chlorpyrifos,
    • quotation,
    • diazinone,
    • dichlorvos,
    • fention,
    • phosmet,
    • tetrachlorvinphos,
    • safrotin,
  • Carbamate insecticides:
    • carbaryl,
    • propoxur,
    • methomyl,
    • bendiocarb,
  • Amitraza,
  • Ivermectin.


Poisonous products for the dog
  • Alcohol and its products,
  • An avocado,
  • Onion,
  • Cola,
  • Cinnamon (Cassia variety),
  • Chocolate, chocolate products,
  • Garlic,
  • Nutmeg,
  • White and black mustard,
  • Mushrooms - poisonous species,
  • Tea,
  • Cocoa,
  • Coffee,
  • Almonds,
  • Macadamia nuts,
  • Citrus fruits,
  • Green tomatoes,
  • Rhubarb,
  • Raisins,
  • Sweetener,
  • Salt,
  • Raw yeast dough,
  • Grapes.

You can learn more about poisonous foods for your dog in the article: "What Your Dog Cannot Eat? "


Not all of them are acutely toxic, but their consumption may result in:

  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • irritation of the mucous membranes of the digestive tract.

Plants bold are extremely dangerous, so after eating them and the appearance of symptoms of poisoning, you need to take your dog to a doctor as soon as possible.

  • Amaryllis belladonna,
  • Sosnowski's borscht,
  • Elderberry,
  • Without coral,
  • Datura Dziedzierzawa, datura,
  • Common ivy,
  • Nice brezylka,
  • Peach,
  • Boxwood,
  • Mugwort,
  • Common onion,
  • Common hops,
  • Horseradish,
  • Chickpeas spotted,
  • Hellebore white, black, green,
  • Yew,
  • American bird cherry, ordinary,
  • Bird cherry,
  • Muddy mud,
  • Common garlic,
  • Dahlia,
  • American choke,
  • St. John's wort,
  • Beans,
  • Funkia,
  • Wistaria,
  • Celandine celandine,
  • White, black mustard,
  • Carnation,
  • Sweet peas,
  • Yellow peas,
  • White mycelium,
  • Hydrangea,
  • Apple tree,
  • Janowiec Barwierski,
  • Mountain ash,
  • Buttercup bulb,
  • Coral viburnum,
  • Horse chestnut,
  • Field tares,
  • Gill stem,
  • Laurel tree,
  • Muddy Knifes, Marigolds,
  • Clematis arborvitae,
  • Runner bark beetle,
  • Lily of the valley,
  • Iris, iris,
  • Field puffer,
  • Common lantana,
  • Common privet,
  • Gold-headed lily, bulbous lily,
  • Buttercup,
  • The Carniolian Dormitory,
  • Black hen,
  • Lupine sustained,
  • Field poppy seed,
  • Miechunka,
  • Gladiolus,
  • Mint,
  • Spring Miłek,
  • Apricot,
  • Medical soap box,
  • Foxglove (purple, woolly, ordinary),
  • Narcissus, daffodil,
  • Common eagle,
  • Common spotted eagle,
  • Barbed holly,
  • A field small house,
  • Larkspur,
  • Pepper,
  • Forest paradise,
  • Japanese pieris,
  • Primrose,
  • Black nightshade,
  • Medicinal peony,
  • Nightmare nightshade,
  • Common tomato,
  • Common panic,
  • Clematis,
  • California gilt,
  • Hepatica,
  • Adjective,
  • Garden rhubarb,
  • Castor bean,
  • Water pepper,
  • Robinia acacia,
  • Acute sedum,
  • Rhododendron and azalea,
  • Medical ruture,
  • Common turnip,
  • Radish,
  • Roman chamomile,
  • Ordinary rue,
  • Euonymus,
  • Soot,
  • Pasque-flower,
  • Hearts turned out,
  • Mud horsetail,
  • Old man,
  • Home plum,
  • Snowdrop snowdrop,
  • Cube chessboard,
  • Cultivated saffron,
  • Common buckthorn,
  • Crazy poisonous,
  • Spotted parapet,
  • Aconite,
  • Papillary euonymus,
  • Tulip,
  • Tobacco winged, noble,
  • Sea urginia,
  • Wilczełyko laurel, bulbous,
  • Black honeysuckle,
  • The big fork flattened, the clubfoot flattened,
  • Edged spurge,
  • Vine,
  • Cherry,
  • Tansy,
  • Anemone,
  • Potato,
  • Autumn wintertime,
  • Chrysanthemum, chrysanthemum,
  • Laburnum,
  • Broom broom,
  • Western thuja,

Decorative indoor plants

  • Anthurium,
  • Alocasia,
  • Aloe,
  • Barbados aloe,
  • Asparagus,
  • An avocado,
  • Pink periwinkle,
  • Begonia,
  • Common ivy,
  • Brunfelsia,
  • Persian cyclamen,
  • Lemon,
  • Diffenbachia,
  • Dracaena,
  • Golden epipremnum,
  • Eucalyptus,
  • Benjamin ficus,
  • Philodendron,
  • Gardenia jasmine,
  • Gloriasis great,
  • Crassula ovate,
  • Hyacinth,
  • Hibiscus,
  • Jazgrz Williams,
  • Kalanchoe,
  • Kalijka,
  • Cinnabar clivia,
  • Shrub cordillin,
  • Croton,
  • Monstera has a hole in it,
  • Oleander,
  • Geranium,
  • Orange,
  • Cactus plants,
  • Desert rose,
  • Jamaican sago,
  • The sagowiec was unwrapped,
  • San pedro,
  • Scheffler,
  • Winged flower,
  • Royal Strelitzia,
  • Spurgeons (shiny, bloated, handsome),
  • A stagnant alloy,
  • The jumper.

Petroleum substances

  • Benzene,
  • Ethylin,
  • Oil,
  • Diesel,
  • Oils and greases,
  • Lubricating oil,
  • Solvents for paints,
  • Grill firelighter,
  • Engine cleaners.

Household items

First aid for poisoning with household items
  • Chlorine (present in bleaches, domestos, etc.),
  • Fluoride (present in toothpastes and dental fluids),
  • Lead (present in batteries, accumulators, anti-corrosive paints),
  • Salt,
  • Sodium hydroxide (also known as caustic soda or caustic soda. It is present in preparations for scrubbing ovens, as well as in the popular drain cleaner "mole ",
  • Ethylene glycol (present in antifreeze products),
  • Boric acid (present m.and. in some mouthwashes, lens rinses, etc.).

Veterinary drugs

Overdosing or using them incorrectly without consulting a veterinarian can have fatal consequences.

Examples include collies and their hybrids, as well as any other times they are found MDR1 gene mutation.

Below is a list of veterinary drugs that may cause neurotoxicity in dogs with the MDR1 mutation:

Antiparasitic drugs:

  • Ivermectin,
  • Selamectin,
  • Moxidectin,
  • Doramectin,
  • Abamectin,
  • Milbemycin,
  • Emodepside.

Sedatives and pain relievers:

  • Acepromazine,
  • Butorphanol (dose reduction recommended for dogs with an MDR1 mutation),
  • Morphine,
  • Buprenorphine,
  • Fentanyl (no documented poisoning, but care should be taken).

Cardiac drugs:

  • Digoxin,
  • Digitoxine,
  • Diltiazem,
  • Quinidine,
  • Verapamil (controversial use - no reports of harmfulness, but therapeutic concentration monitoring necessary).

Antidiarrheal drugs:

  • Loperamide (use prohibited!),
  • Imodium,
  • Loperal,
  • Cimetidine.

Immunoupressive drugs:

  • Cyclosporin (no documented poisoning, therapeutic drug levels should be monitored),
  • Tacrolismus.


  • Erythromycin,
  • Sparfloxacin,
  • Grepafloxacin.

Hormonal drugs:

  • Oestradiol.

Oncological drugs:

  • Vincristine,
  • Vinblastine,
  • Mitoxantrone,
  • Dactinomicine,
  • Doxorubicin,
  • Paclitaxel (dose reduction required).

Glucocorticosteroids (controversial):

  • Dexamethasone,
  • Hydrocortisone.


  • Phenytoin.

Signs of poisoning in a dog are very diverse and largely depend on the type of poison and its dose.

Most often, in a poisoned dog, you will notice:

  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • chills or tremors,
  • sometimes seizures or coma,
  • muscle weakness and stiffness,
  • breathing difficulties,
  • heart problems.

With poisoning anticoagulant rodenticides may appear on the skin petechiae and hematomas, difficulty stopping bleeding.

If you have a product that the pooch has eaten, take it with you - maybe it will make it easier to identify the poison.

Many toxins have very specific antidotes so this can substantially speed up healing.

  1. Call the doctor and inform him about the ingestion of the poisonous substance by the animal.
  2. Induce vomiting in the dog, but only if the toxic substance has recently been ingested 3 hours. After this time, the poison has either been absorbed or has been moved to further parts of the gastrointestinal tract (the exception is e.g. aspirin which may "swell" in the stomach for several hours).
  3. Give it to the dog's mouth 3% hydrogen peroxide solution in the amount of 1-2 ml / kg m.c.. If vomiting does not occur within 10 minutes after the first dose, take the second.
  4. Vomiting root syrup per dose 1-2.5 ml / kg m.c.. Vomiting should occur within Twenty minutes from the administration.
  5. Give activated charcoal in dosage 1-4 g / kg m.c. when mixed with 50-200 ml of water. In case of poisoning with acid, alkali or petroleum derivatives, do not give coal.
  6. If the dog has swallowed the caustic substance, do not induce vomiting, but try to dilute it. Drink your dog with milk or water. On the way to the doctor, wet your dog's oral mucosa with water.
  7. If a toxic substance is on your dog's skin, you need to prevent it from being absorbed further:
    • Bathe your dog in a mild pet shampoo or a mild dishwashing detergent.
    • If the fur is contaminated with a dusty substance, try vacuuming the fur first (even with a vacuum cleaner).
    • If there are paint, motor oil or gasoline residues on the coat, pour plenty of mineral or vegetable oil on your dog. Leave the oil on the hair until the substance dissolves in it. Then sprinkle the dog with flour and wash it all off with dishwashing liquid. You will have to bathe several times.
  8. If the heart or breathing stops, try CPR

It is absolutely contraindicated to induce vomiting if:

  • The animal swallowed any chemical agent. After eating acid, rules or petroleum products give the dog a few tablespoons of oil (or bread soaked in it).
  • You must also refrain from inducing vomiting if you have been the victim of your dog's voracity plants such as:
    • diffenbachia,
    • philodendron,
    • nightshade,
    • green parts of the potato, its shell or "eyes ".
  • They are present in the dog severe respiratory disorders, seizures, weakened swallowing reflex, neurological disorders, laryngeal paralysis or bradycardia.
  • Dog is extremely weakened or unconscious.

First aid for a dog: coma

It is a disturbance of consciousness during which the dog completely does not respond to any stimuli.

As a rule then:

  • the dog is lying on its side,
  • is breathing,
  • you can feel your heartbeat.

There are many causes of coma, including.in.:

  • metabolic diseases:
    • hepatic ecephalopathy,
    • advanced renal failure,
    • diabetes hypoglycemia,
  • water and electrolyte disturbances,
  • poisoning ethylene glycol,
  • neurological diseases.

Whatever the reason:

  1. Take your dog to the vet immediately.
  2. Make sure the airways are open and the patient can breathe normally.
  3. Raise the dog's head above body level so as not to put pressure on the neck.
  4. Try to keep your body temperature within the range 37, 5-39 ° C. Warm or cool your dog depending on the situation.
  5. Rub some honey or sweet syrup on your dog's gums.
  6. In the event of respiratory arrest and / or heartbeat, initiate CPR.

First aid for a dog: difficult childbirth

The vast majority of female dogs are very good at giving birth and no help is required.

However, in certain breeds of dogs (e.g. Bulldogs), older, overweight or first-time bitches may experience complications.

In a situation where the birth canal is too small, contractions are weak or stop completely, the offspring do not settle well in the womb or the puppies are unusually large, it may even develop arrest of labor. Stopping the birthing process is a very dangerous condition that threatens not only the puppies but also the mother.

Therefore, if you notice the following symptoms in your dog, be sure to take her to a clinic or call a veterinarian:

  • Strong vocalization, squeaking, anxiety, complaining.
  • Intensive biting of the vulva area during childbirth.
  • No symptoms of childbirth after 24-36 hours from the moment the temperature drops below 37.8 ° C.
  • Abnormal, foul, green discharge or heavy bleeding with no newborn visible.
  • More than one week late in delivery.
  • No fetus present 4 hours from the beginning of labor.
  • Strong contractions ongoing 50-60 minutes without expulsion of the fetus.
  • The presence of membranes in the vulva of the vulva longer than 15 minutes.
  • Poisoning a pregnant bitch.
  • Extending the time between consecutive displacements of the fetus to over 3 hours.
  • Inability to expel all puppies within 18-24 hours.

There are situations where you can help the bitch before visiting the doctor

  • If the first puppy is not born after twenty minutes of pushing, and you see them in the female's genital tract:
    • Gently grasp the baby through a cotton cloth or paper towel and try to pull it out of the birth canal. Do not pull the puppy out with a straight, sudden movement, rather try to synchronize the strokes with the female's thrusts and slightly rotate the fetus, once to the right, then to the left (in line with the pressure), gently pulling the puppy up.
    • A bit of moisturizing gel on the mother's vulva and on the puppy's body can be helpful.
    • Regardless of the effect, always take the female to the doctor.
  • If the mother does not remove the membrane covering the puppy's body:
    • Usually, after the birth of a puppy, the mother tears the membrane covering the puppy with her teeth and licks it intensively. If he doesn't do it over the course of 30 seconds from birth, tear the membrane and release the puppy's head. He may have fluid in his nostrils and mouth - you can get rid of it with a nasal blower or aspirator. Make sure you hear the puppy screeching. If the liquid cannot be removed with a pear, wrap the puppy in a towel and lift it very carefully to shoulder height, then swing it down fairly quickly to end it between its legs, keeping the animal upside down. Repeat the treatment several times. Be extremely careful because the puppy is slippery and can easily fall out of your hands.
    • If your puppy hasn't started squeaking or breathing in 10-30 seconds, place him on a clean towel and massage his body intensively. This stimulates circulation and lung function.
  • If the mother did not bite the umbilical cord:
    • Usually the female does it herself. However, in the event that you do not chew the umbilical cord within 2-3 minutes after birth, you have to cut it yourself:
      • Wash and sanitize hands thoroughly or wear sterile latex gloves.
      • Cut the umbilical cord with scissors, first tying it with a thread approx. 1-2.5 cm from the baby's body (dip the thread and scissors in alcohol for a moment). Remember to cut between the knot and the placenta, not the knot and the puppy's body.

First aid for a dog: gastric dilatation and torsion

Stomach dilation and torsion are life-threatening conditions. In case of suspicion of an enlargement and torsion of the stomach in a dog, you must IMMEDIATELY! take your dog to the doctor.

Here they count minutes.

In the course of this syndrome, the stomach twists around its axis along with massive accumulation of gas in its lumen.

This condition occurs especially in large and giant dogs (especially high-breed), such as:

  • great dane,
  • Weimaraners,
  • St. Bernardine,
  • gordon setters,
  • irish setters,
  • poodles,

but small dogs can also be affected by this disorder.

When to suspect a dog's stomach torsion?

  • When the outline of the abdominal wall is significantly enlarged, the abdomen is unnaturally large and tense.
  • Initially, symptoms are not very advanced, but worsen with the duration of gastric dilatation.
  • When the dog is salivating vigorously and the saliva is thick, stringy.
  • The so-called. empty vomiting - the animal tries to vomit, there are vomiting reflexes, but ineffective.
  • You may observe your dog becoming agitated, restless, then turning into severe nervousness.
  • At a later stage, the heart rate increases significantly, the capillary time becomes longer, and a shock occurs.
  • Lack of veterinary help leads to death in a short time.

Help in this condition consists in transporting the dog to the vet as soon as possible and stabilizing the accompanying conditions:

  1. Protect your dog from possible shock - maintain the correct body temperature (wrap him in a blanket, turn on the heating in the car).
  2. Brush your dog's gums with a little honey.
  3. Call your physician and say you are traveling with a critically ill patient - have staff prepared.

Safe transportation

The last but extremely important element first aid for a dog: you need to provide your dog with appropriate transport conditions.

Remember that a sick animal, after an accident, is usually sore, scared and often chilled.

During the journey, he may be agitated, spin, change position, which only increases the pain and may cause additional damage to the body.

What you need to do to ensure your dog is transported safely?

  1. If the dog is slightly injured and can get into the car on its own - let him do it. An unaccustomed animal can only get unnecessarily upset while being carried on its hands, which only increases the stress. Try to give him only a suitable place in the car and take him to a doctor.
  2. For more serious bodily injuries, pay attention to:
    • Stiffening of the spine.
    • Immobilization of a broken limb.
    • For chest injuries, place the dog on his injured side. This position will make it easier for him to breathe.
    • Let your dog choose the most comfortable position to breathe and rest comfortably.
  3. Adapt the conditions in the car to the current condition of the dog. For example, if your dog is overheated, turn on the air conditioning and cool the inside of the car. If your pet is cold, turn on the heat and cover it with a blanket.
  4. There are several ways to safely transport an injured animal to a doctor. Try to choose a method that suits your dog's size and condition:
    • Carriers and boxes. Small dogs are best transported in a special carrier or even a cardboard box. This will allow them to choose the appropriate position for themselves, and at the same time will protect the damaged part of the body from being injured. Additionally, in the dark, the pet will calm down and calm down. However, remember to provide it with adequate ventilation (this applies to cardboard boxes, in which it is best to make a few holes to allow air to circulate).
    • Hard surface. If back injury is suspected, the dog should be transported on a firm surface. Very gently place a towel, blanket or sheet under the lying dog. For large dogs, ask someone for help - have one person lift the shoulders very slightly and then the dog's pelvis, while you slide the material underneath him. Remember to keep your movements as small as possible. Arrange the board next to the injured pet (adjust it to the size of the dog - it can be a cutting board, a large and stiff book, a baking sheet, even an ironing board) and gently slide the injured onto it, pulling the material uniformly. Have a second person belay the dog with one arm around the dog's shoulder and the other around the hips. All activities should be done calmly but smoothly. Cover the animal with a blanket or towel and then tie it to the board to prevent it from sliding off. It is best to use adhesive tape for this purpose and attach it just behind the front legs and just in front of the hind legs.
    • Blanket or towel. If you do not have a hard thread, place your dog on a blanket or towel. Ask a second person for help, stretch the fabric on both sides (as much as possible) and take the dog to the car in this way.

Prevention of problems

Finally, I would like to draw your attention to perhaps the most important element of helping our pets.

For what is the ability to be able to perform the most effective first aid without the possibility of preventing accidents??

It is your common sense and imagination that can protect him from dangerous injuries and suffering, and who knows - maybe even loss of life?

Therefore, today take care of keeping your pet in a safe environment, because: "Morbum evitare quam curare facilius est " ( "prevention is better than cure ").

Don't let your dog run around alone

Don't let your dog run around alone

Allowing animals to "explore the area" freely may end tragically.

The dog is exposed to being hit by a car, bitten by another animal, poisoned, shot, lost and many more.

The area where your dog is should be tightly fenced.

The fence should be high enough that the animal cannot climb it, but also strong enough that it cannot be crossed by animals from the outside.

Also remember that smart dogs (especially males) can dig under a fence, so it's a good idea to dig it deep into the ground.

Provide him with a shaded place where he can shelter on a hot day

Provide your dog with a shaded place

Even a short stay in the sun in conditions of increased humidity, without the possibility of sheltering in the shade, may result in a sunstroke.

Provide him with unlimited access to fresh, clean water.

In summer, even display a few bowls of water and refill it regularly.

Provide him with a warm playpen or kennel (if you leave it outside) where he can warm up on frosty days.

Provide your pet with adequate space to run and play.

If you do not have a garden, make sure you take your pet regularly to places where it can run freely and find a safe place.

Do not leave your dog unattended for too long

Dogs are like children - the longer they stay alone and the more bored they get, the more creative ideas come to their mind (not necessarily safe).

Do not tie the dog in a chain

Dog on a chain

This is not only immoral, but also very dangerous.

The dog may wrap the chain around its neck, it may entangle it around a tree, and it may be choked by running fast or tugging on the chain.

A chained dog becomes bored, frustrated and may become aggressive. The chain is definitely out of the question.

Provide your pet with a dog ID

Dog badge

Regardless of how obedient and well-mannered your pet is, it may happen for a moment, it may forget when it jumps out of the car, before you can clip it on or someone won't close the door.

Unfortunately, dog abductions are also becoming more common.

A very good solution is a microchip, which, if identified even in a very distant place, allows you to find the owner very quickly.

Make sure that after the dog has been chipped, the veterinarian or breeder enters the chip number into the database. It often happens that an animal is properly chipped, but its number does not appear on any database. In such situations, it is impossible to find a guardian.

Additional protection may be a tag with your telephone number attached to the dog's collar.

Sterilize your dog

It is not just medical considerations that support early sterilization or castration of animals.

Vagrancy, running away from home, being hit by a car while on a lonely trip, being bitten by animals, unwanted pregnancies or problems with childbirth - these are just some of the problems that you can avoid by castrating your pet.

If your dog is not intended for breeding, opt for this form of protection.

Never leave your dog in the car

Never leave your dog in the car

It's extremely irresponsible and dangerous.

Even on cloudy days, the temperature in the car can increase very quickly, and hence it is only a step away from heat stroke.

Leaving the windows open is also a bad solution - it may provoke your dog to run away or be an incentive for thieves.

Similarly, when leaving the dog strapped in front of the store (even for the proverbial "just a moment "), it may happen that after leaving the dog it will not be there anymore.

So if you are going shopping, do not take your dog with you.

Leave him at home and compensate him for your absence with a long walk.

Keep your pet away from working machines or household appliances (e.g. mower, hot iron etc.).

When you intend to e.g. mow the lawn, make sure the dog is in a different part of the garden or locked up.

The same is true when starting the car. If your pet happens to be hanging around somewhere in the driveway, close it when you leave or use a horn.

Keep sharp, dangerous objects away from your furry's curious face.

The same applies to all kinds of small toys that like to be swallowed by ubiquitous puppies.

Always make sure your dog is not inside before starting your home appliances.

This mainly applies to dishwashers, washing machines and dryers.

Take care of your dog's diet.

Pay attention to the appropriate frequency of meals, their size, and the composition of the food.

A proper diet is essential for the health and proper development of any dog.

Secure contacts and electric wires.

Especially young dogs bite everything that they encounter on their way, and the cables left behind can be a lethal threat to them.


When giving first aid to a dog it is worth remembering about a few - mentioned above - rules, but the most important of them is "first of all, do no harm ".

Therefore, if you are faced with a situation in which you cannot help a friend, do not force yourself.

Moderation in everything - even when saving lives.

Sometimes it is worth taking a few steps, taking a deep breath, calming your thoughts and only after having mastered the first panic impulse to start soberly start helping.

Don't worry if fear or doubt arise as these are the necessary feelings that accompany extreme situations.

Don't give up and try to do what you can. Ultimately, even one, a small action could save your dog's life.

And don't worry about fear - all the heroes were very scared during the test, and yet they did what they had to. And that's why they became heroes.

To sum up this article, I wish you never had to use it.

However, if you find yourself in a situation that requires you to take action, I hope that the information in this document will help you help your pet quickly, efficiently and effectively.

I also encourage you to print it out and keep it with first aid kit for the dog.

What is the correct number of breaths for a dog?

Small breeds: 15-18 (adult dogs), 22-25 (puppies); medium breeds: 14-17 (adult dogs), 21-24 (puppies); large breeds: 13-16 (adult dogs), 20-23 (puppies).

What is the correct number of heartbeats for a dog?

Small breeds: 90-120 (up to 160) (adult dogs), 100-125 (puppies); medium breeds: 70-90 (adult dogs), 85-120 (puppies); large breeds: 60-80 (adult dogs), 80-115 (puppies).

What is your dog's normal body temperature?

Small breeds: 38.5-39.0 ° C (adult dogs), 38.6-39.3 ° C (puppies); medium breeds: 38.0-38.6 ° C (adult dogs), 38.3-39.1 ° C (puppies); large breeds: 37.4-38.3 ° C (adult dogs), 38.2-39.0 ° C (puppies).

Sources used >>

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