Author: Bhumit Vyas

HomeGrown Magazine

Homegrown Indian Brand Is Creating Affordable Wheelchairs For Your Animals

The sheer number of views on dog and cat videos is testament to the fact that there is something about animals that makes us feel happy. The energy and excitement they show in running around and discovering the world around them everyday, is one of the main reasons why they make for such good friends for humans. So the sight of a dog or a cat that is injured is downright heartbreaking. Even though they find ways to get around, a furry friend who is bogged down by an injury is the saddest thing.

Bhumit Vyas, a dog lover from Gujarat who feeds over 50 stray dogs a day and rescued his own best friend Pilu nine years ago, was broken hearted when he came across injured dogs at a shelter who could hardly get around. The web designer, who was looking to donate wheelchairs for nearby animal shelters and NGOs realized that the ones available in the market are so high priced that NGOs and shelters could not possibly afford them.

This is when he started to create his own range of dog wheelchairs. These wheelchairs are assembled by Vyas, and made from loose parts that he imports from abroad and some purchased from local markets. He ensures that his wheelchairs are made from lightweight Aluminium alloy that can be pulled easily even by animals who have arthritis or paralysis in hind legs. The range of wheelchairs are completely customizable to height, length and width. The custom built wheelchairs can be small enough for kittens or big enough for St.Bernards.

Bhumit Vyas Assembling Dog Wheel Chairs in India

He has also recently launched a NGO variant of the dog wheelchairs that are made from all Indian parts and is even more affordable. His intention was to ensure that NGOs did not have to wait for huge donations to give wheelchairs for injured dogs. Since the NGO variant wheelchairs are made of only Indian parts, the maintenance can be done by using parts from local markets. For Vyas, it was important to ensure that people do not have to bother with paying more money for upkeep after the initial purchase.

In addition to selling their products on their website, they also offer caretakers a chance to place listings on the website. They can post details about animals requiring wheel chairs and those who are willing can pitch it in to pay for the wheelchairs for these animals. After launching his company, he has sold more than 100 wheelchairs all over the nation and hope to help more injured dogs and cats live an easier life.

So if you are an animal lover who wants to help out dogs or cats who cannot walk, you can make use of this venture. You can buy products, read more pet handicap and how you can help, help NGOS and shelters buy wheelchairs all on the website for Dogwheelchairsindia.

The Hindu


Have wheels, will run — made in India aids for pets

Deborah Cornelious

MUMBAI , JULY 24, 2019 00:19 IST online link

Back to life: Sheru is happy running around with a wheelchair built for just ₹8,000.

Back to life: Sheru is happy running around with a wheelchair built for just ₹8,000.   | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Gujarat-based Bhumit Vyas’s custom-built wheelchairs are giving handicapped animals a new lease of life

Just two months after bringing his pet pug Sheru home, Vikas Chawla noticed the puppy consistently wobble. Very quickly, the dog lost all mobility in his hind legs.

“Veterinarians were unable to understand the problem, let alone diagnose it,” recalls the 51-year-old Kolkata resident.

“They presumed it was hip dysplasia or he had damaged nerves.” Ultimately, it turned out Sheru would never walk again.

Chasing doctors

For a whole year, the Chawla family chased doctors, took Sheru for physiotherapy and even swimming classes. “But there was no improvement and it was tormenting Sheru,” says Mr. Chawla, who was advised by several veterinarians to euthanise his puppy.

Instead Mr. Chawla decided to buy him a wheelchair. With international manufacturers quoting a whopping ₹40,000 for a clunky product, he turned to Gujarat-based web-designer-turned-animal prosthesis maker Bhumit Vyas.

Sheru today has a wheelchair built for just ₹8,000.

“My dog’s life has changed. He’s so happy running around,” says Mr. Chawla.

“I’ve recently, ordered a second wheelchair in case the first one breaks down. I don’t want Sheru to be immobile for a single second!”

Mr. Vyas has always been an animal lover., feeding strays in his locality and helping as much as he can. His own indie Pilu, first arrived as a foster who needed rehabilitation. Almost a decade later, they’re still attached at the hip.

Mr. Vyas has always been an animal lover, but the idea of building economical and sturdy wheelchairs for injured pets was sparked three years ago by the plight of a stray dog that had been hit by a vehicle. Even though it was taken in by a local shelter, Mr. Vyas recalls that it was heartbreaking to see the dog drag itself across the shelter’s rough floors.

Ever since, he has worked on designing and building custom-made animal wheelchairs, extending a lifeline to pets with few other options in the country.

With imported wheelchairs being expensive, ones, while weighing upwards of 30kgs, cost up to Rs 50,000. “In India people look after several stray animals at a time, how will they afford such prices?” he says. “How would poor feeders buy these wheelchairs?”

100 pets get help

Earlier this year, Mr. Vyas established, offering custom-built wheelchairs for animals as small as kittens and as large as St. Bernards. He has since sold more than a 100 such prosthetic aids across the country, with orders from as far away as the Andamans.

The parts are imported from China and South Korea and assembled by Mr. Vyas.

“The price of the wheelchair depends on the size of the animal,” he explains. “The wheelchairs are for the impossible cases and it makes me so happy to see them running around afterwards.”

He’s also developed a special edition of wheelchairs for shelters, that are lighter, more subsidised and made entirely using local parts. All the products are adjustable (height, length and width) which makes them portable. Starting at ₹1999 with free delivery across India, these wheelchairs can be re-assembled for as little at ₹40 if they break down. Mr Vyas also offers after-sales services, including spare parts and accessories.

All of Mr Vyas’ efforts for animals can be attributed to his pet Pilu who helped him become an advocate for Indian breeds. “When you’re adopting, look at the soul and think about the life you’re taking home. A dog won’t demand much, their love for you will not change if you feed them fresh meat or even old biscuits,” he says Mr Vyas, concluding that the ultimate hope is that every handicapped animal gets the quality of life it deserves.

How to Establish an Emergency Contact for Your Dog

An emergency contact, also known as a designated caretaker, is a person who will take care of your dog in case you are hospitalized, incapacitated, or unable to return home during an emergency or natural disaster. An emergency contact should be established before a problem arises. Reach out to various friends and family to see who might be willing to take your dog in. Once someone has agreed to be the contact, you should sign an agreement before notifying the proper authorities to ensure that your contact is notified during an emergency. It is also important to provide supplies and instructions to your contact so that they have everything they need to care for your dog.


Finding an Emergency Contact

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    Make a list of suitable family and friends. Write a list of your trusted family, friends, and neighbors to see who might be willing to become your dog’s emergency contact. Think carefully about who may be able to assist you. An emergency contact may have to enter your home if you are hospitalized, incapacitated, or unable to return home. Make sure that you trust them to do this.

    • The person should be able to provide for all of your dog’s needs. For example, if you have an energetic or high-energy breed, you may not want to choose someone who lives in an apartment. Instead, you may want to ask someone who lives in a house or has a fenced yard.
    • You should exclude people who are allergic or afraid of dogs.
    • If they have pets, make sure that your dog is compatible and friendly with them.[1]
    • If the potential emergency contact has or is expecting children, carefully consider if they will be able to suddenly assume responsibility for your dog as well. Consider whether your dog is good with young children, too.
    • An emergency contact should already know your dog, and your dog should be comfortable around them. Do not choose someone if your dog acts nervous, aggressive, or shy around them.[2]
    • An emergency contact should live close enough that they can reach your home quickly in case of an emergency.[3]
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    Ask them to be your emergency contact. To ask, you should call or meet with your candidate. Tell them that you are trying to prepare in case of an emergency, and ask them if they would be willing to take in your dog. Emphasize that this in case of an emergency only.

    • You can say, “I am trying to find an emergency contact for my dog in case something happens to me. I was wondering if you would be willing to do that. I’m not asking you to dog sit; this is really just to make sure that Fido is taken care of in case the worst happens.”
    • You might also want to give them an idea of what taking care of your dog is like. You can say, “Fido is a very sweet and quiet dog, and he is house-trained. You would have to walk him twice a day though because he has a ton of energy.”
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    Determine how much they are willing to help you. Your emergency contact may take in your dog for a few days if there is an accident, but they may not agree to adopt your dog long-term or in the event of your death.[4] You should make sure you understand the circumstances that somebody is willing to take in your dog. You should ask:

    • “How long would you be able to take my dog in for?”
    • “If there was a natural disaster, do you think that you would be able to take in my dog? Or would you have to evacuate as well?”
    • “If I died, do you think you would be able to adopt my dog permanently?”
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    Consider having multiple contacts. Depending on the circumstance, you may want to have a few different options for emergency contacts. If one contact is unavailable, another may be able to help in their place. This will ensure that someone is able to care for your dog in case of an emergency.

    • If someone takes in your dog but is suddenly unable to continue care for them, they can contact the other emergency contacts. When you choose your contact, you should let them know who else may be able to help.
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    Locate safe havens in case of a natural disaster. If you are evacuated for any reason, you may not be able to take your pet with you, as many disaster shelters will not take pets, and your normal emergency contact may have to evacuate as well. In addition to finding a local emergency contact, you should find a friend or family member outside of your local area who can take in your pet.[5] You should also look for emergency vets, kennels, and boarding facilities where you can take your dog.[6]

    • Find out in advance which hotels accept dogs, as you may be able to evacuate to one of these instead.
    • Many shelters will fill up during a natural disaster or emergency. If you have advance warning, you should plan for your dog’s evacuation early.


Disclosing Your Agreement

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    Sign an agreement. A pet protection agreement is an informal, written document that states that your emergency contact is responsible for your pet if you are unable to care for them. Both you and your contact must sign it. This will help ensure that your contact is able to legally assume responsibility for your dog.[7]

    • While you do not need a lawyer for it, you may still want one to look over it for you.
    • Getting the document notarized can help in case a dispute arises. It can make the document more legally binding.
    • This agreement might state, “If there is a situation in which I am hospitalized, incapacitated or unable to return home, I designate John Doe to arrange for the feeding and care of my dog until I am able to return home again.”[8]
    • Tell a trusted contact or two about the agreement. Store it somewhere safe but obvious in the event that you are unable to direct them to it.
    • You both should have a copy of this agreement.
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    Name a caretaker in your will. You can set provisions in your will to leave your pet to a designated caretaker, and you can even set aside money to that caretaker to provide for your dog after your death. Make sure you have talked about this extensively with your emergency contact before you do so; they should be fully committed to adopting your dog. You should then contact your lawyer about including the caretaker in your will.[9]

    • If you cannot find someone willing to adopt your dog after your death, you can name a charitable organization that will rehome your dog. This will ensure that your dog does not go to a kill-shelter after your death.
    • Some states allow you to establish a trust that immediately provides money to a trustee for your dog’s care in the event of your death. Talk to a lawyer to see if this is an option for you.
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    Inform your vet. Once you have decided who your contact is, you should make sure that your vet knows. Call your vet, and tell them that you have established an emergency contact. Tell them that this person is responsible for your dog if something happens to you. This will help your vet continue caring for your dog in your absence.

    • When telling your vet, you should say, “Hi, I just want to notify you that I have chosen an emergency contact for my dog. Her name is Mary Smith, and she lives at 123 Main Street. If anything happens to me, she can make medical decisions for my dog on my behalf. Thanks.”
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    Place a sticker on your window. Emergencies can occur when you are not home. To let emergency responders know that there is an animal in the home, you can place a sticker on your window. On this sticker, you should also write both your name and number and the contact information of the pet’s emergency contact.[10]

    • You can buy the stickers online or at a pet store.
    • The ASPCA provides free stickers through their website.
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    Carry a note in your wallet. In case something happens to you, you can inform responders that you have a pet in need of care at your home. The best way to do this is to stick a note in your wallet that states your dog’s name, any medications that they need, and the name of their emergency contact. Responders can reach the contact, and let them know that they should take your pet.[11]


Preparing for a Potential Emergency

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    Give the contact a key to your house. If there is an emergency and you cannot reach your home, your contact should be able to enter your house to take care of your pet. It is important that you give your contact your house key.[12] If you have a security system installed, they should have the password to turn it off.
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    Put together an emergency kit. To make things easy for your emergency contact, you should put together a kit that has everything your dog might need in an emergency. These items can be stored in a special toolbox, duffle bag, plastic storage crate, or trunk. Tell your contact where the kit is located so that they can grab it in an emergency.[13] You should include:

    • Medications
    • A week’s worth of food
    • A bag of treats
    • A week’s worth of clean bottled water
    • First-aid kit[14]
    • Copy of your dog’s medical records
    • An extra leash[15]
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    Write down instructions. You should make sure that there are written instructions for your contact so that they know exactly how to provide for your dog. You might want to include these written instructions in the emergency kit, or you can post it on your fridge. You might also consider giving your contact the instructions in advance, so that they are prepared if an emergency strikes. Be sure to include:

    • How often and how much the dog eats
    • How often they need to be walked
    • When the dog needs to take medications
    • Who their vet is
    • Any medical problems
    • How often they need to be groomed
    • Where your dog’s crate, carrier, bed, toys, and food/water bowl are located in the home.
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    Check in with your contact. If the worst does happen, you should stay in touch with your emergency contact. As soon as you are able, call them to make sure that your dog is taken care of. You might even ask your contact to send you pictures or videos of your dog so that you can have peace of mind while you recover from the emergency.

    • You may also want to make sure that the contact is updated on your situation. You can say, “I will be in the hospital for another week. Are you ok taking care of Max for that long?”
    • If your contact is suddenly unable to take care of the dog, let them know where they can take your dog while you recover. This can be another emergency contact, a vet, or a boarding facility.
    • Be sure to thank them for their help.


How to Watch a Dog for Stiff or Limp Movements

Many canine conditions cause stiff or limp body movements. Many people think these are a normal part of a dog’s aging process, or that they aren’t a symptom worth getting checked out. While mobility issues are part of getting older, many younger dogs also can experience stiff or limp movements. To notice if there is a problem, you should watch for signs of stiffness or limping such as problems walking, reluctance to do activities they used to, and difficulty getting up.


Recognizing Common Signs of Stiffness or Limping

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    Look for a limp gait. A common sign of distress is a limp gait. Your dog may limp as they walk on their paws. The dog may also hold up one of their legs. The limp movement may be in multiple legs, so the dog may walk on different legs at different points during the day.[1]

    • Usually when a dog suffers from a limp gait they will favor placing their weight on certain legs.
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    Check for skeletal problems. When your dog’s legs are lame, you may notice problems with their bones. If one of the back legs is lame, the dog’s pelvis may drop when they step, but then rise when the leg lifts. If both back legs are affected, then the dog’s weight will shift forward.[2]

    • You may notice that the bones or joints in the dog’s legs, hips, or back are abnormal in size or shape.
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    Notice any reluctance to do activities. Limp and stiff body movements may result in your dog not wanting to do the same activities they used to enjoy all the time. Your dog may stop jumping around or refuse to climb stairs.[3]

    • If the dog does climb stairs, they may have noticeable trouble, stumble, or even have one leg that is limp when they are finished.
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    Watch for stiffness when your dog is getting up. You may notice that your dog is having trouble standing. They may be stiff all over or some of their legs may appear limp or lame. It may take your dog a long time to stand due to this.[4]

    • Often, the dog will limp or have trouble walking for a few moments after they get up.
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    Notice a stiff neck. Stiff necks in dogs may point to an underlying medical condition. When your dog has a stiff neck, they may arch their backs or move their nose towards the ground. The dog will probably not want to move their head from side to side or turn around.[5]

    • The muscles around the neck may be very tense or start showing tremors.
    • The dog may refuse to eat because it is difficult to lower their head to eat from the bowl.
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    Notice any aggressive body language. Sometimes your dog will go completely rigid and stop moving. Their entire body may be tense. A dog’s face may also be stiff or tense, giving them a furrowed brow look. The dog’s mouth may be tense and rigid. The tail may also be stiff and held low or parallel to their body.[6]

    • This may not be due to any sickness or ailment, but be body language in response to something that makes them nervous or upset.


Recognizing Risk Factors

  1. 1

    Think about your dog’s age. Many older dogs experience mobility problems. This includes stiffness after lying or sleeping and difficulty getting up. Older dogs may slow down when they walk, and they may not do the same activities they used to.[7]

    • Though these are common symptoms in senior dogs, you should still have your dog checked out by a vet. Your vet may be able to figure out a way to ease any pain.
  2. 2

    Determine if there is an immediate reason for the mobility problems. Sometimes, there is an immediate and obvious reason that your dog is limping. For example, maybe they cut their paw and it is healing. They may have also done vigorous exercise where that has left them bruised or sore. Even a dog having nails that are too long may lead to limping.[8]

    • If your dog has recently had surgery, a medical procedure, or an injury this could result in mobility problems.
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    Consider the dog’s breed. Some breeds of dogs have a higher chance of developing hip and joint problems than others. These problems, such as arthritis or dysplasia, can cause limping or stiffness of the joints or limbs. Some breeds with common joint and limb problems are:[9]

    • Dachshund
    • Labrador Retrievers
    • Golden Retrievers
    • German Shepherds
    • Rottweilers
    • Great Danes
    • Mastiffs


Seeking Medical Treatment

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    Take your dog to the vet. If you notice any problems with your dog’s legs or gait, you should take them to the vet. Your vet can do a physical exam and figure out exactly what is wrong with your dog. Limping, stiffness, and lameness are non-specific signs that may point to multiple conditions.[10]

    • Even if you think your dog may not have a severe condition, you should still take them to the vet. You want to make sure that your dog is okay.
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    Determine the cause of the lameness. Dogs may experience limp or stiff movements for a variety of reasons. Because limp or stiff movement is a symptom of many conditions, it is difficult to figure out the reason without a physical exam by a vet. Common causes for stiff or limp movement include:

    • Arthritis[11]
    • Hip or elbow dysplasia
    • Obesity
    • Vertebrae disease
    • Joint disease[12]
    • Pinched neck nerve[13]
    • Torn ACL[14]
    • Sprains, bruises, or cuts on the foot pad[15]
    • Trauma
    • Infection[16]
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    Get your dog tested. When you take your dog to the vet, the vet will perform various tests to figure out what is causing your dog’s mobility issues. They need to figure out if it’s a muscle and skeletal problem, a problem with the brain, or an internal problem.[17]

    • The vet will probably order x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. They may also get samples of joint fluid, along with tissue and muscle samples.
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    Treat the underlying cause. The treatment of your dog’s mobility problems will depend on what is causing it. It may be as simple as making your dog lose weight to take weight and pressure off joints and limbs. Your vet may also prescribe pain medication or steroids to help your dog move better.[18]

    • In severe cases, your dog may need to undergo surgery to fix the cause of the problem.


How to Use an Ehmer Sling

An “Ehmer” sling is a binding technique used by veterinarians to stabilize a dislocated hind leg in dogs. The configuration of the wrap reduces the movement of the injured leg, preventing further injury and allowing it to heal faster. To apply an Ehmer sling correctly, flex the leg so that it’s held close to the animal’s body, then tape around the bottom portion of the leg and up over the abdomen. When properly immobilized, the injury should begin to heal within 1-2 weeks.


Positioning the Injured Leg

  1. 1

    Set the injured limb. For an Ehmer sling to be of any use, the dislocated joint must first be put back into place. You should never attempt to do this yourself. Instead, take your dog to a licensed veterinary professional where they can receive proper treatment.[1]

    • Your dog will need to be anesthetized in order to relax the muscles surrounding the injury and make it easier to secure the sling.
    • In most cases, an Ehmer sling will be most effective when used on dislocations that are less than 24 hours old. After that, prolonged muscle contraction may make more intensive surgeries necessary.
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    Lay the dog on its side. Gently lower the dog into a relaxed position with its legs fully outstretched. The injured leg should be on top. While you work, support the limb with one hand to keep it from drooping. Any drastic changes in posture may make the injury worse.[2]

    • Speaking to your dog in a soothing voice will help keep them calm throughout the immobilization process.
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    Wrap the lower part of the leg in gauze to cushion it. An additional layer will provide insulation from the tape and prevent it from sticking to the dog’s fur. Alternatively, you can trim a piece of thick cotton roll to the right proportions.[3]

    • If necessary, hold the padding in place with a small strip of tape to keep it from coming undone while you’re fashioning the sling.
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    Flex the injured leg up toward the dog’s body. Carefully bend the knee joint so that the hip is lying flat against the outer edge of the lower abdomen. The hip should be pulled slightly inward, with the knee pointing toward the center of the belly. In this position, the dog will be forced to keep its weight off the dislocated joint, giving it a chance to heal.[4]

    • Manipulate the injured leg slowly. If your dog winces or cries out in pain, you may be moving too quickly or attempting to place the limb at the wrong angle. Stop immediately and reset the limb correctly before proceeding.
    • A small degree of abduction, or keeping the leg tucked in close to the body, will decrease the chances of the joint drifting back out of the socket.[5]


Wrapping the Sling

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    Anchor the tape around the backside of the injured leg. For an effective Ehmer sling, it’s best to use a strong, non-elastic roll of tape that’s porous enough to let the skin beneath the wrapping breathe. Fold the loose end of the tape around the lower leg just above the paw. Rather than encircling the entire limb, leave 2–3 inches (5.1–7.6 cm) free and press both adhesive sides of the tape together.[6]

    • Be careful not to wrap the sling too tight. This could cut off your dog’s circulation, or at the very least cause discomfort.[7]
    • By securing one side of the tape to the other, you can avoid wrapping the tape too tightly, which could cut off circulation to the limb or lead to sores or skin irritation.
    • Make sure the tape is centered, or else it could lose its hold as you begin to wrap the sling.
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    Guide the tape over the hip joint. Holding the injured leg in a flexed position, pull the free end of the tape up and around the crease where the thigh meets the abdomen. Then, work your way around to where you originally started to form a complete loop. The leg will now stay bent, which will help alleviate the strain on the muscles and tendons.[8]

    • Repeat this taping pattern 2-3 more times to make sure the wrapping stays firmly in place.
    • Make sure you’re applying an even amount of pressure as you continue to wrap the tape. If some spots are wrapped tighter than others, your dog could get painful pressure sores.
  3. 3

    Redirect the tape to form an abdominal band. If you’re using a separate piece of tape, start by positioning the tape in the same spot you did the first strip. This time, you can stick the end of the tape directly to the lower layer. If you’re using the same roll, simply unravel it enough to allow you to change direction without crossing any other part of the dog’s body.[9]

    • When applying a sling to a larger breed, you may need to use a second roll of tape to ensure that you’ll have enough for multiple passes.
    • Without another point to support the leg band, the joint still won’t have the stability it needs to limit side-to-side movement. The leg band will therefore be responsible for keeping the knee flexed while the abdominal band braces the hip joint itself.[10]
  4. 4

    Continue wrapping the tape around the lower abdomen. Once the lower leg is secured, bring the roll up and over the lower back and around the front to the belly. The idea is to create a sort of girdle that anchors the leg band at two different angles. Repeat this wrapping pattern as many times as needed to fortify the sling. When you’re finished, the injured leg will be fully immobilized and ready to begin healing.[11]

    • To keep the sling nice and snug, pull the loose skin around the haunches taut before stretching the tape around the dog’s midsection.
    • Take care not to pull the tape too tight, as this could cause discomfort or restrict breathing.
    • Avoid wrapping male dogs in such a way that they have difficulty urinating.


Utilizing an Ehmer Sling Effectively

  1. 1

    Use an Ehmer sling to stabilize recent dislocations. “Closed reduction” methods like Ehmer slings that restrict joint movement are most effective for dealing with injuries that have just occurred. Generally, it’s best to apply the wrapping within 24 hours of the incident. After that, there may be too much inflammation in the joint for a sling to be of any use.[12]

    • Consult your vet before deciding that an Ehmer sling is what your dog needs. Depending on the nature of the injury, it may not be the best way to ensure recovery.
    • Never wrap a joint that has been dislocated for more than about 3 days—this could end up doing more harm than good.
  2. 2

    Leave the sling in place for a minimum of 7-10 days. It may take up to two weeks before you begin to see an improvement in the injured limb. The longest you should leave an Ehmer sling in place is 14 days, after which time the joint should be strong enough to support the dog’s weight while walking short distances.[13]

    • Assuming that it’s been applied correctly, the sling shouldn’t loosen up or come undone.
    • Keep the wrapping as dry as possible. Otherwise, there’s a chance the adhesive may wear off prematurely.
  3. 3

    Check periodically for sores and other complications. Examine the area around your dog’s lower leg, thigh, and abdomen for signs of swelling, skin irritation, bruising, or thinning fur. Should you happen to discover any of these issues, reposition or remove the sling right away. When left unaddressed, they have the potential to pose serious health risks.[14]

    • Ask your vet what they recommend as your next best course of action.


How to Wrap a Dog’s Tail

There may come a time when your dog suffers from an injury known as “happy tail”. Contrary to the name, “happy tail” is anything but “happy”. Some dogs, especially large breeds with short hair, can injure his tail when wagging it.[1] Injury is sustained when the dog hits his tail against a hard surface or simply wags with such force that the tail ruptures. Follow these steps to help heal and protect your dog’s tail after an injury.


Wrapping the Tail

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    Assess the tail. Before you wrap your dog’s tail, look it over to make sure it actually needs a wrap. “Happy tail” will result in obvious blood loss from your dog’s tail and you should be able to see where the site of the wound is.

    • Try to contact your veterinarian. They will be able to wrap the tail and check for any other damage.
    • If you are unable to contact your veterinarian, you may have to wrap your dog’s tail yourself.
    • Wrapping a dog’s tail can help it to heal faster and prevent further injury.
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    Learn the overview of wrapping your dogs tail. The wrap will be done in three basic stages, applying ointment and gauze, wrapping in cotton for padding, and then taping the bandage to secure everything in place.

    • Ointment goes directly on the wounded area. Clean the area first and then make sure you cover the entire injury with ointment.
    • Gauze and cotton should cover the injury as well. These layers help add protection and keep the ointment where it needs to be.
    • Tape will be applied in two ways. First, apply the tape lengthwise, down the dogs tail and over the gauze and cotton. Then apply rings around those first pieces of tape, starting at the tip and working down the tail.
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    Gather the necessary materials. You will need a few key items to properly wrap your dog’s tail. Getting items together before you begin will allow you to work faster when you apply the bandage and minimize discomfort for your dog.[2]

    • Adhesive medical tape with a width of about one inch.
    • Antibiotic ointment (Mycitracin/lidocaine).[3]
    • Cotton. Larger pieces of cotton will be easier to work with.
    • One non-stick gauze pad.
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    Cut the adhesive tape into smaller pieces. You will want to pre-cut the tape in order to allow you to work quickly. The size of your dog’s tail injury will vary, so you may need more or less tape to wrap the tail. However, you can cut about ten strips of the adhesive tape to the following sizes:[4]

    • Two long pieces (eight inches)
    • Six short pieces (four inches)
    • Two half pieces (four inches in length, one half inch in width)
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    Place the ointment. The ointment will help to prevent infection as well as promote healing. Ointment will need to be reapplied every time you change the bandage.

    • Put ointment on the wound. Make sure you use enough to cover the injured area.
    • You may also want to put some ointment on the gauze bandage as well to ensure that it will come in contact with the wound.
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    Cut and place a piece of the gauze bandage. Take the gauze bandage and cut out a piece that will be big enough to cover the size of the wound. Gently wrap the bandage around the wound and secure it with the narrow pieces of tape.[5]

    • Don’t tape or wrap anything too tightly.
    • Try wrapping the tape down the tail in a spiral.
    • You can also try wrapping the adhesive tape around the tail, at each end of the bandage.
    • Make sure the gauze covers the wound fully.
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    Add the cotton. Take the cotton and place it around the wounded area of the tail. Make sure there is enough cotton to fully cover the area and provide enough padding to keep it from further injury.[6]

    • If you have a large piece of cotton, try wrapping it around the tail just like you would a bandage.
    • Wrap the cotton around the tail entirely at the site of the injury. The cotton should fully cover the gauze and provide padding to the injured area.
    • Carefully compress the cotton, making it conform to the shape of the tail. Be careful not to compress the cotton too forcefully as you may cause further injury to the tail.
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    Finish taping the tail. After you have the gauze bandage and cotton in place, you can start to tape them to the tail. The tape you are now adding will form the outside of the bandage as well as help to securely hold the gauze pad in place. These next pieces of tape will run lengthwise, down the dogs tail.[7]

    • Place an eight inch piece of tape lengthwise, parallel to the tail, over the cotton. The tape will start and end on the dog’s fur.
    • Place a six inch piece of tape slightly askew of the first eight inch piece. It should start and end in the same places; however, it will be angled off to the right somewhat, covering the first piece only slightly.
    • Add another six inch piece of tape in the same way, expect this time angle it to the left.
    • You should have three pieces of tape now, covering the wound, lengthwise down the dog’s tail. They should start and end in the fur, just past the ends of the gauze bandage.
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    Add more tape. Now that you have the bandage anchored to the tail, it’s time to add even more stability and protection. These next few pieces of tape will encircle the tail in rings, similar to the way a mummy is wrapped. Add the last few pieces of tape in the following way:[8]

    • Put a piece of tape around the first three pieces and your dog’s tail. Start towards the tip of your dog’s tail and work down.
    • Add the next piece of tape, just below this one. It should go all the way around the dog’s tail and cover the bandages and tape already affixed.
    • Keep adding tape in this way until you have covered the length of the bandage.
    • Make the last piece of tape overlaps the bandage, sticking to the fur of your dog’s tail.
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    Finish the bandage. Once you have covered the bandage with tape, you are almost done. These last few actions will fully affix the bandage to the tail and keep it secure.[9]

    • Pull a few bunches of hair out from underneath the last tape wrap.
    • Place these bunches of hair flat against the surface of the bandage.
    • Wrap one final piece of tape around these bunches of hair and the tail.


Promoting Healing and Protection

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    Visit your vet. After you have applied the first bandage, you should visit your veterinarian as soon as you can. You will want to check to see the extent of the damage and how best to treat it.

    • There may be broken bones in the tail that need advanced treatment.
    • Your vet may prescribe certain ointments or have alternative techniques for you to follow.
    • The dog may need stitches if the bleeding too profuse.
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    Change the bandage as needed. The bandage will need changing as it will either become soiled, wet, fall off, or be destroyed by the dog chewing it. Apply new bandages as you did before to keep the wound healing, protected, and safe from infection or further damage.[10]

    • Do not leave the bandage in place for more than a day.
    • Wet bandages will trap infections.
    • Most tail problems will heal in two weeks
    • Visit your veterinarian if the wound doesn’t seem to be healing.
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    Keep things calm. Happy tail results from your dog either wagging his tail so hard that it bleeds or hitting his tail on a hard surface. If you are able to lower the level of excitement in your dog, you will lower the chances of continued injury to your dog’s tail.[11]

    • If your dog gets overly excited when you return home, ignore them, until you get to a larger room that he can wag his tail in without worry of them striking a hard surface.
    • If your dog gets excited about going on a walk, prepare for the walk in a larger room, giving them more space and avoiding any injury to his tail.
    • Try to act calmly around your dog as this can result in calm behavior from them as well.
    • Try using the “sit” command. By having your dog sit, it will reduce the amount of force that he can wag his tail with.[12]
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    Remove the bandage. If the bandage needs to be on for more than a day, you will have to remove and change the bandage. Leaving a bandage on will increase the chances of infection and won’t allow the tail to heal as well as it could. Remove the old bandage by using the following methods:[13]

    • For any areas of the bandage where the fur is stuck to the adhesive, try soaking them in vegetable or olive oil for a few minutes. These oils will help break down the adhesive and allow for easy removal.
    • If your dogs wound is healed, you can also try using shampoo to remove the adhesive and painlessly take the bandage off.
    • For small amounts of fur that are stuck to the bandage, you may simply cut the fur away with a pair of scissors. Exercise caution when cutting the bandage away as it is easy to accidentally cut the dogs tail. If you are not confident doing this, you could take your dog to the groomer.
    • Pulling the bandage off will also pull your dogs hair out and cause it pain. Avoid this method of removal as your dog will come to fear bandages.
    • Do not use any harsh chemicals such as nail polish or rubbing alcohol as these can be harmful to your dog.


How to Wrap a Dog’s Shoulder

If your dog has a cut or bite on its shoulder or you think the shoulder is sprained, wrap it before taking your dog to the vet. Try to stop the bleeding of an open wound before you place a cotton bandage on it. Wrap the shoulder and chest to create a harness-type bandage. For a sprained shoulder, wrap an elastic bandage up and around your dog’s shoulder and front legs. Then get your dog immediate medical attention.


Stabilizing a Sprained Shoulder

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    Take action if you suspect a shoulder strain. If you notice that your dog is suddenly in pain or that their shoulder is gradually becoming more painful, look for other signs of a sprained shoulder. These can include:[1]

    • Licking the shoulder joint
    • Limping
    • Loss of appetite
    • Swollen joints or paws
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    Wrap sprains that limit, but don’t prevent, movement. Once you’ve determined your dog’s shoulder is sprained, pay attention to their range of movement. If the dog can still move their shoulder and leg, you can wrap the joint. If they can’t move the leg or joint, contact the vet immediately. Wrapping the shoulder could make the injury worse.[2]
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    Keep the dog standing and drape an elastic bandage over its back. The dog should be standing on all 4 legs. Unroll a long Ace-style elastic bandage and lay it over the dog’s back so both ends of the bandage hang evenly over its sides. The bandage should fall below the dog’s neck near its shoulder.[3]

    • You might need a helper to keep the dog standing still.
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    Pull the straps of the bandage under the dog’s chest. Use moderate tension to pull each bandage strap across and switch hands. For example, bring the right strap to your left hand and pull the left strap to your right hand.[4]
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    Wrap the straps around each of the dog’s legs. Bring each strap around the front of the dog’s legs near the joint. Wrap each strap around the leg 1 at a time using moderate tension. Avoid wrapping too tightly or you will cut off circulation to the leg. You should easily be able to slide your fingers under the bandage.
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    Bring the straps behind the legs and up to secure the bandage. Wrap each strap behind the legs and pull the straps up towards the dog’s back and shoulder. Tie a knot to keep the bandage from unraveling.[5]

    • Check to ensure that the bandage isn’t digging into the dog’s legs or back. If it is, you’ll need to loosen the bandage a little.
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    Call the vet if the sprain is moderate to severe. If your dog can’t move their shoulder or leg, contact the vet. You should also talk with the vet if your dog’s minor sprain hasn’t gotten better after 2 days of being stabilized by a wrap.[6]

    • The vet will do x-rays to check for fractures that could be preventing the shoulder from healing.


Wrapping an Open Wound

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    Keep the dog in standing position. Ask someone to help keep the dog in place so you can bandage the wound and wrap the shoulder. The dog should be standing so you can wrap the bandage under the dog’s torso.
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    Press a cotton bandage on the shoulder wound. Dab the wound gently with clean cotton gauze. Then cut a cotton bandage to fit the size of the wound and place it directly on the open wound. Press down firmly with 1 hand to slow any bleeding.[7]

    • Consider wearing gloves to prevent introducing germs to the wound.
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    Wrap an elastic bandage around your dog’s torso and shoulder. Press 1 end of the elastic bandage on your dog’s back near its shoulder. Pull the bandage down and under its torso before bringing it back up near the shoulder. Bring the bandage down over the covered wound and wrap it around the dog’s leg to keep the bandage in place. Repeat this a few times to stabilize the shoulder.[8]

    • Use moderate tension to avoid cutting off circulation.
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    Wrap the bandage behind the dog’s neck and under the torso. To create a harness-type bandage that secures the shoulder, pull the bandage behind the dog’s neck and down onto its chest. Bring the bandage behind the leg of the affected shoulder and back up behind the dog’s shoulder. Wrap the bandage around the leg a few times for support.

    • You should see a V-shaped bandage on the dog’s chest.
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    Secure the bandage with medical tape. Pull off a few inches of medical tape and cut it. Tape the bandage in place along the dog’s back so the bandage doesn’t unwind. You may need to use a few pieces. If you don’t have medical tape, you can use masking tape or another strong tape that you have around the house.

    • Some bandages come with butterfly closures that secure the elastic bandage in place.
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    Run your finger under the bandage to check the fit. Slide your index finger under the bandage near your dog’s leg and chest. You should be able to easily slide your finger under the bandage from the shoulder down across the chest. If you can’t, the bandage is too tight and you should wrap it more loosely.[9]
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    Get your dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible. These instructions are only meant to help you provide immediate first aid when necessary. If your dog has a deep, bleeding wound or you suspect the dog has a shoulder fracture, it will need medical treatment.[10]

    • The vet will remove your dog’s shoulder wrap to clean and examine the wound. The dog may need x-rays, injections, or stitches.


How to Treat Nosebleeds in Dogs

Nosebleeds may seem fairly harmless, but in dogs, they usually indicate something else is wrong. Therefore, it’s important to know what to do in the moment, such as keeping your dog still and applying an ice pack. You will also need to take your dog to the vet, so they can diagnose what’s wrong, as treating the underlying condition is important.


Providing Immediate Care

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    Stay calm. If you notice a nosebleed, don’t become frantic. Doing so will only make your dog upset and frightened. Instead, try to stay calm and collected. You can help your dog. You just need to stay cool-headed, so you can get it to the vet and get it treated.[1]
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    Check for breathing. Your dog primarily breathes through its nose, so when it gets a nosebleed, it may have trouble breathing. Make sure the dog is breathing okay before doing anything else. If it’s not, it’s time to go to the vet now.[2]

    • If your dog is having trouble breathing, you should be able to hear wheezing. Your dog may also be panting more, as well as breathing more rapidly.[3]
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    Apply ice and pressure. To stop the nosebleed in the moment, use an ice pack. Wrap ice in a cloth or washcloth so it isn’t too cold, then hold it up to your dog’s nose, on the bridge. Apply light pressure in the area. The cold should help the blood vessels narrow, making the blood stop flowing.[4]

    • You should apply pressure until the bleeding stops. If it hasn’t stopped after about 20 minutes, consider taking your dog to the vet.
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    Calm your pet. You don’t want your dog to move around too much. Moving around increases blood flow, which makes the nosebleed worse. Instead, try to keep it still by petting it and talking soothingly to it while you apply the ice pack.[5]

    • Continue calming your dog even once the blood as stopped flowing, as moving around too much could cause the clot to blow, creating a new nosebleed.


Diagnosing and Treating the Condition

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    See a veterinarian. A nosebleed is often a symptom of an underlying condition. Therefore, if you notice a nosebleed in your dog, you need to take it to the vet as soon as possible to get a diagnosis. Often, your dog will continue to get nosebleeds if the underlying condition isn’t treated.[6]

    • Expect tests. Because a nosebleed can indicate a wide variety of conditions, your doctor will need to do a full examination, plus a range of tests. The tests will likely include taking both a blood sample and a urine sample for analysis. Your vet may also order x-rays or a CAT scan to help to determine what is wrong.[7]
    • Nosebleeds in dogs can be caused by more minor issues such as high blood pressure, dental disease, a fungal infection, or mild trauma (including having something stuck in the nose). Your dog may also have a problem with blood clotting. Some more serious possibilities include the chance of a tumor or cancer, problems from eating rat poison, and diseases passed from ticks.[8]
    • The most common causes for nosebleeds are infections, trauma, and tumors.[9] A few other possibilities include Rocky Mountain spotted fever or a thyroid issue.[10]
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    Think about possible causes. It can help your vet if you think about possible connections to the nose bleed. For instance, if you know your dog got into rat poison (which can also happen if they eat a rodent contaminated with poison), that’s a connection. Another connection is if the dog experienced any trauma recently, such as running into something. Foxtails, a type of grass with a spiky end, can also be a problem if your dog has had a run-in with it recently, as the end can go up the dog’s nose and get stuck.[11]

    • Medications can also cause nosebleeds, particularly NSAIDs (like ibuprofen).
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    Understand how the vet may stop the nosebleed. If your dog’s nose won’t stop bleeding, your doctor may need to employ some other tactics than you used. They may use epinephrine drops on the nose, for instance, or they may put your dog under anesthesia and pack its nose with gauze.[12]

    • Your vet may also have to cauterize the end of the blood vessels to stop the nosebleeds.
    • If your dog has lost a lot of blood, it may need a blood transfusion, which your vet can provide.
    • Ask about antibiotics or antifungals for infections. If your dog has an infection, a round of antibiotics or antifungals may be needed to treat the infection. Once the infection has been banished by the medications, the nosebleeds should go away, too.[13]
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    Know a plasma transfusion may be needed. If your dog has von Willebrand’s disease, it may need a plasma transfusion to help treat it.[14] Von Willebrand’s disease, often inherited, is found in both dogs and humans. Basically, the blood doesn’t clot as well as it should, causing excessive bleeding.[15]

    • After the bleeding has stopped and your dog has had a plasma transfusion, your doctor may recommend that it begin taking a round of drugs intended to treat the disease.
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    Remove the object if something is lodged. If your dog ran into something that become lodged in its nose, the vet will need to remove the object. Doing so may cause more bleeding for a bit, but the nosebleeds should clear up eventually.[16]

    • Your vet may be able to remove the object with tweezers. If they can’t remove the object, they may need to move on to surgery.
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    Understand other options. If the problem is a tumor, a build-up from a fungal infection, or a badly lodged object, surgery will likely need to be performed on your dog. Of course, your vet will need to make this call, and they will provide you with the options you have for your dog’s care.[17]

    • Depending on what’s causing the problem, your dog may need other treatments, such as immunosuppressive therapy. Prednisone may be prescribed if the problem has to do with the platelets in the blood. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be needed if the cause is cancer. Your dog may also need to stay in the hospital for a period of time for treatment.[18]
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    Follow your vet’s directions at home. Once your dog comes home, you’ll need to follow all of your vet’s instructions. Your dog will need to be kept calm. A crate can help in severe cases. You’ll also likely need to give your dog medications, either pills or a spray for the nostrils, which your vet will show you how to apply.[19]


Noticing the Symptoms of a Nosebleed

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    Watch for blood. Obviously, the main symptom of a nosebleed is a slow, steady flow of blood dripping from your dog’s nose. However, you may not notice the flow right away. Watch for the skin around the nose changing color (turning darker because of the blood).[20]

    • You may also see swelling around the mouth and nose.[21]
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    Look for signs of distress. Even if you don’t notice the blood right away, your dog is likely to know something is wrong or different. It will likely paw at its nose as a nosebleed starts because it can feel the blood starting to come out.[22]
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    Give your dog’s breath a sniff. As a dog owner, you know dog breath is rarely pleasant. However, nosebleeds can cause even worse breath, particularly if they are chronic. If you notice your dog’s breath suddenly getting worse, it could be because of nosebleeds or the underlying cause.[23]
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    Pay attention to your dog’s eating habits. If your dog suddenly stops eating, that could also be a sign of nosebleeds. More likely, it’s a sign of the underlying condition causing the nosebleed. Either way, if your dog stops eating, it needs to see a vet.[24]

    • While your dog may still be eating, you should also note if it’s losing weight over time.
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    Check out your dog’s feces. This job is definitely not a fun one. However, you don’t need to dig around in your dog’s feces. Rather, you just need to note the color. If it’s especially dark and sticky, that could mean your dog has been swallowing blood from a nosebleed.[25]


How to Treat Frostbite in Dogs

Frostbite is a scary and dangerous winter hazard for your dog! Frostbite occurs after a dog has been outside in cold temperatures for too long. It causes damage to the skin tissue, and can result in your beloved pet losing part of their body. Frostbite can be minor or major, depending on how long the dog was exposed to the cold. To treat frostbite, look for the symptoms, warm the dog with warm towels and warm water compresses, and take them to the vet as soon as possible.


Treating the Frostbite Immediately

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    Move your dog inside. The first thing you should do for your dog is to get them out of the cold weather. You should move them into a warm environment, like your house. Make sure to be gentle with your dog, especially around the frostbitten skin.[1]
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    Treat any hypothermia first. If your dog has hypothermia or low core temperature, this needs to be treated before the frostbite. Wrap your dog in warm blankets or towels. You can also place water bottles filled with hot water around the body.[2]

    • Make sure to wrap the bottles in cloth to keep it from burning the dog’s skin, and make sure the blankets or towels you wrap around the dog are dry.
    • Symptoms of hypothermia include violent shivering followed by listlessness and a rectal temperature that is below 95°F (35°C). Other signs include a weak pulse, lethargy, and coma.
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    Cover the area with warm water. Gently warm the frostbitten skin with warm water compresses. You can also soak the affected area in warm water. Never place hot water onto frostbitten skin. This can cause additional damage.[3]

    • The best water temperature is between 104°F to 108°F (40 to 42°C).
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    Pat the skin dry. After your dog has warmed up, dry the skin and fur. Wet skin and fur can cause your dog to be chilled. Take a towel and gently pat the area dry.[4]
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    Avoid hurting the tissue further. Though you definitely want to get the dog warm again, you want to make sure not to hurt them further. Don’t rub or massage the frostbitten skin. This may cause additional damage.[5]

    • You should also not use any direct heat from heating pads, heaters, or hair dryers.
    • If for some reason you have to remain outdoors, don’t try to warm up the frostbitten skin unless you can keep it warm. More cold against the skin or refreezing will make the tissue damage worse.


Seeking Medical Attention

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    Take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. If your dog has frostbite, you should get them treated by a vet immediately. The veterinarian will examine your dog, evaluate the degree of damage, and take measures for treating the frostbite, as well as any other condition such as systemic shock or hypothermia.[6]

    • Wrap your dog in warm towels on your way to the vet. Don’t turn the heat up too high as you drive. Instead, keep the car at a mild, warm temperature.
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    Get pain medication. The vet may decide that the thawing skin will cause your dog too much pain. They may give your dog a prescription pain medication to help relieve their symptoms.[7]

    • Don’t give your dog any over-the-counter pain medications. Many of these medications can be toxic to dogs. This may also mean that the vet is not able to prescribe anything stronger to your dog for pain.
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    Have your dog undergo extra measures to warm up. If your dog is still not warmed up enough, the vet will do additional procedures to raise their temperature and unthaw the skin. They may be given warm IV fluids or a warm water enema to help raise their internal temperature.[8]
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    Treat secondary infections with antibiotics. If your dog has severe frostbite that resulted in dead tissue, the vet may prescribe antibiotics. These medications will help prevent a secondary bacterial infection. If your dog already has an infection around the tissue, they will be given antibiotics.[9]
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    Remove dead tissue surgically. If your pet has dead tissue or dead body parts, they will need to be removed. The vet may amputate affected body parts or surgically remove the necrotic tissues. This is rare and only for severe cases.[10]

    • While your dog is anesthetized, the vet will debride the dead tissue to reach the healthy tissue. Several surgeries may be required to accomplish this since it may take time to see the full extent of the damage.


Identifying the Symptoms

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    Check for pale, gray skin. Dogs that have frostbite will has discolored skin. This discoloration makes the skin appear pale, gray, or bluish instead of their skin normal color.[11]

    • This can be very hard to see, so you may need to look under their fur at different patches of skin.
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    Monitor the most common areas affected. Frostbite is not easy to see on your pet. You may not notice they have frostbite unless you really check out their body. If you want to monitor your dog for frostbite, keep an eye on the extremities of the body.[12]

    • This includes the ears, lips, tail, face, feet, and scrotum.
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    Feel for cold skin. Another way you can tell if your beloved pet has frostbite is by touching it. Dog’s skin should be warm. Skin that is frostbitten will feel brittle or cold when touched, and the dog may also lack sensation in the affected areas.
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    Search for red skin. When the frostbitten skin starts to warm up, it can become red and swollen. This area may be painful for your dog.[13]

    • The skin may develop skin blisters or ulcers if it’s second degree frostbite.
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    Notice peeling skin. If the skin that was frostbitten died, the dead tissue may start peeling off over a few weeks. This may be accompanied by cracking and extremely dry patches of skin.[14]
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    Look for darkened or dead skin. If your dog gets really bad frostbite, the skin will start turning dark. It may turn black after a few days. This is evidence of third degree frostbite.[15]

    • There may be a clear line between damaged and healthy tissue on the skin.
    • These areas may have pus from a bacterial infection and the affected area may have a foul smell.
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    Monitor your dog for days after being in extreme cold. The signs of frostbite may not appear immediately. Your pet may be suffering from frostbite for a few days before they even begin to show symptoms. After being outside with your dog in extreme cold conditions, or if they came into contact with ice or snow, watch them carefully for any symptoms of frostbite.[16]
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    Determine if your dog is at risk. Some dogs are more susceptible to frostbite than others. Knowing whether or not your dog is at a high risk can help you take extra precautions to protect them from frostbite. Small, short-haired dogs have a higher risk than other dogs.[17]

    • Dogs that are wet in cold weather can easily get frostbite.
    • Dogs that are sensitive to cold weather due to age or an illness may be more likely to get frostbite.
    • Dogs who spend long periods of time outside without adequate warm, dry shelter can easily develop frostbite.


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