Category: Helping Dogs

How to Care for a Sick Dog

It is no fun seeing your best friend feeling poorly. He relies on you—his owner—to be his advocate when he is ill. Your first step is to recognize when your dog is sick, and secondly, to recognize the severity of the illness. Some illnesses can be treated at home under your careful observation, while other illnesses require the prompt attention of a veterinarian. Whenever you are in doubt, don’t hesitate to call your veterinarian for advice. Sometimes it can be a matter of life and death.



Recognizing Symptoms of Illness

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    Monitor your dog’s daily activity. Keep a notebook of when your dog relieves himself, when his symptoms occur, when he eats and drinks, and so on. This helps to establish a pattern to the symptoms. It can also be a very useful tool for the veterinarian to diagnose your dog’s illness. [1]

    • If your dog is mildly sick (not eating the best for a day, restless, vomiting once or twice, a bout of diarrhea) you can carefully observe your dog at home and phone your vet for advice.
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    Seek prompt veterinary attention with certain symptoms. There are several severe symptoms that require immediate medical attention.[2] Never wait on these symptoms and call your vet right away:

    • Unconsciousness
    • Profuse bleeding
    • Known ingestion of a toxic substance
    • Unrelenting vomiting and diarrhea
    • Broken bones
    • Breathing difficulties
    • Seizures that don’t stop within one minute
    • Unable to urinate or not producing urine
    • New or recurring symptoms in a dog with a medical condition (diabetes, Addison’s disease, etc.)
    • Large swellings around the face, eyes or throat
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    Get advice from your vet on less severe symptoms. Some symptoms of illness can be uncomfortable for dog and may indicate conditions that need to be treated. Call your vet to get advice on treating the following symptoms:

    • Isolated seizure that lasts less than one minute
    • Occasional vomiting and diarrhea lasting longer than one day
    • Fever
    • Lethargy lasting longer than one day
    • Not eating for more than one day
    • Difficulty defecating
    • Limping or acting painful
    • Excessive drinking
    • Swelling that comes on gradually
    • Lumps or bumps that suddenly appear or current ones that grow
    • Any other odd symptom or behavior (shivering or whimpering)


Treating Illnesses at Home

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    Withhold food if your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea. For puppies and dogs older than 6 months who have previously been healthy, you can withhold all food for up to 24 hours if the primary symptoms are vomiting or diarrhea.

    • This also includes treats and rawhides.
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    Make sure your dog has access to water. Never withhold water from a sick dog, unless he vomits it up. If this happens, contact your veterinarian for advice.
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    Introduce a bland diet for 1-2 days. After you withhold food for 24 hours, and your dog is behaving more normally, you can gradually introduce a bland diet for 1-2 days. A bland diet for a dog includes one part easily digested protein and 2 parts an easily digested starch.

    • Typical protein sources include cottage cheese or chicken (no skin or fat) or boiled hamburger.
    • A good starch is plain cooked white rice.[3]
    • Feed your dog one cup daily (split into 4 servings 6 hours apart) per 10 pounds of weight.
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    Limit your dog’s exercise and play time. Make sure your dog gets plenty of rest by restricting how much exercise and play time he gets. Take him out on a leash to relieve himself, but don’t let him play while he feels poorly. This is especially important if he is limping.
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    Monitor your dog’s stool and urine output. Pay attention to how much your dog is defecating and urinating while he is ill. If you normally let him outside by himself, use a leash while he’s ill so that you can watch how much he urinates or defecates.

    • Do not punish your dog if it has an accident inside the house—stool, urine or vomiting. They cannot help it if they are sick and may hide from you if they are punished.
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    Monitor your dog’s symptoms closely. Make sure you keep a very close eye on your dog, in case the symptoms get worse. Do not leave your dog on his own. Do not leave him alone for the day or weekend. If you must leave the house (for example, you need to go to work), have someone check on your dog every 2 hours.

    • If you can’t arrange this, call your veterinary clinic to see if they do monitoring in the clinic. Symptoms can worsen quickly, or new or more serious symptoms can occur rapidly.
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    Don’t hesitate to call your vet. If you’re unsure about your dog’s symptoms, or if he seems to be getting worse, call your vet for advice.


Making a Comfortable Space for Your Dog

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    Keep your dog inside. Don’t leave the dog outside or in the garage. The dog may have trouble regulating its temperature and you won’t be able to close observe it for a change in symptoms.
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    Make a comfortable bed. Provide a dog bed with blankets in a spot where you can easily and frequently monitor your dog. Choose blankets with your scent on them so that your dog will feel comforted.

    • It’s a good idea to choose a spot with easily cleaned floors, such as in a bathroom or kitchen. Then, if your dog vomits or has an accident, you can clean it up easily and quickly.
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    Keep your house quiet. While your dog is sick, keep the sound down and lights low. Think about how you like the environment when you are sick. Your dog will appreciate similar ambience. Limit visitors and noise from vacuums, children, and the television. This will allow your dog to get the rest he needs.
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    Isolate your sick dog from other dogs. It is a good idea to keep your sick dog away from other dogs. This will help prevent any transmission of diseases. This quiet time will also give your dog some time to rest.


Keeping a Safe Environment for Your Dog

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    Don’t feed human food to your dog. Foods that are safe for humans can be deadly to dogs. Products like xylitol are especially dangerous for dogs. This is present in sugar-free foods and tooth care products.

    • Other toxic foods include bread dough, chocolate, avocados, alcohol, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, and other foods.[4]
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    Don’t give human medication to your dog. Never give your dog human medication unless you have checked with your veterinarian. These medications can be toxic to dogs and they may make illnesses worse.
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    Keep your house, garage, and yard free from toxic substances. Always monitor your dog when he is outside. Keep potentially toxic substances out of his reach. These can include pesticides, antifreeze, fertilizers, prescription medications, insecticides and other items.[5] These items can be poisonous and potentially lethal to a dog.


How to Clean a Dog’s Wound

Accidents happen. Your dog’s playful nature and curiosity may lead to cuts, scrapes, and punctures at some point in his life. Cleaning the wound properly at home will help him heal and may buy you some time if you can’t get him to the vet immediately. Proper wound cleaning will prevent infection and help you and the vet tell how bad your pet’s injury really is.



Stopping any Bleeding

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    Calm the dog down. Once you notice that your dog is injured, get control of him and calm him down if he’s over-excited. Soothe your dog by petting him gently and speaking to him in a low, calm voice. Make sure to stay calm yourself, even if you’re worried. Your dog can read your body language and knows your voice intonations very well. He’ll pick up on your behavior and follow your lead.
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    Muzzle the dog if necessary. You need to keep your own safety in mind when handling an injured animal. Even if your dog is normally sweet and loving, he may lash out to protect himself from further pain. If you’re at all worried for your safety — if your dog starts growling or snapping at you, or if the dog has a previous history of biting when agitated — muzzle your dog.

    • If you don’t have a muzzle, wrap a leash or light rope around your dog’s muzzle.[1]
    • If he raises a big fuss, stop and get your pet to the veterinarian as safely as possible.
    • Protect yourself by putting a blanket or towel over him before moving him to the veterinary hospital.
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    Address any bleeding you see. While cleanliness is important, it’s actually more vital to stop profuse bleeding as soon as possible. If blood seems to be pulsing out of the wound, the dog likely has an arterial injury that could be very dangerous; pulsing blood should be taken very seriously.

    • Apply direct pressure to the wound using a clean, absorbent material like a towel, washcloth, shirt, gauze, or even a feminine hygiene pad.
    • Keep pressure on the wound for 3-5 minutes before checking to see if the bleeding has stopped. If you keep taking off the pressure, you disturb the blood clot trying to form, and delay the process.
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    Apply a tourniquet only if needed and under expert instruction. A tourniquet should be your last resort to control bleeding. Applying one incorrectly can lead to complications that might result in tissue death. Your pet might need amputation if you cut off circulation. If you don’t have training in applying a tourniquet to a dog, call your vet for expert instruction to go along with this general guideline.

    • Place a clean towel or pad around the limb (but not around the neck, chest, or abdomen).
    • Use a belt or leash to hold it in place. It should be placed above the wound, toward the body.
    • Leave it on for no more than 5 to 10 minutes before releasing the pressure to avoid permanent injury to the limb.
    • Use enough pressure to slow down or stop the bleeding, but avoid crushing the muscle and soft tissue.
    • Applying the tourniquet should not be painful to your pet.

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Part 1 Quiz

What’s a good way to keep your dog from biting if you don’t have a muzzle?


Cleaning the Wound

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    Clip away hair from around the wound with electric clippers. Once you’ve gotten the bleeding under control, you can start the cleaning process. If your dog has long hair, you may need to trim it away, but do so only if you can do it safely. If you don’t have clippers, carefully use blunt scissors to shorten the hair, but don’t try to get down to the skin with scissors, as this increases the chance of further injury. Clearing away the dog’s fur will let you a good look at the wound, and will keep hair from trapping dirt or irritating the exposed flesh.
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    Flush out the wound with warm salt water. Add 2 tsp of sea salt to 1 cup warm tap water, and stir until it dissolves. Fill a turkey baster or syringe (without the needle) with the mixture, then squirt it gently into the wound until it’s clean. The tissue should be clear and glistening before you stop flushing the wound.[2][3][4]

    • If you don’t have a baster or syringe, pour the water directly over the wound.
    • If the wound is on the paw, you can soak the foot in a bowl, baking dish or small bucket for three to five minutes. Have a towel handy to dry the paw.
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    Disinfect the wound.[5] Dilute Betadine (Povidine Iodine) or Nolvasan (Chlorhexidine) in warm water. Use this solution as a final rinse or soak. You can also use these solutions instead of saline when you’re first cleaning the wound.
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    Dry the wound. A sterile gauze is ideal, but any clean absorbent material will be fine. Don’t rub or scrub at the wound. Instead, pat it gently to avoid causing more pain or injury.
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    Apply an antibiotic cream or spray safe for humans. Be aware that a spray might scare your dog, and may even sting for a little bit. Don’t use creams and ointments if you have another option, as they might attract dirt to the wound. Furthermore, your dog will likely try to lick it off, so use those products only if you can prevent the dog from bothering the area. You can either wrap the treated area with protective gauze or use an Elizabethan collar.

    • Be careful that you don’t spray anything into the dog’s eyes.
    • Don’t use ointments with steroids like hydrocortisone or betamethasone that may interfere with the wound’s healing process. Use only antibiotic ointments.
    • Do not use antifungal creams (ketoconazole, clotrimazole) unless instructed by your veterinarian.
    • If you have any questions, call your pharmacist or vet before applying the product.
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    Check the wound daily. If you see any signs of infection, take your dog to the vet immediately. Signs that suggest infection include a bad smell or yellow, green, or gray discharge.

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Part 2 Quiz

Use salt water to:


Seeking Professional Veterinary Help

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    Don’t wait to see a vet for eye injuries. Any cuts or wounds to the eye could potentially result in permanent damage to your pet’s sight. To increase the odds of a healthy recovery, take him to the vet immediately for evaluation and treatment.
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    Take the dog to the vet for stitches if the wound is more than superficial. If the cut looks severe, like it won’t heal on its own, you need to have a vet look at it. All wounds that penetrate through the skin to the muscle, tendon, or fat need professional evaluation. After assessing the wound, the vet might suggest giving the dog stitches to promote healing.
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    Seek veterinary help for all bite wounds. Bites usually involve crushing damage to the dog’s tissue. This can complicate recovery, so bite wounds need flushing and drains, which both need to be done under anesthesia by your vet. Animals’ mouths are full of bacteria, so there’s a risk of infection even if the bite doesn’t seem severe.[6]
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    Have the vet drain or debride the wound if necessary. If the wound fills up with fluid instead of healing healthily, ask the vet if he or she recommends draining it. Debridement is the removal of damaged or infected tissue from around the wound. Both of these procedures will require the vet to put your dog under anesthesia.
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    Ask the vet about systemic antibiotics. These medications can treat or prevent infection, which slows healing. Your veterinarian should assess the wound, determine if there are signs of infection, and discuss antibiotics with you if necessary.


Expert Reviewed How to Express a Dog’s Anal Gland

Your dog’s anal glands are two grape-shaped glands located just below the anus to either side. The pheromones they secrete give canines vital information about one another, including health, age, and sex. This explains why dogs sniff each other’s rears when they meet and insist on taking a whiff of every poop they pass on their morning walk. Sometimes the fluid in anal glands can build up, causing your dog to lick or bite his anus and “scoot” his bottom around on the floor after or before defecation. This can happen to any breed, though small dogs are particularly prone to anal sac disorders.[1] Expressing anal glands is a fairly easy process that can help keep your dog comfortable and healthy. While the veterinarian will do this for you, it’s also possible to save yourself a trip to the vet’s office and do it yourself. Remember, though: before attempting this for the first time, do consult a veterinarian, as improper or unnecessary expression can lead to health problems.



Preparing to Express Your Dog’s Anal Glands

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    Look for certain signs of anal gland issues. When there’s a problem with the anal glands, may dogs exhibit certain symptoms, which you should learn to recognize. Be sure to ask a veterinarian if you’ve never had this issue before: these symptoms may be a sign of other underlying issues, such as parasites, a sore bottom from diarrhea, or a food allergy, so it’s a good idea to let a vet examine your dog. This way you can either rule out these issues, or get your dog the treatment it needs.[2] The typical signs of anal gland issues include:

    • Scooting
    • Excessive licking of the anal area
    • Occasional release of anal gland contents at inappropriate times (other than defecation) – you may notice a fishy odor on furnishings or coming from your dog’s anus
    • Red skin in the anal area
    • Bleeding or pus drainage around the anus (this is a sign that you should call your vet as soon as possible – do not attempt anal expression)[3]
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    Have a veterinarian demonstrate anal gland expression the first time. If you’ve never expressed your dog’s anal glands, ask your veterinarian for a demonstration. She can do the first gland, and then you can try expressing the second one in her presence.[4]
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    Gather your materials. Typically, three to four damp paper towels and a pair of latex gloves will be sufficient. If you want to wash the dog, also have ready whatever shampoo or other dog-friendly soaps you use, as well as plenty of towels.

    • Latex gloves are preferable to household rubber gloves as they are thinner and more sensitive, allowing you to accurately palpate the glands.[5]
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    Recruit a helper if you can. While you can do this process on your own (if your dog is cooperative), it may help to have someone there to hold the dog as you work.
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    Put on old clothes. The pheromones secreted by the anal glands are very stinky. It’s a good idea to wear old clothes that you can take off and wash easily.[6]
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    Secure the dog in a small room. Often, the bathroom works well for this purpose, especially if you bathe your dog in the tub. You just want to make sure the dog can’t struggle free and run off during the process.

    • The dog should be on an easy-to-clean surface.
    • Since the process can be somewhat messy, pairing an expression with a bath is usually a smart idea.


Expressing the Anal Glands Externally

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    Position the dog in front of you in a standing position. Its rear end should be facing you. If you have a partner, they should secure the dog by wrapping one arm around the neck and the other at the side of the body, hugging the dog close to them.[7]
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    Lift the dog’s tail, rolling it up to expose its anus. You should be at level with the dog’s bottom, in a position that is comfortable to maintain.

    • While the process shouldn’t take too long (about five minutes), the first time may require a little extra time and patience. Make sure you’re in a comfortable position.
    • The procedure won’t hurt your dog, but if the glands are particularly swollen or impacted, your pet might be guarding their backside more than usual. Be careful and pay attention to your pet’s body language.
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    Try not to frighten your dog. Talk to it, stroke it, and attempt to keep things as relaxed as possible.[8] You yourself should stay relaxed, as well: this will help things go smoothly.
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    Locate the anal glands. Place two fingers (thumb and forefinger) on either side of the anus. The anal glands are beneath the skin, just under the anus, at approximately 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock. If the glands are full, you will feel a slight bulge, about cherry-sized, when pressing inward just below the anus.

    • Emptying the glands depends on pressing in the right place. If you can’t feel the “cherries,” you are either in the wrong place or the glands don’t need emptying.
    • Sometimes only one gland may be full. This could be a sign that the glands were functioning normally but that one has become infected or impacted. Call your vet before attempting to express the sac. This could require a round of antibiotics.[9]
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    Milk the glands upwards and inwards toward the anus. Keeping your thumb and forefinger on the glands, gently apply pressure up and in, in the direction of the anus. You should not squeeze continuously, but rather in gentle pulses.[10] Don’t apply too much pressure: no more than you would apply to your own closed eye.[11]
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    Watch the dog’s bottom for expressed liquid. If you’re milking correctly, the liquid should be coming out in slow drips.

    • If nothing is coming out, try adjusting the position of your fingers.
    • The liquid smells strongly of fish and may be anything from a clear, smooth consistency to a brownish, grainy substance.[12]
    • If the discharge is bloody or especially pasty, do not continue. See your vet as soon as possible about a possible impaction or infection.
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    Stop after a few tries if nothing comes out. You may want to try again another day. Repeated milking can be painful and cause bruises, which only exacerbates the issue.[13] Or, the glands may be impacted, which requires veterinary intervention.[14]

    • Don’t force the expression. It may be difficult to express the anal sacs of large dogs because they are located deeper internally. If this is the case, don’t persist and hurt the dog. Seek veterinary attention because the sacs may need emptying via an internal procedure (placing a gloved finger in the rectum, which is best done by a professional!).
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    Continue to milk until the glands have emptied. You’ll know they’re empty when the sacs are barely palpable and there is no more liquid being expressed.[15]
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    Wipe your dog’s bottom with a paper towel. Do this gently, as your dog may be feeling discomfort associated with the swollen glands.[16]
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    Give the dog a treat. Praise your dog, pet him, and reward him for his cooperation.
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    Wash the dog’s rear end. Wipe the dog’s rear with a clean paper towel and thoroughly bathe the dog.[17]

    • If your dog won’t tolerate a bath at this point, make sure you at least wash and rinse his bottom before letting him loose.
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    Don’t express the glands more often than necessary. Too much expression can do more harm than good, leading to irritation and loss of muscle tone in the gland (reducing its ability to function normally).[18][19]

    • You shouldn’t need to do this more than a few times a year. If your dog has frequent troubles with his glands, see your vet.
    • Although dog groomers may practice regular anal gland expression, this is not recommended unless there is a problem with the glands.[20]

Expert Reviewed How to Take Care of an Injured Dog

Just like a person, a dog can be hurt in ways that are both obvious and harder to detect. Unlike a person though, a dog can’t tell you when it hurts or what you should do to help. To know how to care for an injured dog, you must be able to determine what type of injury the dog has. It’s also important to know both how to give immediate care for a recent injury and how to treat a long-term condition.


Assessing the Injury

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    Learn the signs of injury. Sometimes, when a dog has been injured, you’ll be able to see it right away. Other times, the injury will be harder to detect. Make sure to take note of the following signs of injury:[1]

    • Limping or other changes in walking or movement
    • Swelling
    • Avoidance of touch in certain areas, or barking or whining when touched in a certain spot
    • Unexplained and unusual warmth in a certain area
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    Protect yourself. Even a dog which is normally kind and docile is more likely to behave in a hostile way if injured. If you suspect a dog is injured, always take care not to be bitten or otherwise injured.[2]

    • To the extent that you are able, avoid the dog’s face and mouth.
    • While your first impulse may be to comfort the animal, do not hug or squeeze it.
    • Approach the dog slowly and calmly, to avoid frightening it any more than it may be already.
    • Covering the dog’s head gently with a towel or other piece of fabric can sometimes lessen its anxiety during examination.[3]
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    Muzzle the dog if necessary. If an injured dog attempts to bite you or shows signs of hostility, you may need to cover its mouth to avoid bites.[4]

    • If you already have a muzzle for your dog, carefully put it on him or her.
    • If not, you can wrap the dog’s mouth using a towel, stockings, a roll of gauze, or any similar strip of fabric. Wrap it over the dog’s snout and under its chin, being careful not to cover its nose or obstruct its breathing.
    • Never muzzle a dog that is vomiting. This can cause it to choke. Never muzzle a dog with chest injuries or a short-snouted dog such as a pug or bulldog.[5]
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    Examine the dog slowly and carefully. Look the dog over to determine where and how it is injured, being as careful as you can not to startle or further hurt it.[6]

    • Speak gently and calmly to the dog as you examine to help it stay calm.[7]
    • Stop the examination if the dog becomes obviously agitated.
    • If the dog has a cut or similar wound, you may need to clip away some of the dog’s fur to get a clear look at how bad it is. Spreading a little petroleum jelly over the wound can prevent hair clippings from getting stuck in it. [8]
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    Call a vet immediately if emergency care is needed. Some injuries are minor and can, if necessary, wait to be treated by your regular vet. Life threatening injuries, however, require immediate care, and if your vet isn’t available, you’ll need to contact an emergency veterinary clinic. Get emergency care for the following:[9]

    • Profuse or unstoppable bleeding
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Inability to stand
    • Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing
    • Paralysis
    • Note that if the injured dog is not yours, and you bring it to a vet, you may be responsible for any costs related to its care.[10]


Giving First Aid

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    Perform CPR if needed. If a dog is not breathing, you may need to perform CPR. Close the dog’s mouth and place your lips over its nose. Give three to four strong breaths.[11]

    • If the dog does not start breathing on its own, continue to give it 10 to 12 breaths per minute.
    • If you can’t detect a heart beat, lay the dog on its side and compress its chest with your hands. Give five compressions per breath.
    • Once a dog starts breathing on its own, stop CPR.
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    Move the dog carefully. There is a good chance you will need to move the injured dog, whether you are bringing it home, taking it to a vet, or just trying to get it out of a busy street. An injured dog must be moved gently and with great care.

    • If you are able to, splint, bandage or otherwise stabilize wounded areas before moving the dog to reduce the risk of further harm.[12]
    • Confine the dog while moving it so it can’t hurt itself more. If possible, use a pet carrier, but if you don’t have one, punch some holes in a box.
    • Larger dogs can be moved using a makeshift stretcher. You can use a board, a door, a rug, or a large blanket, carried by at least two people.
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    Stop any bleeding. If the dog is bleeding from its injury, press down firmly on the injured area with your fingers and palm and apply a firm but not tight bandage. Gauze or a washcloth or towel will often do the trick.[13]

    • If the bandage becomes soaked through with blood, don’t remove it. Place additional materials on top.
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    Apply a tourniquet if necessary. If a dog has an injury on it’s leg or tail that will not stop bleeding, and is gushing blood in a rhythmic way, it may have a damaged artery. You may need to apply a tourniquet to save its life.[14]

    • Wrap the limb in a bandana or other strip of cloth, between the wound and the heart, tightly enough that no blood can pass through.
    • Every 15 minutes, loosen the tourniquet so blood can pass through for about 10 seconds. If you don’t, the dog may lose the limb.
    • Always seek immediate emergency care for a wound of this nature..
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    Clean and treat lacerations. If the dog has any lacerations that aren’t bleeding, clean them with an antiseptic solution, such as hydrogen peroxide, and dry them. [15]

    • If you don’t have an antiseptic solution, warm water with a little salt will do.
    • Pat the area dry with some sterile gauze. You can apply some ointment if its not an area the dog can lick.
    • Keep an eye on the injury in case of infection and make sure to keep it clean for several days.
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    Use a cold compress. For bruising or tenderness, you can give your dog some immediate relief using a cold compress. Gently place something frozen, such as a bag of frozen peas, on the injured area.[16]

    • Cool the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove the compress. You can reapply as often as every two hours if it seems to be helping.
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    Seek veterinary care. Even for what seems like a minor injury, it is a good idea to seek professional care. You may not be able to detect some injuries, such as those that are internal.[17]

    • For non-emergencies, call your vet and explain the situation. The vet’s office will either make an appointment for you soon or refer you to emergency care if they deem it necessary.
    • For serious bleeding or other major injuries, search online for an emergency vet clinic near you and take your dog immediately.


Treating Long-Term Injuries

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    Give the dog medications. Some injuries last a long time, sometimes even for the rest of the dog’s life. Treating these injuries requires patience and consistency. To begin with, give your dog any medicine your vet prescribes, following all instructions precisely.[18]

    • There are variety of medications available for treating the pain that may result from an injury, from anti-inflammatory medications to opioids and more.[19] Talk to your vet about the benefits and possible side effects of any medications he or she recommends.
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    Make dietary changes. Changing what your dog eats can also be helpful in treating injuries. For injuries that have resulted from weakened tissue, a high-quality, meat-based diet is best.[20]

    • There are also a number of supplements, foods, and dog treats formulated especially for helping dogs with joint injuries.[21]
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    Use splints and braces as appropriate. If your dog has sustained an injury that makes it difficult to walk or stand, it may benefit from a splint, brace, or cart. There are number of such products available for both short and long-term use.[22]

    • Your vet will be able to help you select the most appropriate option for your dog.
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    Try gentle massage. Some dogs will benefit from a gentle massage of the injured area, once it is no longer too sensitive. Lightly rub affected areas.[23]

    • If the dog exhibits any sign of discomfort, discontinue this immediately. This should be a pleasant experience for your dog, not a painful one.
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    Keep exercise moderate. An injured dog should not overly exert itself, as this may result in further injury/re-injury of the damaged area. Make sure the dog doesn’t, for example, walk or run for too long on an injured leg.

    • Total lack of exercise isn’t a good idea either. This can result in a dog becoming overweight, which can produce its own problems, especially for dogs that have joint injuries.[24]
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    Try herbal remedies. There are a number of herbal remedies that some people have found helpful in soothing the pain of an injured dog. Although these are not medically proven, you may wish to try the following:[25]

    • Boswellia, bupleurum, cayenne, ginger, turmeric, and yucca have all been used to relieve joint pain in both people and animals. They can be applied in compresses.
    • Hot compresses with these herbs, applied for 10 to15 minute intervals every two to four hours may help relieve your dog’s pain.
    • A cool compress with peppermint can have an immediate soothing effect.




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