Dog Friendly Tips: First Aid - Accidents
The most common cause of accidents among pets are car accidents. So common is it that companies that insure dogs' lives often exempt death caused by traffic accidents from their policies.
Dogs will dash across the street to get to another dog. Even dogs that are so well trained that they will wait for a car to pass will walk across the street behind it only to be struck by a car coming from the opposite direction. The brightest dogs have not learned to look both ways, to anticipate so far into the future.
When a pet is struck by a car, you must first restrain it and then treat it for shock. Look at its gums. If they are pale it may be an indication of internal bleeding or shock. If its gums appear gray or white, it has probably suffered an internal injury and is bleeding internally.
Roll up long strips of bandage an old sheet may be torn in strips for this purpose. Have an assistant stretch the pet out and hold the front and hind legs. Then wrap the bandage around its body tightly, like a corset. Keep on wrapping until you have made a good firm support. Be sure that the bandage will not pull together in a narrow roll around the dog's abdomen when it moves. The bandage must forma long tube which holds the dog's abdominal organs relatively immobile, so that a clot can form and remain in place. Without this firmness and pressure, the organs can move freely and disturb the blood clot. Do all you can to keep the dog quiet. The veterinarian will administer drugs and may decide upon surgery or a transfusion. Always move a dog very gently after an accident if there are indications of internal bleeding. It can bleed to death very quickly. It may be saved if you keep it quiet and get veterinary help in time.
If a dog does bleed internally, what becomes of the blood that escapes into the abdomen? A large percent of the red blood cells are absorbed back into the circulation. A clot also forms at the injury site.This is composed of red and white cells, plasma, and fibrinogen, which causes coagulation. As it forms, the clot squeezes out a fluid or serum.This serum can be, and is, soaked up by the peritoneum (the lining of the abdomens and covering of the organs). The serum gets back into the circulation and thus helps to increase the blood volume.
Many of the red cells which transport oxygen through the body are in the clot. This clot does not persist permanently as a lump. Instead a process called lyses occurs. The cells dissolve into the fluid in the abdomen. Their covering disintegrates and releases the contents. The fluid is now circulated, but only a small amount is utilized by the body; most of it, including the red pigment, is passed out of the body through the urine as waste.
When you see your weak but mending dog urinating what appears to be blood, don't presume it is passing blood from its kidneys and bladder; this is probably blood-coloured matter. Indeed, you can anticipate this happening. This fact is sometimes used as a diagnostic means of demonstrating internal haemorrhage that occurred several days before the red colour is seen.