Dog Friendly Tips: Dog First Aid
The principles of first aid that the dog owner needs to master are simple and relatively few, but they are of vital importance in handling emergencies. Whether a dog that has been injured is to recover quickly or slowly, whether it is to be completely restored or marked or scarred indeed, whether the dog is to survive at all often depends upon the treatment it gets immediately after it is hurt.
Shock. Any severe injury being hit by a car, burned, hurt in struggle or a fight or even severe fright may bring on shock.
The dog usually seems to be prostrate in a semi-oblivious state, yet apparently anxious. The nervous system is in depression, sometimes so severe as to cause complete immobility. On the other hand, occasionally a dog may suffer the opposite effect, so that it seems to be in a state of nervous excitement. The pulse is slow and weak, the breathing is slow. Often, as the dog recovers, the pulse becomes too rapid and its temperature may drop well below normal.
First aid consists in covering the dog so its temperature will rise to normal. High artificial heat is not necessary if the dog is at home in familiar surroundings. Administer a stimulant, such as coffee, then let it rest. Occasional fondling is often reassuring and helpful. Recovery may sometimes take an hour or more.
If a veterinarian is available a more effective treatment is the administration of steroids and fluids to increase the fluid volume in circulation. Also a vet may discover internal bleeding which often accompanies injury and which may have to be controlled by surgery.