First aid tips that may save your dogs life

If accident or illness befalls your dog suddenly, immediate and effective first aid could mean the difference between life and the unthinkable for your best friend.

The dictionary defines of first aid is- emergency aid or treatment given to someone injured, suddenly ill,… before regular medical services arrive or can be reached.

Give that the treatment rendered by first aid is preliminary or first, before regular medical treatment, a first aid kit should include items that will help you care for your dog during those initial minutes of crisis. The first thing that you should do in anticipation of any potential medical emergency is to prepare 2 dog first aid kits.

You can make a first kit up using a waterproof container or simple nylon bag, Keep one in a cool dry place in your home and one in your car.

Individual components of the first aid kit can be sealed in individual plastic food storage bags. This will do nicely and save you money. If you take your dog camping, hiking or boating, be sure to take your portable first aid kit with you when you head off on your adventure. Your Dog First Aid Kit Should Include:

* Bandages-a roll of gauze is also recommended

* Thermometer- many veterinarians recommend a rectal thermometer to assure an accurate reading of your dog’s temperature

* Hydrogen Peroxide- to clean scrapes and cuts

* Tourniquet- if bleeding is serious, you will want to curtail the blood flow. A triangular bandage or cloth is a must have.

* Antibiotic ointment- Polysporin antibiotic cream sold over the counter in any drug store. Applying this to a simple wound or scrape will help avoid infection and promote healing.

* Cotton swabs- for hard to reach areas and applications.

* Cold pack- recommended for sprains or any other health problem that calls for ice.

* Tweezers- to remove splinters, ticks and foreign objects.

* Blanket- to keep your dog covered.

* Scissors

* Waterproof flashlight

* List of emergency medical veterinary phone numbers: your vet, animal hospital, local veterinary hospital if traveling, ASPCA Poison Control Hotline

* First Aid Book- to address specific illnesses and/or injury written by a veterinarian

First Aid If Your Dog is Poisoned

If you believe that your dog may have ingested a poison, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Hotline immediately at: (888) 426-4435. This call may make the difference between life and death.

First Aid If Your Dog is Injured

If your dog has been hurt, she will be frightened and in potentially great discomfort. Be careful of moving her as you might aggravate the injury. If she is in severe pain, even the friendliest dog may snap at you in reaction to the pain. So handle your dog carefully for her safety as well as yours.

First Aid Tips

Make sure to apply pressure to any area which is bleeding. Stopping blood loss is critically important.

Cover your dog with a blanket. She may be in shock

In the case of a broken bone, you should immobilize the affected area. This can be done with a simple splint in many cases.

If your dog has sustained a serious injury to the back or spine do not pick her up and carry her. Slide or very slowly move her onto a flat board or stretcher. If you have help use 2 people to slowly carry the board or stretcher to a car for transport to an animal hospital. Spinal injuries can be very serious and life threatening. Time is of the essence but be careful not to drive with abandon as you may hit pot holes in the road or have to slam on your brakes. Sudden movements such as these can aggravate the injury to you dog.

Make sure that any open wounds are covered with a clean cloth to prevent foreign matter such as dirt from entering the injured area.

Make sure that your dog’s mouth, throat, nose and eyes are clear of dirt or mucus. In the event that artificial respiration is necessary, don’t delay.

Your dog’s life hangs in the balance. Gently hold her mouth close and breathe into her nostrils until she starts to breathe on her own. Time your breaths so that you repeat this action six times or breaths per minute.

I am not a veterinarian nor trained in medical procedures. This information is based upon research I have done and what I have used in my dog’s first aid kit. In the event of any medical emergency be sure to call your veterinarian immediately.