Bleeding

April 12, 2012

Dog first aid should not overwhelm even first time dog owners. Giving first aid to the pet is pretty much the same as giving first aid to humans. A fair amount of knowledge plus a lot of common sense would go a long way in helping and giving the pet a good chance of recovery. A pet owner can never be more careful. Dogs, apart from being very energetic are also inquisitive creatures. A pet owner should always be ready ahead of time as emergency situations that involve the pet can always arise.

Dog bleeding is not uncommon for pet owners. Even nail trimming can cause the dog to bleed if the quick is cut. However, bleeding arising from other causes would take more than Kwik Stop or styptic powder to stop. Everybody knows what bleeding looks like. What would be the immediate concern is to know how serious the injury is. The bleeding may look serious than it actually is. The feet of a dog has many blood vessels thus it would bleed heavily. The ears would bleed heavily too because of the thin skin. A dog is bleeding from the arteries if the blood is bright red and spurting. Dark red blood that flows steadily is from the veins.

Bleeding can be external or internal. External bleeding results from a skin wound and any other surface wounds. First aid is necessary to stem the flow of blood. Blood loss must be prevented as even two teaspoons of blood loss per pound of body weight can cause the dog to go into shock.

Severe external bleeding can be controlled by using a bandage to apply pressure directly on the bleeding area. The pressure must be maintained for at least 10 minutes. Do not release the pressure every now and then to check on the wound as this would hinder blood from clotting. Apply another bandage over the first one if it is already soaked through. If possible elevate the wounded body part until it is above the heart. Gravity will reduce blood pressure and ultimately slow down the flow of blood. This first aid though must not be done on a leg that is suspected to be broken.

Blood flow can be reduced by applying pressure on pressure points. Find the artery that supplies the bleeding body part. Apply pressure to the radial artery found in the dog’s armpit if the front leg is injured. To stop bleeding of injured rear leg, apply pressure to the femoral artery found in the groin. Apply pressure to the base of the tail where the coccygeal artery is found to stop bleeding of wounded tail. A tourniquet can be used to stop heavy bleeding by putting pressure on the artery above the bleeding area. Tourniquet though is dangerous and must only be done as a last effort to save the life of the pet. When done incorrectly, tourniquet can result to the amputation of the injured limb.

Internal bleeding has no home cure. This is a serious condition that certainly needs immediate veterinary attention. Internal bleeding can be caused by a canine disease, an infection or a severe injury. No signs of bleeding can be seen but the weak pulse, shallow breathing, pale gums and eyelids are indicative of the dog’s serious condition. Keep the dog quiet and warm and rush to a veterinary facility.

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