Falls

April 12, 2012

No matter how careful a dog owner may be, falling accidents can not be totally eliminated. Dogs fall from roofs, from decks and from other high places. Dogs chasing small animals may inadvertently jump from windows. There are also times when the injury is borne out of human abuse. Some people would maliciously kick a dog causing it to fall and sustain serious injuries. Falling from heights would result to trauma that is referred to by veterinarian as “high rise syndrome”. Injuries sustained by the pet would be similar to the injuries sustained by a dog struck by a moving car. The impact of the fall would cause injuries that would range from minor to life threatening. A dog that has had a falling accident may be lucky if the injuries sustained are only minor bruises and skin abrasions given that some are known to have had injuries that caused internal bleeding and fatal head injuries.

Symptoms

In most cases dogs that had a falling accident will be in a state of shock. Aside from the bruises and skin abrasions the dog may have dislocation injuries. This happens when the connective tissues holding a joint is displaced. A sprain could result if the tendons or the ligaments are torn or stretched. The dog may have closed or open fractures as well as spinal cord injuries.

The dog may also sustain serious injuries that would need to have an immediate professional attention lest the injuries would cause the demise of the dog. Injuries to the liver, lungs, bladder, spleen and kidney could result to internal bleeding that may need a surgical procedure.

A dog that has had a falling accident would naturally have an abnormal behavior. The dog may whine, have lacerations and may be unable to move. Likewise the dog may be unconscious and have difficulty in breathing.

Treatment

A dog that is injured from a fall would be in shock, may have broken bones. The dog may be suffering from tremendous pain and may not be able to recognize the owner who is trying to help. Before ascertaining the injuries sustained, it is highly advisable to use a muzzle to prevent the dog from biting. Needed treatment would depend on the extent of injury sustained by the dog.

If the dog is paralyzed and has an abnormal arch to the back it could be because the back is broken. The dog must be taken immediately to the hospital but utmost care is necessary so as not to cause more irreparable damage. A flatboard must be used in transporting the dog to the vet. Cover the dog with a blanket to preserve body heat. If the dog is bleeding, use a folded clean cloth pressed gently over the bleeding area to stem the bleeding.

Dogs that are conscious after the fall and sustained open fractures would still need professional attention to rule out possible internal injuries. The open facture however, may be treated and dressed with wet dressing. A splint may be needed to immobilize the limb and to prevent further injuries. However, because of the pain, the dog may object to the splint. In this case splinting should be left to the hands of the vet. Further, it is important not to attempt to set a protruding bone to its normal position as it could aggravate the dog’s condition.

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