Fishhook Wounds

April 12, 2012

No matter how careful a pet owner may be accidents still happen. Dogs are most suitable companions in outdoor activities. Unfortunately, dogs are inquisitive by nature and most accidents happen when the dog is out of the owner’s sight. Even if the dog would respond to the master’s come, stay, heel and sit commands situations that endanger the pet’s health and safety still abounds. The dog may fall, may fight with other dogs and may also get fishhook wounds. Immediate professional help would always be the best option. However, there are instances when a vet or a hospital is not available. A first aid kit and the necessary first aid knowledge would be an enormous help to save the life of the pet.

Symptoms

If a fishing tackle is left lying around, within reach of the dog there is a big probability that the dog would investigate. Dogs (and cats) are attracted by the rich smell of the bait you use to catch fish. The dog would end up with a fish hook on the face, the lip, mouth and body. A hook that is embedded superficially would be easy to remove. However, if the dog has ingested the hook and the line, it is definitely a must to take the dog to a vet as in most cases, surgical procedure would have to be done.

Prevention

The most obvious thing to avoid this accident is to keep the fishing tackle beyond the reach of the dog. The pet owner may be able to prevent this kind of accident at home. Needless to say, this will not be possible in other places and other situations unless the pet is kept on a leash or in a crate.

Treatment

Dogs in pain may hide. Others would be aggressive. The first thing you have to do is to restrain the dog by using a muzzle. The hook can be easily removed if only the hook’s point managed to superficially penetrate the skin. You simply need to back the hook to detach is from the skin. If the barb is deeply embedded, push the hook all the way through the skin and when the barbs protrude, you can use pliers or any metal cutting tool to cut either the shank of the hook or the barb and then pull the hook. Wound must be thoroughly cleaned and covered with adhesive compress.

If the dog has swallowed the hook the best thing to do is to give the dog a high fiber diet as in most cases the hook will be expelled through the feces. However, you need to keep a close eye on the dog. A pet that is showing signs of illness must be taken to the vet.

A more serious case of fish hook accident is one where the dog managed to swallow a hook that is still connected to a line. This case would definitely need a vet’s attention. If you see the line hanging from your pet’s mouth never try to pull the hook as it could lead to more serious internal damage. Prevent the dog from swallowing more of the line by tying it to the dog’s collar. Do not procrastinate. Bring the dog ASAP to a vet.

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