Impalement Injuries

April 12, 2012

When most of us think of our dog being injured or sick we think of an ear infection, a bite by another dog, a fracture, or even hot spots. Most of us don’t think of impalement injuries but they happen. In fact, they happen a lot more often than most pet owners realize and knowing what to do when your dog has been impaled by something large or small is important.

Symptoms

An impalement injury is not hard to identify. This type of injury involves something being stuck in your dog. Many examples of impalement injuries include arrows, crossbow bolts, sticks, car radio antennas, and more. Whenever there is a foreign object stuck in your dog it is an impalement injury and great caution needs to be taken. If you don’t handle the situation just right further damage can occur, causing more pain and even death for your animal.

Prevention

Preventing impalement injuries is often difficult because this often happens when we least expect it. Impalement injuries often happen with every day items while a dog and its owners are doing things that they would normally do. The important thing to remember is that you should always consider safety first. You need to ensure that your dog is not allowed to play with anything that has sharp points or edges and that they are kept off of high surfaces from which they can fall and impale themselves onto something that is below. Think about safety as your pet does not have the ability to do this for themselves.

Treatment

The worst thing you can do with an impalement injury is to remove the foreign object themselves. When your dog has become impaled on something it is important that you leave the object in the dog and allow a vet to remove it carefully and safely.

The first thing you need to attempt to do is calm your dog as much as is possible and wrap them in a blanket to the best of your ability. Keep the foreign object from moving, as much as you can, as every time it moves it can cause further damage. If the foreign body is stuck into the chest of your dog you need to stop and listen for the sounds of air being sucked around the wound. If you see or hear this, cover the wound with plastic and petroleum jelly to keep air from being sucked into the wound. If you are able to, cut the foreign object so that there is just three to six inches still sticking out of your pet, and then bring it to the veterinarian immediately to be treated for the impalement wounds.

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