Tuesday, June 30, 2009

First Aid for Dogs

You are walking your dog and all of a sudden he gets loose.  He runs across the street and gets hit by a car.  What is the first thing you do?  You probably freak out, like most people would.  Everyone knows that however in dire situations to remain calm.  How you react to a crisis can often mean the difference between life and death.  In this segment of "Breed All About It" you will learn how to properly restrain your dog, take a pulse, monitor the heart, examine the gums and monitor breathing.  All which may sound difficult but is actually fairly simple. 




  • Restraint of a small dog: Firmly yet gently grip the dogs muzzle. With your free arm, use your elbow to apply pressure to the dog's body.

          Always be sure to be gentle yet firm. I mean after all you don't wont to injure the dog                   anymore than it already is.


  • Now it's time to muzzle your K-9

             Materials: A Strong but gentle material such as an ace bandage or a scarf.

             Directions: Make a loop, size it right to fit over the dogs muzzle. 

             Place over the dogs muzzle so the tie in on top and tighten.  (Do NOT tie into a knot!!!)

             With the two strings left wrap them back underneath the muzzle, so the strings now                      hang down.

              Last but not least, wrap them around to the back of the neck just behind the ears and                   tie into a bow.

Now you have a working muzzle.             


Taking a pulse:    


To take a pulse, take your four fingers and place them on the inside of the back leg where a groove lies.  Apply a little bit of pressure; too much pressure will give no results.  Count the beats for 15 seconds and multiply by 4 to get your bpm.  (Beats per minute)


Monitor the heart:


Monitor the heart for a large dog: Take your four fingers and place them into the pit of the front leg, move your fingers around until you can feel a beat.  Count for 15 seconds and multiply by 4.

Monitor the heart for a small dog: Gently squeeze the chest behind the dog's elbows to find the heart rate.  Count for 15, multiply by 4.


Examine the gums:


To examine the gums is really easy.  Just lift the upper lip and check the gums.  The gums should be pink and when pressure is applied, they should turn white until release and should go back to pink immediately.  However if the gums are white or pale this could indicate shock.  When pressure is released does not turn pink again than shock could be impending.  Many dogs have black in their gums, for this you just find a pink area to examine.


Monitor the breathing:


To monitor breathing place your hand on the dogs chest and count for 15 seconds how many times the dog breathes in or out, but never both.  Multiply by four and you have your answer.  Large and older dogs have a lower breath rate than a younger or small dog.



            Be sure to talk to your veterinarian as normal rates differ from breed to breed as well.  If you notice any irregularities or issues in breathing, gums, pulse or heart rate see your veterinarian.


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The information provided on this blog is not intended to be the substitute for professional veterinary or animal behavioral advice. By using this blog and/or newsletter, you agree that Breed All About It and all it's affiliates will not be held liable for any injuries or damages caused by the direct or indirect use of the information contained within this blog and newsletter. Any medical or behavioral concerns you have about your pet should be referred to your veterinarian or qualified animal professional. 

© Copyright 2009 by William Soberanis. All rights reserved