Just like people, a pet can have medical emergencies, and knowing what to do in the first critical moments before professional assistance can be found and may be the difference between life and death. This article highlights two scenarios you may face when you have a pet dog, and how to handle it best to prevent further damage to you or your pet.
1. Car accident
The first step is not to panic and ensure that it is safe before rushing out to where the dog is. You can either call your regular vet or look online for a pet emergency clinic where you are. The vet will want to know how the dog was hit, is responding and any visible injuries. He/she may give some advice to deal with the injuries on your way to see him/her.
Remember that an injured dog is likely to be agitated/scared, and hence he/she should be handled with care. If there isn't breathing difficulty, make an emergency muzzle by looping a piece of cloth or bandage over the nose and around the mouth to prevent biting.
If he/she has breathing trouble (shallow, rapid breathing, faring nostrils, noisy breathing, coughing, etc.), try to place them in a comfortable position where their airways are clearer, such as removing the collar and opening the mouth to see if there are any obstructions. Rush to the closest vet because breathing trouble can quickly turn life-threatening.
You can expect some broken bones, in which case the dog should be kept still and placed on a firm surface like a wooden board. Cover them with something warm to prevent shock, and use a clean piece of cloth to cover any open wounds. Gentle pressure can help to stop bleeding. Do not give any drink, food or medication until he/she has been assessed by a vet.
2. Dog eating chocolate
Chocolate is toxic to dogs because of an ingredient called theobromine, which is toxic even in small amounts and naturally occurs in cacao beans. Darker chocolate has more theobromine and is, therefore, more toxic.
If you suspect that your dog ingested chocolate, you need to take him/her to a vet as soon as possible. It helps if you can tell how much they've eaten by looking for the empty wrapper or remains of the chocolate. If this isn't possible, the symptoms can tell you how serious the poisoning is. For instance, vomiting and diarrhoea (with or without blood), listlessness or hyperactivity and hyperventilation occur in early stages. These may progress to incoordination/muscle tension, high heart rates, and seizures in very serious poisoning.
There isn't an antidote for theobromine poisoning, so a vet will induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal to take in what is left in the stomach. Medication will be given to administer whichever symptoms are present. With prompt intervention, you can expect your dog to fully recover from theobromine poisoning.
If you would like some advice on how you can make sure that your pet is healthy and happy, you have come to the right place. My name is Rich and last year I bought my first pets. I got a cat from an animal rescue centre and a dog from a friend who was moving abroad. A lot of people think a cat and a dog cannot peacefully coexist but they are wrong. However, in order to create a happy home life for your pets, you need to know how to look after them. The guy from mu local pet centre has been really helpful and has given me lots of expert advice which as helped me to look after my cat and dog. I hope you like this blog.