There are many people who do not know what to do if a dog has been injured and they are the first ones to arrive at the scene. This article will help you to know what to do in an emergency situation if you ever come across a dog that has suffered an accident.
Assessing the situation: In an emergency, the first thing to do is to assess the situation and the entire area to ensure that the environment is entirely safe, especially if you need to move the dog to a safe location. Many dogs are hit by on-coming vehicles causing them serious injuries. Because of continued traffic, it would be necessary to move the dog to a safer place completely out of the way where you can attend to him without any difficulty.
Once you have moved the dog to a safer location, quickly look him over to see what injuries he has suffered. It is very important that you take mental notes of the injuries before you decide to give him any type of first aid. Categorize the injuries from less severe to most severe so you know what injuries require the most urgent attention.
As you approach the dog, you will be able to see that he has been injured, but you may not be able to know the extent of his injuries because serious injuries are not easily noticeable. Because serious injuries can be life threatening, if not taken care of immediately or if not handled properly, the dog could die. There is a simple procedure that you can follow to help you evaluate the dog’s injuries. You should check how responsive he is, checks his respiration and check his pulse.
Responsiveness: Clap your hands loudly by his ear or call his name if he is your dog and see if he responds. If this does not work, rub his head lightly or tap his head. This should make the dog bark or move towards you. If he still does not respond, check his breathing right away, check his circulation and his airway. Otherwise, you will have to initiate cardiopulmonary resuscitation immediately.
Respiration: If the dog responds to any of the above mentioned, check his respiration rate. The normal respiration rate can be between 10 to 30 breaths per minute. However, due to the accident, the dog may be panting up to 200 breaths or more per minute. A dog can also suffer injuries due to poisoning or hypothermia, if so, his respiration rate could be lower. Therefore, depending on the type of accident the dog suffered and your assessment of the injuries, you may have to evaluate whether his respiration rate is too high or too low.
Pulse: After you have checked the dog’s responsiveness and evaluated his respiration rate, you can then check his pulse. Place the tip of your fingers on the inside of the dog’s thigh or groin area to feel his pulse. Do not press too hard otherwise you may miss the pulse. Count for 15 seconds and multiply the number of beats you get by 4 to get the beats per minute. A dog’s normal pulse rate is 60 to 120 beats per minute.