Dog First Aid – Allergic reactions

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Dogs too would have an adverse reaction if the body is invaded by foreign substances. The immune system serves as protectors against foreign substance that will invade the body. When antigens are sensed, the immune system will trigger the production of antibodies. Bacteria, virus, fungus and parasites are infection causing agents. The body would benefit from the immune system’s protection against these harmful antigens

However, the immune system can also overreact to harmless substances. An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system sends out antibodies to fight harmless substances like pollens, dust, and ingredients in food and medications. Not all dogs would have an allergic reaction to these allergens. What first aid methods can you administer if your pet is hypersensitive to any of these allergens?

Common signs of allergic reaction are sneezing, coughing and wheezing as well as immense itching. A swollen face, vomiting and diarrhea are other symptoms of allergic reaction. Allergens in the environment like pollens and dust causes allergy symptoms to occur. The allergic reaction could have been triggered by an insect bite or by an ingredient in the dog’s food. In a lot of cases, allergic reactions are not life threatening. Oftentimes, the allergic reaction will resolve itself. First aid treatment would still be necessary to ease the discomfort of the pet. A dog can die from severe case of allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis is an emergency situation. With this kind of allergic reaction, the dog would suffer breathing difficulties because of the swelling of the airways. This type of allergic reaction cannot be treated at home.

Allergic reaction is usually not a serious condition and can be managed at home with first aid treatments. Due to an inquisitive nature, dogs have the tendency to suffer from allergic reactions thus Benadryl and antihistamines are a must in the dog’s first aid kits. An application of herbal medication to the affected area will relieve the itching. One effective first aid method for the dog’s itchy skin is to bathe the pet with cold water and oatmeal shampoo. Vinegar compress, ice packs and a paste made from baking soda and water are first aid treatments for insect stings. The same remedies are proven to relieve other symptoms of allergic reaction.

Allergic reactions can be prevented if the pet is not exposed to the causative allergens but it is difficult to pinpoint what triggers the pet’s hypersensitivity. Since dogs cannot tell us what ails them the only way a pet owner can administer first aid is to be constantly aware of the changes in the dog’s appearance and behavior.  

<a href=”http://www.sarahsdogs.com/”>Sarah’s Dogs</a> has more information about <a href=”http://www.sarahsdogs.com/guides/first-aid/”>first aid for dogs</a> as well as.<a href=”http://www.sarahsdogs.com/guides/first-aid/allergic-reactions.html”>allergic reactions</a>.

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robbie on October 18th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

Dog First Aid – Repeated Seizures

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Dogs are not only man’s best friends as more than being great companions, these animals are treated as family members as well. As such, the dog owner would suffer even more if the pet is injured and in pain. A seizing dog is not a pretty sight. A dog owner seeing a seizing dog for the first time would panic as the pet would appear to be suffering from severe pain. The dog owner would naturally want to help the pet but is there a first aid for a seizing dog?

A dog can have a seizure that is either single or repeated. A dog that would convulse only once in a seizing episode is said to be having a single seizure. As the name suggests, a dog suffering from repeated seizure will seize again and again in a single seizing episode. A single seizing episode may not have serious effects on the dog but repeated seizures would certainly be fatal as the dog may not be able to regain consciousness.

Repeated seizures can be status epilepticus or cluster seizure. These two types of repeated seizure would have the dog suffering from one seizure after another. However, in status epilepticus, the dog would continue to seize without regaining consciousness. In cluster seizures, the dog that has regained consciousness after recovering from the first seizure would again become unconscious as another seizure occurs. These two types of repeated seizures are life threatening thus a vet has to be notified.

Seizures cannot be controlled with first aid although medications can control the frequency of seizures. First aid methods are aimed to save the pet from pain, to prevent the pet’s condition from worsening and more importantly to save the life of the pet. As these first aid objectives would be ineffective if administered on a seizing dog, the best thing an owner can do is to let the seizure run its course.

Keeping the seizing pet comfortable and preventing the pet from being injured would be the owner’s role. The owner can move the pet to the floor to ensure that it would not fall from heights. Sharp and hard objects that can fall and injure the pet must be removed. Pet owners are advised not to hug a seizing pet to keep it from trembling. A seizing dog would have no control over its muscles and the pet can accidentally bite the owner. It would be better to talk softly to the seizing dog. The owner’s voice is believed to have a calming effect on the dog.

More about repeated seizures and first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

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robbie on October 17th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

Helping a choking dog

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Dogs are exuberant and curious animals that have the inclination of getting any object into their mouths. Therefore it is common for dogs to choke on large chunks of food, on bones, plastic toys, stones and on pieces of wood. Choking is one of the most common reasons why dogs are rushed to veterinary clinics. A blockage that will obstruct the airways will be created by the swallowed object. Choking is an emergency situation that when not given the necessary first aid treatment can result to the death of the dog.

One of the responsibilities of dog owners is to have firsthand knowledge on how to help a chocking pet. The pet would certainly benefit from the professional help administered by veterinarians but first aid would certainly be crucial in saving the life of the pet.

Coughing can at times be mistaken as chocking. A pet owner must carefully ascertain if the dog is really choking and not simply coughing. Administering choking first aid on a dog that is merely coughing would do the dog more harm than good. A total or partial airway obstruction can be created by a swallowed object that gets lodged in the throat. If the obstruction is not removed at once the dog can expire.

A dog with a blocked airway would gag and try to vomit. Other symptoms would be excessive salivation and pawing at the mouth. It would be apparent that the dog finds it hard to breathe. An owner that wants to help the pet would commonly open the mouth to see the presence of foreign object. Because of the stress, a normally gentle pet can turn into an aggressive dog. Be careful in opening the dog’s mouth. By placing the lips of the dog between the teeth and your finger you can prevent the dog from biting your fingers. It would be a good idea to ask another person’s help in restraining the dog. Once the mouth is open, you can sweep the inside of the mouth with a finger. Tweezers or long nosed pliers can be used to remove the foreign object that causes the chocking, however be very careful not to cause the dog further harm.

If choking is caused by an object that is not visible, dislodging the blockage can be done by using the Heimlich maneuver. Grasp the hind legs of a medium sized dog so that the rear end is towards you. Position a fist behind the last rib and push forward several times until the blockage is dislodged.

Sarah’s Dogs has more information about what to do if your dog is choking and first aid for dogs.

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robbie on October 14th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

Dog First Aid – Hot spots

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Moist eczema, acute moist dermatitis and hot spots refer to a type of skin infection that is most common in dogs. These circular sore spots would erupt on the head, face, chest, hip and on other parts of the dog’s body. These hairless patches of moist, raw, red and inflamed skin will be very itchy and at times painful. Licking and chewing are natural behaviors of dogs thus anything that causes them pain and discomfort will be constantly worried by the mouth and tongue. A flea bite that causes minor irritation will be incessantly licked and gnawed by the pet. Hot spots can develop rapidly so that a coin sized itchy spot in the skin can develops into a palm sized raw and inflamed skin with a smelly pus discharge. Pyotraumatic dermatitis is the other name for hot spot purportedly given because this skin infection is worsened by the dog’s self mutilation.

All breeds of dogs can be weighed down by this itchy and painful skin infection but hot spots usually develop in long coated dogs. Hot spots are common skin concerns of dogs living in places where the climate is hot and humid. Although not a long term disease, hot spots have the tendency to recur. Moreover, first aid treatments that could have prevented a small lesion from developing into a hot spot is oftentimes not administered by the owner as the sore spot will be hidden by the long and thick hair of the dog.

This type of skin infection could have started from a flea or mite infestation. Dogs with histories of food and inhalant allergies, with anal gland concerns and ear infections are most susceptible. Hot spots commonly develop in dogs that are not regularly groomed because the tangles in the coat are perfect breeding places for bacteria.

First aid treatment is necessary to control the spread of infection. Hot spot would not only mar the appearance but would also create immense discomfort for the pet. The hair in the affected area must be removed to expose the edges and to prevent the spread of infection. Clipping the hair will let in air that will dry the inflamed tissues. The hot spot must be cleaned daily with a sterile saline solution. A topical antibacterial ointment will control the growth of bacteria thereby speeding up the healing process.

Dogs with hot spots tend to have the skin infection over and over again until the underlying cause of the infection is not eliminated. External parasite infestation has to be controlled. Regular grooming will do a lot to prevent the development of the itchy and painful sores.

Want to know more about hot spots and first aid for dogs? Visit Sarah’s Dogs.

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robbie on September 24th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

Learning basic first aid for the pet

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Why do I have to learn first aid? My dog’s vet is a neighbor. Are you one of the dog owners with the same philosophy? The vet’s expert hands would make small work of any health concern of the pet. However, there are situations when vets are not available. One of the reasons why people get dogs for a pet is because they make great companions thus they are always taken wherever the master goes. A dog owner’s competence in administering first aid would be very beneficial in emergency cases where no vet is available to help the pet. With first aid know how an owner can even prevent the pet’s condition from becoming life threatening.

A dog owner needs to act fast in emergency situations to save the life of the pet. To save the injured pet, a dog owner would rush to an emergency facility however, in most serious cases, the pet would expire before treatment is given. The life of the pet could have been saved had the owner thought of administering first aid. Unfortunately, while some dog owners would not know if the pet needs emergency care, other dog owners would have no idea how to help the pet

Basic first aid for dogs is very similar to first aid for humans. Anyone administering first aid to a dog has to be very careful as stressed dogs have the tendency to attack. Animal shelters offer first aid training to interested pet owners. First aid methods can be learned for the vet. Some veterinary hospitals are offering free first aid training as well.

Learning first aid would be easier by using the ABC approach. A stands for airways, B for breathing and C is for circulation. The first thing a dog owner should do is to make sure that no foreign object is blocking the airways and to check if the dog is breathing. The beating of the dog’s heart means that blood is still being pumped to the body parts. Artificial respiration is needed if the dog is no longer breathing. Dogs have the instinct to deal with minor bleeding simply by licking the wound. The dog’s licking will be ineffective in stopping severe bleeding thus owner has to administer first aid.

Dog owners can never totally prevent accidents that will injure the pet. To be able to administer emergency care, a pet owner has to learn how to administer first aid treatments. Due to the training, vets no doubt will be able to administer appropriate treatment to an injured pet but dog owners can alleviate the pet’s pain and even save the life of the dog with first aid skill and a well equipped first aid kit.

Want to know more about first aid kit and first aid for dogs? Visit Sarah’s Dogs.

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robbie on August 31st 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

Learn how to save your dog from choking

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Dogs have this habit of gnawing anything that would fit into their mouths. Dogs are not only voracious eaters, they are also very curious animals. Because dogs don’t have hands, anything interesting in their environment will be investigated by their mouths. This habit is not only annoying as it becomes destructive but also dangerous as the dog can swallow large objects that can cause choking. Death is imminent for a choking dog if first aid is not administered as the object that is lodged in the trachea will block the airway and would make breathing difficult.

Giving first aid to a choking dog is one of the basic first aid lessons a dog owner has to learn. Dog owners have to be prepared to deal with choking as this condition is a common consequence of the dog’s inclination to chew. Dog owners would ensure that the pet remains healthy and safe from any life threatening situations but accidents can never be prevented. To be able to save the pet from life threatening conditions, a pet owner has to be competent in administering first aid.

A dog owner has to recognize the symptoms that the pet is choking so that first aid can be administered. A chocking dog would drool, gag and act frantic. It would be easily apparent that something is blocking the dog’s airway as it would continuously paw the mouth while trying to vomit. If emergency care is not given to the choking pet, the gums will pale or become blue and the breathing sounds will stop.

To help a choking dog, the object that is causing the airway blockage must be removed immediately. With the fingers, perform a finger sweep along the sides of the mouth to the base of the tongue for foreign object that is causing the dog to choke. If an object can be felt it has to be manually removed. Dog owner and dog would be lucky if the object that is blocking the airway is as easy as this to remove. An object that cannot be felt or seen would be more difficult to remove.

Small dogs would be easier to handle thus removing the blockage would not be too difficult as compared to large dogs . Small dogs can be easily held upside down and slapped on the back to dislodge the object that is blocking the airway. It would be advantageous for every dog owner to learn how to do the Heimlich maneuver. This first aid method is also known as the wheelbarrow style as the hind legs of the dog will be raised against the body of the person administering the first aid. Place the wrist on the dog’s last ribs and forcefully push the abdomen downwards until the object is dislodged.

At Sarah’s Dogs you can find out more about choking as well as first aid for dogs.

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robbie on August 31st 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

Emergency Care for a Dog with Gunshot Wound

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Dogs are well loved animals. In fact most households would have one or more dogs for a pet . Not all people though are sold on dogs. Many dogs have suffered from the hands of cruel people. Dogs have some bizarre behaviors and one that has filched food from the barbecue or one that has dug holes in the garden will be punished. A dog can be shot for trespassing. Hunting and non-hunting dogs commonly get shot during the hunting season. Often times dogs are shot because they are viewed as wild animals by hunters. The gunshot wound may have come for the dog owner’s own gun.

Your dog may be one tough guy but in cases such as this, the dog would depend on you. The dog’s survival from a gunshot wound would depend on how quickly the dog owner can get help for the pet. The three types of traumas a dog can sustain makes a gunshot wound a very serious injury. The flesh of the pet will be damaged when the bullet penetrates the skin, the cavitations caused by the shock waves when the bullet enters the body and the fragmentation damage caused by shattered bones or by the pieces of projectile.

A gunshot wound is a serious injury thus urgent medical care must be given to the dog but first aid measures will still be important to stabilize the dog’s condition. The owner has to check the airway, breathing and circulation.

Rescue breathing must be started immediately if the dog has stopped breathing. With the dog’s mouth close, breath into the dog’s nostrils. Give large dogs 5 to 10 breaths per minute and 10 to 20 breaths for smaller dogs. The breath puffed on the dog’s nostrils should make the chest rise slightly. Begin CPR if no heartbeat is felt.

Bleeding has to be controlled and this can be done by applying direct pressure to the wound. Gauze, towel or cloth can be used to control bleeding. Add another cloth or towel over the one already soaked through with blood. The blood soaked cloth must not be replaced as doing so will also eliminate the clotting agents and make the wound resume bleeding. A gunshot in the chest would create a hole that has to be sealed with plastic to prevent an abnormality of pressure in the chest. To prevent any exposed organ from drying out, it must be covered with a wet towel .

Read all about Gunshot Wounds and first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

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robbie on August 6th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

Emergency Care for a Limping Dog

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There are various reasons why a dog would limp. Dogs are intelligent animals and the pet may have learned to walk on three legs to amuse its human family. Injuries that can result to the limping of the dog can happen because these animals are very active. A sprain, a stone that was lodged between the dog’s toes, a thorn that was embedded on the dog’s paws would make walking difficult for the pet. The pain caused by a broken nail would make a dog limp. Limping that is caused by these conditions is not serious so that the dog will be able to walk normally even without treatment.

Some cases of limping though are serious. The causes why the dog would refuse to put weight on the foot may need urgent attention as it can lead to permanent lameness. Limping is more common in large breeds of dogs as the weight of the body makes it easy for paw, the foot or the fragile leg to get injured. Even the normal activities of playing and running can result to cuts, sprains and torn ligaments.

A dog owner has to have first aid knowledge as emergency care will be needed to help the pet. Ignoring the dog’s condition can lead to irreparable damage that would debilitate the pet for life. Emergency care can save the pet from the pain as well. A dog owner that see the dog limping will know at once that the pet has an injury.

The dog owner would examine the injury of the pet at once. The foot, paw and legs will be thoroughly examined. Stones that were stuck between the toes will be removed. The toes and the joints of the feet must be examined for signs of sprain. The dog would yelp if the sprained foot is manipulated. The limping can be due to a cut in the paw.

The dog’s wound must be thoroughly washed. Sterile gauze must be used to bandage the wound after an antibiotic ointment is applied. A limping dog may have fractures or dislocated bones. Setting fractures and realigning dislocated joints must never be attempted by the dog owner. Only vets and qualified people can manage these kinds of injuries. However, the dog owner can prevent further damage by splinting the injured foot with rolled newspaper or with a flexible wire that can be bent into the shape of the dog’s foot. Wrapping the makeshift splint with a piece of cloth will prevent further damage to the injured foot as it is immobilized.

Learn more about limping as well as first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

Abrasion management

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Dogs get injured and minor injuries that do not require veterinary attention has to attended to by the pet owner. Dog are very energetic animals. As such, dogs are often injured. The dogs injuries can result from dog fights. Dogs trailing a prey would run at top speed and enter thorny thickets. Dogs run very fast and a screeching sound can be practically heard when they try to break the momentum. Every dog owner will be faced with the need to deal with the injuries sustained by the pet. Dogs would limp because of thorns embedded on the paws. Dogs can be injured by sharp tree branches. Dogs sustain various injuries and the pet would be lucky if an accident only results to minor abrasion.

Abrasion is a minor scrape on the outer layer of the dog’s skin. Abrasion occurs in dogs but it is not a common injury as the skin is protected by fur . Dogs though are very active animals and it would not be unheard of if the top layer of the skin gets injured from being rubbed against hard and rough surfaces. Abrasion happens when the skin is rubbed against rough surfaces such as a gravel road or a rocky surface so that the upper layer of the skin is scraped. A dog that was hit by a speeding car will be thrown or dragged along the road. A dog’s neck can have abraded skin is the collar is tightly fitted. The superficial damage to the skin can be caused by the dog’s self mutilation. External parasite infestation and boredom will make the dog persistently gnaw and lick until the upper layer of the skin is abraded.

Abrasion is usually not a serious health concern. Abraded skin normally does not bleed heavily as the subcutaneous layer of the skin is normally not damaged. Normally, abrasions do not result to scarring as the subcutaneous layers of the skin are not affected. First aid treatment for abrasion will be necessary to prevent the wound from getting infected. To save the dog from pain associated with abrasion the dog has to have first aid treatment.

First aid treatment must be administered to the abraded skin of the dog. The fur around the wound must be clipped. This must be done to prevent infection and to speed up the healing process. The wound must be thoroughly cleaned with saline solution. If none is available a solution can be made by dissolving a teaspoon of salt in 2 cups of water. Make sure that all the foreign materials are removed from the wound.

An antibiotic cream can be applied to the wound three times a day. Leave small abrasions unbandaged. However, abrasions on the feet have to be protected with a non-stick dressing to prevent infection from setting in.

Find out more about abrasions and first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

Emergency treatment for strangled dog

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A pet lost through strangulation would be a horrible experience for any dog owner! It is not surprising for dog owners to always want to keep the pet safe. But there are instances when the precautionary measures can get the pet in trouble in an instant. A dog owner that leaves the dog for a few minutes leashed inside the car would never thought to find the pet hanging out of the window – DEAD. To keep the pet safe from running vehicles, the owner would tie the pet near a fence but the pet interested with the sounds on the other side would jump over the fence and get strangled. Venetian blind cords can be lethal when played with puppies as it can result to strangulation.

Strangulation is horrible. A few minutes is all it takes to kill a frisky and perfectly healthy dog. A strangled dog would panic as it will be prevented from breathing when the airway closes. No air will enter the lungs because of the constriction of the airway thus the brain will be deprived of the life sustaining oxygen. Coughing, blue colored gums and tongue and unconsciousness are the clinical signs of strangulation. The dog can die in minutes due to lack of oxygen.

A strangled pet can be saved from death if the dog’s condition is noticed in time and emergency treatment is at once administered. The owner has to act at once to remove the pressure on the neck. Don’t waste time in trying to untangle the pet. It is of utmost importance to open the airway of the pet thus the collar or the leash must be cut or removed at once. After the constriction on the neck is removed, extend the neck to open the airway. It may be necessary to pull the tip of the tongue forward.

Artificial respiration will be needed if the pet is not breathing on its own. Grasp the dog’s muzzle to close the mouth and give two breaths on the dog’s mouth. The chest should rise as the lungs expand. Fifteen to twenty breaths per minute must be given to the dog.

The heart may have stopped beating if the dog is no longer breathing. Place the palm of the hand on the dog’s left chest and feel for the heartbeat. CPR must be administered if there is no heartbeat. Every artificial respiration must be followed with 5 heart compressions. The dog should receive about 15 to 20 breaths and 80 to 100 chest compressions per minute.

More information on dog first aid and strangulation can be found at Sarah’s Dogs.