Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How to Handle Emergencies in Dogs

dog recoveryEmergencies in dogs occur every day and being prepared and understanding some of the basics may help to save the life of your dog. In every case that involves an emergency, you should seek professional treatment as quickly as possible, but some of the following types of emergencies and some basic understanding of them, can prepare most owners.


Emergencies in dogs in several cases may not originally appear to be serious, but they can become extremely dangerous if they are not treated, and an abscess is one of these conditions. An abscess in your dog is described as either a sac or a lump that contains pus. These should always be treated very seriously, but if they rupture, the pus will begin to drain and it will need to be treated. If this does occur, and the original site of the rupture is relatively small, immediately clean the area.

To clean an abscess, you can use peroxide or Betadine, and once cleaned, it will be very important to keep it open and allow it to drain. Until you can get medical attention, you will need to make sure that your dog does not lick the area. This is much easier said than done, and with most dogs the only thing you can do is to use an Elizabethan collar of some type.

Allergic Reactions:

One of the scariest types of emergencies in dogs is an allergic reaction. Most any dog will have some type of an allergic reaction some time in their life span, and when it happens the most important thing for an owner to do is to remain calm. A reaction by your dog to some type of an allergen can range from mild to very severe, depending on your dogs system and the type of allergen. It is very important to remember recent medical history, as a lot of reactions occur as the result of a new medication or a recent vaccination.

However, if it is during the spring, summer, or fall months, it can also be the result of some type of an insect bite, especially a wasp, hornet, or a bee. In the vast majority of cases, the allergic reaction will be almost entirely focused on your dogs face. However, just like people, some dogs can develop very serious symptoms. Any time your dog has any kind of allergic reaction there are several things you should watch for.

The first thing to do is check for any type of shock in your dog, and you do this by first examining their gums. If they are pale, your dog is most likely going into shock. If they are experiencing difficulty in breathing, you may have to perform CPR on your dog. If it does appear they have been stung, remain calm and look until you find the stinger and remove it. You can than apply a topical lotion such as Benadryl, but you should call your veterinarian first.

Burns from Chemicals:

This type of emergencies in dogs can be very difficult to determine unless you actually witness the episode or have a very strong inclination of what it was. If you do witness the event, immediately rinse and flush your dogs mouth with very large amounts of water. This will immediately reduce the chemicals as well as prevent any further damage. But there is one thing you should not do until you talk to your veterinarian or call the 800 number on the chemical; induce vomiting.

Most all chemicals will have instructions as well as an 800 number to call for cases like this. Do not induce vomiting until you have been instructed to as it can cause several internal damages.
The toxicity directions on the bottle or container will give instruction, and most dogs can be treated with a topical that helps with canker sores in humans. The recommend treatment is usually three times a day. But if it severe, there is absolutely no home medical treatment and your dog will need immediate medical treatment.

Collapse in Dogs:

This type of emergencies in dogs requires one very definitive thing from any owner; remain calm under all circumstances. Your first reaction is to panic, but you will need to remain calm and start planning on how you can safely get your dog to medical attention as soon as possible. But first you will need to observe your dog very closely, try to think back about what may caused the collapse, and than gather a plan to safely move your dog.

CPR in dogs can be a very important technique, but this is not the time for it. If fact, it can do severe damage if not done properly with this condition. If your dog is unconscious, feel the left side of their chest for a heartbeat. If your dog is dazed or looks lost, be extremely careful as they may bite simply out of instinct. Contact your veterinarian immediately and call someone if needed to safely move and transport your dog.

Electrical Shock:

Emergencies in dogs, especially puppies, may involve an electrical shock of some kind. Puppies love to chew anything as any owner knows and unfortunately this can have devastating results. If your dog or puppy does get shocked, you will need to very quickly turn off the main breaker.

Do not rush to your dog first and try to remove the cord as you may also be shocked or electrocuted. Once you have done this, remove the cord and keep your dog as calm as you can, but very quickly look for burns. Once you have calmed and relaxed your dog, seek immediate medical treatment.

Head Trauma:

Head trauma is one of most challenging of all emergencies in dogs as it can be life threatening. If you have any inclinations that your dog has suffered a head trauma, seek professional help as quickly as possible. During the transfer time to the hospital, it will be very important to keep your dog warm and keep their head elevated or at least level with their body. This will help to prevent any further damage to their neck, back, or the head itself. Again, you may want to seek help in transporting your dog and be very careful about being bitten.

Heat Stroke:

Emergencies in dogs will almost always include heatstroke, especially if your dog is left in a car during very hot temperatures. However, just like human, dogs can suffer heatstroke by extreme weather. If you see your dog panting excessively, get them to shade or a cool area. If they collapse, it is now life threatening. The normal body temperature of a dog is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If it exceeds 105 degrees, it has become life threatening.

If this does occur, place a cool, wet towel around them or hose them down as quickly as possible. Under no circumstance use ice; it can very easily cause skin damage to your dog. Even if you pet returns to normal, you will need to have him examined.


There are several other emergencies in dogs that will include frostbite, parasite infection, gunshot wounds, and dog fights, just to name a few. The main thing any owner can do in any type of an emergency is to remain calm, take account of the situation, and then seek professional advice or treatment. Keeping your wits about you will help to keep your dog remain calm, and in these situations they have no where to turn other than trust you.

I am an avid lover of pets and my wife and I have had several pets throughout our years. We are especially fond of dogs, and we have a 12 year old Dalmatian (our 3rd) and a "mutt" that we rescued when someone threw him away to die in a vacant field.

He found us, nearly starved to death, and weighed about 2 pounds.

After severe bouts of mange and severe dehydration, and over 1,000.00 in veterinarian bills, we saved the little guys life, and he is one of the best, if not the best, dogs we have ever had and today is a muscular, fit, and firm 70 pound best friend.

After finishing my MBA, which at middle age was not easy, I decided to keep the research work ethics that I acquired, and devote about two hours each night in understanding the health benefits of supplementation for both humans and pets and how they might strengthen our, as well as our pets, immune system in a pre-emptive approach to health rather than a reactionary approach.

Both of my daughters are avid cat lovers, and asked me to help them with health concerns and challenges with their cats.

I am not a veterinarian nor claim to be, just a lover of pets that loves to research and pass on some knowledge that might be helpful, or at least stimulating to the thought process.
Several of the articles that I have written can be found on my website;

Liquid Vitamins & Minerals for Humans & Pets http://www.liquid-vitamins-minerals-humans-pets.com/