Sequoyah German Shepherds
Take a look at the page below to see some orphans that need a loving home!
of First Aid For Your Pet: First Aid is the immediate care
given to a pet who has been injured or suddenly taken ill.
In an emergency, first aid is not a
substitute for veterinary treatment. However, knowing basic first
aid could save your pet's life. Here in this section of my webpage, I will
try to cover some basic emergency situations and how to handle them.
If you have any questions, or would like me to add a something about a
particular emergency requiring first aid, feel free to
The First Aid Kit:
My first aid kit
contains the following items:
and 2" adhesive tape
roll gauze (which can serve as a muzzle)
Newspaper and plastic food wrap (for a splint)
Nolvasan (Chlorhexidine) or Betadine (Povidone) antiseptic
Eye wash (saline in a squirt bottle)
and 4" gauze and gauze pads
Blanket with a heat pack (if possible)
Tweezers or Hemostats
Veterinarian's phone number (and emergency number)
Poison Control's phone number
Pets often suffer blood loss as a result of trauma. If bleeding is
severe or continuous, the animal may lose enough blood to cause shock
(loss of as little as 2 teaspoons per pound of body weight may cause
shock). Emergencies may arise that require you, the owner, to control the
bleeding, even if it is just during transport of the animal to the
veterinary facility. You should know how to stop hemorrhage
(bleeding) if your pet is injured.
Techniques to Stop External Bleeding
- Direct Pressure:
Gently press a pad of clean cloth or gauze over
the bleeding absorbing the blood and allowing it to clot. Do not disturb
blood clots after they have formed. If blood soaks through, do not
remove the pad; simply add additional layers of cloth and continue the
direct pressure more evenly. The compress can be bound in place using
bandage material which frees the hands of the first provider for other
emergency actions. In the absence of a compress, a bare hand or finger
can be used.
Direct pressure on a wound is the most preferable way to stop
If there is a severely bleeding wound on the foot or
leg, gently elevate the leg so that the wound is above the level
of the heart. Elevation uses the force of gravity to help
reduce blood pressure in the injured area, slowing the bleeding.
Elevation is most effective in larger animals with longer limbs
where greater distances from wound to heart are possible. Direct
pressure with compresses should also be maintained to maximize
the use of elevation.
- Pressure on the Supplying Artery: If external bleeding continues following the use of direct pressure and
elevation, finger or thumb pressure over the main artery to the wound is
needed. Apply pressure to the femoral artery in the groin for severe
bleeding of a rear leg; to the brachial artery in the inside part of the
upper front leg for bleeding of a front leg; or to the caudal artery at
the base of the tail if the wound is on the tail. Continue application
of direct pressure.
- Pressure Above and Below the Bleeding Wound:
This can also be used in conjunction with direct pressure. Pressure
above the wound will help control arterial bleeding. Pressure below the
wound will help control bleeding from veins.
Tourniquet: Use of a tourniquet is dangerous and it should be used
only for a severe, life-threatening hemorrhage in a limb (leg or tail)
not expected to be saved. A wide (2-inch or more) piece of cloth should
be used to wrap around the limb twice and tied into a knot. A short
stick or similar object is then tied into the knot as well. Twist the
stick to tighten the tourniquet until the bleeding stops. Secure the
stick in place with another piece of cloth and make a written note of
the time it was applied. Loosen the tourniquet for 15 to 20 seconds
every 20 minutes. Remember this is dangerous and will likely result in
disability or amputation.
Use of a tourniquet should only be employed as a last-resort,
Internal bleeding is a life-threatening condition, but it is not
obvious like external bleeding. Any bleeding which is visible is
external. Internal bleeding occurs inside the body and will not be seen.
There are, however, external signs of internal bleeding:
|The pet is pale (check the gums or eyelids).
|The pet is cool on the legs, ears, or tail.
|The pet is extremely excited or unusually subdued.
If any of these signs are evident, the pet should be immediately
transported to a veterinary facility for professional help. Remember:
internal bleeding is not visible on the outside
What to Do:
Remove all food and water.
Check for signs of dehydration.
If the diarrhea and/or vomiting continues or the pet acts ill,
seek veterinary attention. Diarrhea and vomiting can quickly lead to
serious fluid loss and electrolyte imbalance, especially in the very
young and the very old.
If no vomiting occurs for 6 to 8 hours, begin to give small
amounts of clear liquids (water, Gatorade, Pedialyte, or other
electrolyte solution) frequently. A rule of thumb is to give
1 teaspoon per pound of body weight every 2 or 3 hours throughout
the day and night.
Isolate the sick pet from other pets.
What NOT to Do
Do not medicate your pet without talking to your veterinarian.
Do not allow the pet to eat or drink anything until there has
been no vomiting for 6 to 8 hours.
Vomiting and diarrhea are associated with a host of problems which
are referred to collectively as gastroenteritis. Some cases are quite
severe (e.g., poisoning, or GI obstructions), and some are not (e.g., dietary indiscretion).
If fever is present, infection may be a cause.
If your pet is not feeling well and has vomiting and/or diarrhea, he
should see a veterinarian.
Poisons: If you suspect that your pet has consumed a substance that is
poisonous, look for evidence (i.e., an open container or
RAT POISON, a pool
of ANTIFREEZE, etc.). Call your veterinarian or a poison control center
and be prepared to answer the following questions:
|What product caused the poisoning and how much was ingested?
|When did the poisoning occur?
|What symptoms are your pet exhibiting?
|Can you retrieve a container or label from the poisonous
substance to determine the active ingredient? |
Follow the instructions of the veterinarian or the poison control
If you cannot get in touch with a veterinarian or a poison
control center, then induce vomiting:
Give full strength (3%) hydrogen peroxide by mouth at a dosage
of 1 tablespoon (15cc) per 15 to 20 pounds of body weight, or syrup of
ipecac (follow label directions)
Do not induce vomiting if:
|The animal is unconscious, semi-conscious, or
|There is evidence that the poison
|a strong acid or an alkali
(such as bleach -- this would cause more damage coming back
|a petroleum product (these
would increase the risk of aspiration if vomiting is
|a cleaning product,|
|the substance was ingested
more than 3 hours ago. |
If the pet is going to be transported to a veterinary facility,
search for containers of the poison to take with the animal. Transport
the pet immediately: don't wait until vomiting commences (if you induced
vomiting). Cleaning out your car is a small price to pay for a
successful outcome in a serious poisoning case.
If you have any doubts as to whether a substance is poisonous,
call a veterinarian or a poison control center.
Fracture: a break or crack in a bone.
Closed fracture: fractures in which there is no related
Open (compound) fracture: fractures associated with
open wounds (the bone may be visible through the wound).
Dislocation: injury to connective tissues holding a
joint in position resulting in displacement of a bone at the joint.
Sprain: an injury to a joint, ligament, or tendon in the
region of a joint. It involves partial tearing or stretching of these
structures without dislocation or fracture.
What to Do:
Muzzle and or cover the head of
the pet before treatment to prevent biting
injury to the first aid provider.
Open fractures should be dressed with a wet,
clean dressing applied
over the opening and bone.
If possible, the limb should be immobilized with a splint to
prevent further injury.
Carefully transport him to a
Splints can be fashioned out newspapers or magazines or coat hangers.
You can also make a splint out of sticks of wood supporting the fracture, fixed in
place with tape or cloth.
Any splint should extend past at least one joint above and one
joint below the fracture site.
What NOT to Do
If the splint is difficult to
apply or the animal objects, do not attempt splinting.
Never attempt to set or reduce a fracture or try to push a
protruding bone back into position.
A fracture or dislocation or severe sprain may be suspected when the
animal suddenly appears lame on a leg, or picks up a leg and won't use
it. They may also be suspected following any major fall or blunt injury.
Obvious findings of a bone protruding from a wound are rare. What is
more common is the unusual angulation or deformation of the fractured
area, and swelling. Accurate diagnosis requires the use of x-rays.
An x-ray is the only way to accurately diagnose a fracture
Heat Stroke -- Hypethermia: The
significant elevation of body temperature above normal. It is sometimes
indicative of a fever, but it can also be associated with severe
conditions such as heat stroke. Any time the body
temperature is higher than 106 degrees, a true emergency exists.
What to Do
|Remove the pet from the environment where the hyperthermia
|Move the pet to the shade and direct a fan on him.
|If possible, determine rectal temperature and record.
|Begin to cool the body by wetting with cool (not cold) water on
the trunk and legs. It is helpful to use rubbing alcohol on the skin
of the stomach and allow the fan to speed evaporation.
|Transport to a veterinary facility.
What NOT to Do
|Do not use cold water or ice for cooling.
|Do not overcool the pet.
|Do not attempt to force water orally.
|Do not leave the pet unattended for any length of time.
In the summertime, other than fever, the most frequent cause of
hyperthermia is heat stroke. Keep in mind that
prolonged seizures, eclampsia (milk fever), poisonings, and many other
conditions may also cause hyperthermia. The bracycephalic (short-nosed)
breeds (Pekingese, Chinese Pug, Lhasa Apso, Boston Terrier, etc.) may
suffer from ineffectual panter syndrome which results in an increased body
temperature that can be fatal.
The most common sign of heat prostration or heat stroke is vigorous
panting. The pet is likely to be lying on its side, unable to stand,
although some are restless and agitated. There may be a thick, ropy saliva in the mouth, or froth coming from the
mouth and/or nose. Often the pet seems to be rigid, extending its head,
neck, and limbs. The mucous membranes are often red but may be pale or
"muddy." The pet may show signs of shock.
Rapidly cooling the pet is extremely important. While ice or cold
water may seem logical, its use is not advised. Cooling the innermost
structures of the body will actually be delayed, as ice or cold water
will cause superficial blood vessels to shrink, effectively forming an
insulating layer of tissue to hold the heat inside. Tap water is more
suitable for effective cooling.
Severe hyperthermia is a disease that affects nearly every system in
the body. Simply lowering the body temperature fails to address the
potentially catastrophic events that often accompany this disorder. A
pet suffering from hyperthermia should be seen by a veterinarian as soon
A seizure is any sudden and uncontrolled spastic type of movement of
the animal's body caused by abnormal brain activity. Seizures may be
very severe and affect all of the body, or quite mild, affecting only a
portion of the pet. The pet may or may not be conscious, and may urinate
or have a bowel movement
What to Do
Protect the pet from injuring itself during or after the
seizure. Keep him from falling and especially keep him
away from water.
Remove other pets from the area.
Record the time the seizure begins and ends.
If the seizure or convulsion lasts over 5 minutes, wrap the pet
in a cool, wet towel and seek veterinary attention at once.
If the pet loses consciousness and is not breathing, begin
What NOT to Do
Do not place your hands near the pet's mouth. They do
swallow their tongues and you are at risk of being bitten.
Do not slap, throw water on, or otherwise try to startle your
pet out of a seizure -- it will end when it ends, and you
cannot affect it by slapping, yelling, or any other action.
When your pet is "struck" by a snake, it is best to assume it is a
What to Do:
|Immobilize the part of the animal that has been bitten by the
snake. Try to keep it at or below the level of the heart.
|Keep the pet calm and immobile; carry if necessary.
|Seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.
|Try to retrieve the snake if it can be done without risk. It is
sometimes helpful to identify the type of snake. |
What NOT to Do
|Do not cut over the fang marks.
|Do not manipulate the bitten area any more than needed.
|Do not allow the pet to move about freely.
|Do not ice pack or tourniquet the area.
|Do not administer any medications except on a veterinarian's
|Do not use electric shock on the area.
Snakebite is a complex problem. The severity and type of damage done
by venom depends on the type of snake involved. If your pet is bitten by a snake, assume the bite is poisonous and
seek veterinary attention quickly.