What to do if a dog is injured?
The cause of bleeding in a dog may be a wound or illness. Injuries, accompanied by blood loss, animals most often get on a walk, cutting into broken glass or a tin can, or as a result of a fight with relatives. Wounds and bites in hunting dogs are also possible. Sometimes this also happens in accidents, when falling from a height or as a result of an accident.
The consequences of bleeding depend on many factors: the magnitude and severity of the damage, the physiological condition of the dog, and the amount of blood lost. Bleeding can be external and internal. If in the first case the blood flows out of the damaged vessel through a visible wound, then with internal hemorrhage it accumulates in the body cavities: chest or abdominal.
Depending on which particular vessel is injured, arterial, venous and capillary bleeding are distinguished. Artery damage is most dangerous due to the high rate of blood loss and the inability to form a clot at the site of injury. Blood flows in a powerful jet, jerky and has a bright scarlet color. If the vein is damaged, the run-out flow is smooth, without ripple, dark cherry in color. Capillary bleeding is most often observed with cuts in the pads of the paws, when the smallest drops of blood from the superficial vessels merge into one trickle.
Arterial bleeding is a life-threatening condition and requires urgent veterinary care. However, venous, if not stopped in time, can lead to significant blood loss and death of the animal. However, capillary bleeding often stops spontaneously due to narrowing of blood vessels and the formation of a clot at the site of injury.
What should be done?
Bleeding should be stopped as soon as possible or at least slowed down. The dog should be fixed and reassured, not allowing the animal to actively move. It is impossible to give to drink with bleeding. The site of damage to the vessel must be squeezed by hand or fingers. On the wound itself, you need to fix the absorbent layer of a cotton-gauze swab, a piece of cotton cloth or a clean towel, and then apply a dense bandage bandage. If there is a suspicion of the presence of a foreign body in the wound (glass, bullet or bone fragments with an open fracture), a bandage is applied above the site of bleeding. Large vessels are squeezed in the same place: on the hind limbs they squeeze the artery on the inner surface of the thigh, on the forelegs – on the elbow bend of the armpit. When injured in the head region, one of the jugular veins located on the sides of the neck is gently pressed (only one is necessary). You should also know that you can not squeeze the fracture site.
When applying a tourniquet above the site of bleeding, you can use a wide ribbon, belt or scarf. A thin rope is not suitable for this, as it will contribute to additional tissue damage and aggravate bleeding. After applying the tourniquet, it is necessary to loosen its tension every 10-15 minutes by manually squeezing the bleeding vessel. Otherwise, the death of the lower part of the limb may occur, threatening further necrosis and amputation.
After this, you must deliver the dog to a veterinary clinic or call a doctor at home. Before examining the animal with a doctor, it is necessary to carefully monitor its general condition. Blanching of visible mucous membranes, increased heart rate and weakening of the pulse on the femoral artery are threatening symptoms. In this case, medical care should be provided within an hour and a half. When transporting the animal to the clinic, it is better to keep it lying on its back for the outflow of blood from the damaged limb.
Before the doctor arrives, it is better not to treat the wound yourself, so as not to aggravate the bleeding. In the most extreme case, if severe contamination occurs, you can wash the damage zone with hydrogen peroxide or furatsilina solution. The hair around the wound needs to be cut and then put on a tight pressure dressing. At the same time, the dog must not be allowed to lick the cut and dressing material.
Bleeding from natural openings (nose, mouth, ears, intestines, or genitourinary tract) is usually a secondary symptom and indicates some underlying disease. In this case, it is necessary to deliver the dog to the veterinary clinic for diagnosis and further treatment. Internal bleeding is considered the most dangerous for the life of the animal, as it is very difficult to recognize at home. Hemorrhages in the chest or abdominal cavity almost do not appear externally. Only blanching of the visible mucous membranes and rapid breathing and palpitations are observed. The body temperature of the animal may decrease. In such cases, emergency veterinary care is required. Only qualified medical intervention can save a dog’s life with internal hemorrhage.
It is not recommended to use hemostatic and anti-shock drugs at home without the appointment of a doctor in order to avoid serious complications.