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Pet First Aid: Common Injuries

Dogs seem to possess an unique ability to find mischief which may result in an injury. Working at the local vet clinic gave me an insiders perspective on the sheer creativity surrounding these accidents. There was a cocker spaniel who somehow managed to scramble up onto the counter, fell behind the fridge, and broke his leg. Or the chow who was attacked by his owner’s Macaw, and came in with only half an ear. Regardless of the circumstances, owners should go over the basics to ensure proper pet first aid. The following are a few common injuries, and brief descriptions of what happens next!

Ear injuries usually consist of cuts or bruises to the ear flap received in either a canine skirmish, or some type of blow to the head. The area will swell, and a soft mass can be felt inside the ear. This is commonly referred to as a hemotoma. This condition is extremely painful, so the dog will continually shake his head. If not immediately treated, the dog’s abrupt movements will cause the ear swell even further. During the drive to the clinic, some discomfort can be alleviated by applying cold packs to the ear.

Eyes injuries are risky, and should be treated with care. Any direct laceration to the eyes should be considered an emergency. Keep the eyes moist with cold water packs, and keep it covered until your reach the animal hospital. Most dogs will frantically attempt to scratch the pupil. Do not let them! This will only aggravate the condition.

A ‘dislocated’ eyeball, or protrusion is not uncommon in breeds that have bulging eyes (i.e. pug), however it can occur to any dog. This squeamish condition occurs whenever there is a hard blow to the head which forces the eye out of the socket. In order to save your pet’s vision, action needs to be taken immediately. Cold water packs will help keep the eyes moist, while controlling the swelling. Time is against you, so rush your baby to the clinic. Have someone else drive, and call the office to alert staff.

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