Warm spring and summer weather means we’re getting outdoors more, and that can mean additional safety risks for our dogs.
I know that every dog mom wants to make sure her dog is safe and protected at all times, including those warm and sunny days spent outdoors. That’s why today I’m sharing information to help you prepare for a medical emergency with your dog.
Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Or said a different way, it’s better to be safe than sorry. So be sure to check out these tips to make sure you know what to do in the event of a medical emergency with your dog.
How to Prepare For a Medical Emergency With Your Dog
Although many types of danger lurk everywhere, today we’re going to focus on the following situations you might encounter with your dog this spring:
- Allergic Reactions
Any of these emergencies would be terrifying enough, but imagine if you had no idea what to do about them. That’s the exact situation I want to help you avoid, so keep reading as I provide some basic information about each condition and what you can do to help your dog.
1. Allergic Reactions
Many things can cause an allergic reaction, including bug bites, medications, and environment allergens. Your dog might react by vomiting, scratching, trouble breathing, or having a swollen face, among other symptoms.
Call your vet as soon as you notice any symptoms in your dog. Ask about an oral dose of antihistamine. Be prepared for a trip to the vet’s office, if your doctor deems this necessary.
Many things can trigger seizures in dogs, including low blood sugar and trauma. Look for tremors, the inability to stand or walk, or uncontrollable shaking.
Don’t try to restrain your pet during a seizure, and keep your hands and face away from the dog’s mouth to avoid accidental biting. Take your dog to the veterinarian right away.
Dogs can easily become poisoned by household cleaners, flea and tick products, chocolate, sugar-free sweeteners, and plants, to name just a few culprits.
Look for vomiting, seizures, disorientation, and excessive salivation.
Call your vet immediately because your pet’s life depends on starting treatment as soon as possible. If you know what made your dog sick, have the packaging handy when you call your vet.
Always keep the number for the National Animal Poison Control Center in your phone for times when you can’t reach your vet or don’t know if a substance is toxic. The number is 888-426-4435.
Dogs can have sudden heart issues just like people do. Look for respiratory distress, collapse, vomiting, and rapid or slow heart rate, to name just a few of the symptoms that might be present.
Immediately contact your veterinarian, and limit your pet’s activity. If you can carry your dog, that’s ideal.
Some dog breeds are more prone to bloat than others, so know your dog’s specific risk for this condition.
Symptoms may present as vomiting or dry heaving, restlessness, anxiety, or abdominal distention or pain.
This condition can be life-threatening, so don’t wait to call your vet! Surgery may be required.
It doesn’t take much for an overweight or obese dog to become overheated, and short-faced breeds like Pugs, Boxers, and Bulldogs may also be susceptible, as well as heavy coated breeds like the Akita and Husky.
Panting, weakness, excessive salivation, and the ability to stand are just a few of the symptoms of a dog that is overheated.
If you believe your dog is overheated, get her out of the sun and into a cool area. Encourage her to drink water, and cover her in cool, wet towels to help bring down her body temperature. A fan or air conditioner will also be helpful.
Once your start these cooling measures, contact your veterinarian.
It shouldn’t have to be said, but I’ll say it anyway: never, ever, ever leave your dog unattended in a car. The temperature will rise very quickly, even if it doesn’t seem that warm outside to you. If you can’t take your dog inside with you, leave her at home in the air conditioning where she will be safe and comfortable until you return.
It’s a lot easier than you might think for a dog to choke. Swallowing a foreign object, a collar that is too tight, or asthma are just a few of the things that might cause your dog to choke.
Look for forceful coughing, drooling, retching, and rubbing the face against the ground.
Remove the object from the dog’s mouth if you can reach it. Perform the Heimlich maneuver if you know how. If you can’t remove the object, seek immediately medical care for your pet.
External bleeding might be caused by an injury from broken glass or sharp objects, maybe even a dog fight. Internal bleeding may be the result of being hit by a car or falling.
Look for blood, as well as blood in vomit, stool, or the nose. You might also witness breathing difficulties, trouble standing, or collapse.
For external bleeding, clean the wound to remove any dirt, applying light pressure. Wrap with gauze.
For internal bleeding, seek emergency care immediately.
To see a summary of each of these conditions, check out this super helpful infographic from our friends at Figo Pet Insurance.
Dog Medical Emergency Guide created by FIGO Pet Insurance.
The most important thing I can state is to always contact your veterinarian if you fear your dog is sick or injured. Don’t wait to seek medical treatment, as many conditions require that life-saving procedures begin as soon as possible.
And of course, always be prepared by creating your own pet first-aid kit. A first-aid kit isn’t meant to replace professional medical care, but is intended to give your dog some relief until treatment can be received.
Are you prepared for a medical emergency with your dog?
I’d love to hear how you stay vigilant and ready to face a medical emergency with your pet. Leave a comment below or stop by my private Facebook group for dog moms and join in the conversation there!