Injured dog Injured dog

Dog first aid and vet contacts

These tips will help you stay safe and do the best for your dog in an emergency:

Be prepared. You can best prepare for medical emergencies in advance by:

  • Finding out about animal first aid courses run at some local colleges and vets’ surgeries
  • Carrying a dog first aid kit and knowing how to use it – this can be used to help humans too!
  • Attending the Kennel Club’s Good Citizen Dog training schemes to learn life-saving handling skills for you and your dog
  • Having pet health insurance. Get several quotes to find the best cover for you - check the small print carefully as there are wide variations in cover between policies.
  • Following the tips on these pages to keep your dog healthy and safe

Always remember

  • Look after yourself – you can’t help if you get injured. Always call for assistance immediately - either on the phone or by shouting - to keep yourself safe.
  • Even a normally placid dog may bite if frightened or in pain - approach slowly and quietly. Consider applying a temporary muzzle, by tying a bandage or similar around the muzzle and then behind the ears; take care not to restrict breathing.
  • A distressed dog may run away; use a lead or other restraint if safe to do so.
  • Do not feed a dog after an incident, until you’ve spoken to the vet.
  • Follow up any first aid with prompt advice from your vet
  • Phone ahead before setting off to the vet, to check there’ll be someone at the surgery

These general tips are a reminder for you in an emergency, in those initial moments before you are able to get advice from your vet. Always consult your vet after any incident or if your dog seems off-colour:

If the dog isn’t breathing – artificial respiration

  • Take care not to get bitten – lie the dog on its right hand side and consider placing something between the rear teeth to stop the jaw closing.
  • Pull the tongue forward, straighten the neck, check the throat and remove any obstructions – a torch may help. Toys, small balls and sticks can all stop a dog from breathing.
  • If the throat seems clear, hold the dog’s mouth shut and blow directly down its nose once every three seconds.
  • If the heart isn’t beating, press firmly down on the side of the lower chest, just behind the front legs, once every second. Blow down the dog's nose as above after every 5 chest compressions and repeat.
  • In general, if breathing doesn’t restart after five minutes, recovery is unlikely

NOTE: To be most effective, artificial respiration needs to be learned in advance on a practical course, as the best procedure varies for different types of dog. Do not practice on your own animal.

Use the following links to find out more information on other medical emergencies:

Road accidents, fractures and falls

  • Keep calm so as not to cause panic in others or the injured animal
  • Put safety first! Take action to make sure you and your dog aren’t in further danger.
  • If you need to move the dog out of immediate danger, do so slowly and gently. Otherwise avoid moving the animal until you get advice from a vet.
  • If it can’t walk, use a coat, board or blanket as a stretcher. Slide the dog onto it and gently lift; if possible, have two people lifting and one person holding the dog on the 'stretcher'.
  • Phone the vet and follow their advice
  • Try to stem blood flow from any major cuts by putting a pad or similar on the affected area and applying firm pressure; don’t remove it, even if the bleeding stops, until you see the vet. If you see any foreign objects like broken glass or metal in the wound, try to avoid pushing them further in; apply pressure around them if possible.
  • Try to keep the dog warm

Remember: Animals can appear paralysed after a severe accident, but this can be temporary. Never assume an apparently paralysed animal is beyond help - follow veterinary advice. Equally, internal injuries are not always apparent, and so contact your vet immediately if the animal seems off-colour, especially within 24 hours of any accident.


Painful, or swollen stomach

A number of life-threatening conditions can cause this. Your dog may show signs of distress by whining, crying, retching, vomiting, gasping for air or restlessness. Whatever the symptoms, contact your vet immediately. Prompt action can save your dog’s life.


Having a fit

  • Keep calm, quiet and darken the area if possible.
  • Remove any hard or other objects from around the dog where possible, as they could fall onto the animal or cause injury if kicked during a convulsion.
  • Only move the dog if it’s in immediate danger, such as in a road or near a steep drop.
  • Do NOT restrain the dog, nor hold its tongue, nor put a gag between its teeth.
  • Stay with your dog and phone your vet, especially if it hasn’t had a fit before; note how long the fit lasts.
  • Be calm and reassuring when the dog comes round. It may be frightened, confused or disorientated, so keep it on a lead if it could wander off.

Poisoning

A dog’s natural inquisitiveness can lead it to poisons. Never let your dog go out of your sight or allow it to eat what it finds when out for a walk.

If your think your dog has drunk or eaten something that could be poisonous:

  • Phone the vet immediately
  • Identify what the substance is if you can; keep any labels, containers or samples safely with you to help the vet decide the best treatment.
  • Do NOT make your dog sick without first consulting your vet.

Heat stroke

This can occur to dogs when exercised in hot weather, or left in cars on even moderately warm days. A dog with heatstroke will pant excessively and may vomit, collapse, have fits or breathing difficulties.

If heatstroke occurs:

  • Keep the dog calm and move it immediately to a cooler area, such as into the shade, near a fan or breeze, or in a cool room or building.
  • Cool all of your dog with water from, for example, a stream, tap, water bottle or drinking trough. Pay particular attention to the head by applying, for example, a towel or t-shirt drenched in cold water.
  • Let it drink small amounts of cool water frequently
  • Call your vet for advice

Drowning

Whilst dogs swim naturally and often enjoy it, drowning can occur if they become excessively tired by: strong currents, getting trapped, being unable to climb out, or falling through ice.

  • Do not put your own life at risk trying to rescue your dog; call for help.
  • Once out of the water, allow any fluid to drain out of the throat by holding smaller dogs upside down by their legs or middle, or by lying larger dogs on a slope facing downhill.
  • If breathing is absent, follow the artificial respiration section above. Try artificial respiration for at least 10 minutes after a drowning case.
  • Dogs can often become very cold when in water, so try keeping the animal warm too, taking care not to obstruct breathing.
  • Call the vet as soon as possible

Drowning

Whilst dogs swim naturally and often enjoy it, drowning can occur if they become excessively tired by: strong currents, getting trapped, being unable to climb out, or falling through ice.

  • Do not put your own life at risk trying to rescue your dog; call for help.
  • Once out of the water, allow any fluid to drain out of the throat by holding smaller dogs upside down by their legs or middle, or by lying larger dogs on a slope facing downhill.
  • If breathing is absent, follow the artificial respiration section above. Try artificial respiration for at least 10 minutes after a drowning case.
  • Dogs can often become very cold when in water, so try keeping the animal warm too, taking care not to obstruct breathing.
  • Call the vet as soon as possible

Bites and stings

  • If your dog gets injured in a fight, contact your vet. Bites on the head and body tend to be of more concern than those on the legs, but contact the vet in either case. If there is bleeding, stem the flow with a pad and maintain pressure. See fractures and falls above.
  • An occasional sting from an insect is generally not serious, although multiple stings - especially if the dog has been stung before - can be more serious; if in doubt, contact your vet. If a sting is left in your dog, scrape it away from the skin with a fingernail or credit card; do not squeeze or grasp it. Cooling the sting area with a wet cloth can help reduce pain and swelling; a soothing lotion can help with itching.
  • In the very rare circumstance that your dog is bitten by an adder, contact the vet immediately. Keep the dog as still and calm as possible. If possible, don’t allow it to walk; carry it instead. Leave the bite wound alone; do NOT try to wash it, nor suck out or drain the venom.

Ticks

Ticks are parasites that attach to the skin, and can look like a small skin tag or be a dark, smooth pea shape. Dogs - and people - are particularly likely to pick these up in spring and autumn, especially when walking in areas where sheep and deer are present.

  • Check your dog for ticks every day and have them removed immediately, as they can spread harmful diseases if left attached.
  • There is a knack to safely removing ticks and special tools are available; they must not squeezed or pulled off.
  • Seek advice from your vet and learn how to remove ticks safely yourself.

You can also contact www.vethelpdirect.com which is the animal equivalent of NHS Direct, a website designed to help owners of dogs and other animals decide how quickly they need to call the vets.

To report a dog lost of found:

Pet Log – 0870 6066751
RSPCA – 0870 555599

www.doglost.co.uk

Lost and found dog

Local Vets in and around the Peak District moorland area:

Town Address Contact number
Hope Overdale Veterinary Centre, Branch Surgery 01433 620485
Buxton Overdale Veterinary Centre, Market Street 01298 23499
Chapel-en-le-Frith Thornbrook Vet Clinic, Thornbrook Road 01298 812066
Holmfirth Transpennine Animal Surgeries, 193 Huddersfield Rd 01484 682718
Sheffield Hunters Bar Vet Clinic, 613 Eccleshall Rd 0114 2663607
Grindleford Hunters Bar Vet Clinic, Main Rd 0114 2663607