Guide to Dog Emergencies

Recognizing a dog emergency and knowing how to react is part of being a responsible dog owner. Review these common dog emergency scenarios and how you should handle them:

Scenario #1: Medication Ingestion

Your dog swallowed human medication that was left on the table.

ANSWER: Call a veterinarian immediately and explain to them exactly what your dog ate and how much of it. They may ask you to bring him in to induce vomitting or tell you if it is safe. Remember, comma, most ove the counter tablets / medications can be very dangerous for dogs.

Scenario #2: Car Accident

Your dog was hit by a car, but seems to be fine.

ANSWER: Consult your Vet. Many injuries aren’t immediately obvious, so your dog should be checked out. Internal bleeding, hernias or lung contusions may not be obvious to you but are serious problems which need urgent intervention.

Scenario #3: Gash or Cut

While playing outdoors, your dog rummaged through thick brush and developed a deep gash on his leg.

ANSWER: If the cut is deep or bleeds longer than a few minutes, or if his gums are pale, seek medical attention. (Pale gums indicate excessive blood loss.)

Scenario #4: Unexplained Limp

While jumping in the yard, your dog developed a limp.

ANSWER: If his limp goes away immediately or soon after the incident, he’s probably fine. If he refuses to put pressure on it contact the Vet. Even a mild limp which does not go away, could be due to a ligament tear or arthritis. Rather be safe and let the Vet make sure he is ok.

Scenario #5: A Taste of Chocolate

A well-intentioned friend “treated” your dog to several pieces of chocolate. You know chocolate can be harmful to pets.

ANSWER: The amount of harm depends upon the kind of chocolate and the amount consumed. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous for canines: A few grams of baking chocolate can be toxic to a 5kg dog It’s best not to guess. Call your Vet and report what you’ve seen.

Scenario #6: Obstructed Airway

While playing catch, your dog got a ball lodged in his throat.

ANSWER: Most dogs should quickly expel something stuck in their mouth; but their airways can become obstructed. If your dog can’t breathe, or if his breathing is laboured, take him to the emergency clinic immediately.

In spite of your best intentions, dog emergencies may happen. Keep a doggie first aid kit at home for minor problems. You can prepare for the worst by programming your Vet’s number into your cell phone and printing the number and to their practice and an after-hours clinic. Keep this information in the car or stuck on the fridge. It’s a precaution you’ll be glad you took if an emergency occurs.