Different types of dog emergency care include managing bleeding, replacing fluids lost through vomiting and diarrhea, and treating broken bones. In addition, dog emergency care can be facilitated in the home, a veterinarian's office, animal hospital, or animal shelter. Clinical employees or volunteers of dog facilities should be trained in dog emergency care and should undergo periodic training to keep up on the latest procedures.
Dog owners should have a basic knowledge of dog first aid to be prepared in the event of a canine emergency. Dog first aid education can be sought through the dog's veterinarian, dog-care books, or canine-related websites. With any canine emergency, when in doubt, the veterinarian should be called, to determine if emergency care can be started at home, or if the dog should be brought in.
Diarrhea and vomiting are common symptoms in dogs, and almost all dogs experience them sooner or later. Generally, diarrhea and vomiting are not considered emergencies unless they persist or are severe. Dogs can quickly become dehydrated, which may lead to organ failure and respiratory distress. Persistent diarrhea and vomiting needs to be evaluated and treated by a veterinarian to avoid complications.
When a dog breaks a bone, dog emergency care needs to be instituted at once. If the dog is unable to move, taking it to the animal hospital may be difficult. In this case, a blanket or board can double as a stretcher, but this will require the help of another person. Symptoms of a broken bone include immobility, severe pain and bone deformity. It is important not to encourage the dog to walk, as this could worsen its condition and further damage the bone and surrounding structures.
Severe injuries can cause excessive bleeding and requires dog emergency care. When minor bleeding occurs, washing the injury with soap and warm water and applying mild pressure on the wound will usually be sufficient. If, however, bleeding is excessive, firm pressure needs to be applied to the wound and the dog transported to the nearest veterinarian. Severe bleeding in a dog can cause weakness, shortness of breath, anemia and immobility. In extreme cases, the replacement of fluids or blood transfusions may be necessary to treat the dog.
Dogs sometimes suffer seizures, and during an episode of this nature, the dog should not be disturbed. Dog emergency care should be sought after the seizure has ended. People should not attempt to transport the dog during the seizure as this can cause it to injure itself or others, or bite its tongue.