How to Treat a Dog Injured or Disabled in an Accident

Having a pet who was injured in an accident is a traumatic event for any pet parent. Topmost in your mind is making sure that your pet is given the proper care to keep them as comfortable as possible without causing any additional pain or discomfort. In the case of a severe accident, be prepared to give your pet first aid they need. Keep reading to know how to lessen the pain on the spot.

Providing Emergency Care to Your Pet

If immediate care is needed, you may need to manage your pet’s injury right away to ensure safe transport to professional care. In this case, follow the helpful tips below:

1. Provide Respiration Artificially

Artificial respiration or rescue breathing may save your dog’s life. How do you know your dog needs CPR? If your dog has stopped breathing, you need to begin CPR immediately. Other signs include, gums appear pale or blue (caused by a lack of oxygen), dog is unresponsive and staring, or unconscious with dilated pupils.

How to Give Your Dog CPR

  1. Lay your dog on their side on a flat surface – check for signs of breathing (watch rise and fall of chest)
  2. Check your dog’s gums for apparent signs of lack of oxygen
  3. Check your dog’s airway to make sure it’s clear. If there is an object blocking the airway, grab the tongue and pull outwards. If object is still lodged use your finger or the Heimlich maneuver to clear the airway. Once cleared, begin rescue breathing.
  4. With your dog on their side, lift the chin to straighten the throat. Use one hand to grasp the muzzle and hold the mouth shut. Gently inflate oxygen using your mouth through the pup’s nose (just enough to move the chest). Wait for the dog’s chest to deflate before breathing again. Repeat the course for 10-15 minutes until he gets back his breathing.

If a dog’s heart has stopped beating, you will need to administer chest compressions along with rescue breathing. As a rule, there should be 30 chest compressions with every two breaths.

2. Stop External Bleeding

Stop the bleeding by applying a clean piece of sterile gauze and firm pressure. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, then apply the gauze and put pressure again.

Note: In case of continuous bleeding, you need to apply a tourniquet as a last option and then take your dog to a nearby vet clinic. Avoid applying it on the neck and fractured body parts, and make sure to remove it within 10 minutes, or un-tie for some time.

3. Check for Bone Injuries

Caring for a pet's traumatic injury

Check your dog for noticeable signs of bone breaks and other injuries. If you feel like that the accident has greatly injured the doggie’s leg, neckbone, or backbone, you will need to be extremely cautious when moving your dog to avoid further injury. For any break or traumatic injury, your dog will need to the vet as soon as possible. The signs of severe bone-damage are:

  • Problem in breathing
  • Constant pain and bleeding
  • Swelling occurs on the specified body part

Once your dog has been checked and done with the required surgical procedure (if needed), the next major hurdle is to help the disabled canine to recover at home.

How to Cure Physical Wounds

You need to be proactive in your handicapped dog’s recovery process. For this, follow these post-incident precautionary measures:

1. Consult the Vet Regularly

Your hurt dog needs to visit the vet more often due to the injuries so that he can get the proper treatment. Following Vet protocols, along with proper wound care treatment and regular bandage changes can help prevent infection. Your Vet will guide you through proper at-home treatment as well as when your dog will need follow-up appointments. If you have questions about your pet’s care and recovery, ask your Vet. Make sure you know everything about your dog’s health. Plus, if anything bothers or irritates your little pup, then don’t forget to tell your Vet.

2. Prevent Bladder Infections

cat diaper for feline incontinence

Urinary tract infections and bladder problems are common in paralyzed dogs, whether their paralysis is temporary or permanent. To prevent a UTI or bladder infection, make sure your dog is drinking plenty of water.

For incontinent pets, make sure you are checking their diaper regularly and you may need to regularly express your dog’s bladder to avoid urinary tract blockage or bladder infection. Also, your vet can direct you on how to check the pup’s urine for infections.

3. Protect Skin from Damage

Even paralyzed pets may try to move on their own before they’re ready. Dragging and scrapping their chest and legs across the floor can cause additional injury. Wearing a drag bag can help to protect your dog’s sensitive skin from dragging injuries, allowing them to move across the floor without hurting themselves. Regularly check your dog’s skin and coat for signs of immediate sores or small wounds and check if your dog is habitual of scratching his own skin more often.

4. Physical Therapy is a Must

An accident that has caused major injuries to your dog may leave your dog recovering for months. For improved mobility, disabled pets and pets dealing with a long recovery will need professional guidance to stay healthy. Regular physical therapy plays a vital role in making your dog’s bones flexible and strong. For this, you can find a pet physiotherapist, so he/she can recommend amazing and easy-to-do exercises that you can make your puppy do at home.

Preparing Your Home for a Newly Disabled Dog

At home, helping your disabled canine in his daily needs, irrefutably, creates a sense of responsibility and care towards him. Things you need to consider are:

1. Keep Dog Surroundings Clean

Princess (3)

Before taking your disabled dog home, clean the place. By doing so, you would help your little pet to take rest in a cozy and relaxing environment.

If your dog can now walk, then it would be best if you install small net gates in front of no-go zones, like in front of stairs, main doors, in kitchen, or slippery areas. For dog using a wheelchair, make sure the space is cleared of obstacles. Your dog should have a clear, safe path to get around.

2. Cleaning & Bathing the Dog

Cleaning or bathing an injured and recently disabled dog comes with its own set of challenges. Fresh wounds, incontinence, and other physical changes in your dog may require care than before. Work with your Vet to make sure it’s safe to bathe your pet. To make this trickier task fun, you can have joyful things for a lovely dog, with which not only you would be able to clean the pooch, but he will also enjoy the lovely shower time.

3. Keep Your Dog Hydrated

Make a routine to offer liquid to your little pup before his barking or rumbling. You already know that he is in pain, so even the slightest delays in his necessities can root more problems. Keeping your pet hydrated will help keep your pet healthy and may help avoid UTIs. Make sure you always keep your dog’s water bowl somewhere easily accessible to them.

4. Keep Track of Your Dog’s Food

Food helps in the healing process like other things do, and of course, you won’t keep your canine friend hungry for hours. There are various dog foods to choose from, make sure your dog’s food has an ample amount of vegetables and fruits that can easily be eaten and digested by the dog, such as apples, cucumbers, bananas, carrots, or celery.

5. Plenty of Rest and Sleep

Every Vet advises giving complete rest to the dog who is recently hurt or disabled in an accident. Sleeping helps body wounds heal and a pet’s health to recover faster. Therefore, when you take your canine back home, the first thing you must do is to make him comfortable and set up their bed. By doing so, the lovely dog can stretch his body and take proper rest for some time.

6. Be There When Your Dog Needs You

Injured animals are not able to perform some important tasks on their own, and of will need your help. Being an owner, it should be your utmost concern to keep track of his regular “poo and pee” needs. For this, change his diapers after every few hours and wash him to avoid skin irritation and infection.

Also, you can massage the affected leg, neck, or other body parts with any oil or lotion suggested by a Vet to relieve the pain. With this, sore muscles would also get relaxed, and the dog skin would get moisturized.

Care and Give an Emotional Support

Physical improvement is necessary, but with this, the emotional care of the hurt dog should also be kept in mind.

1. Make a Routine

Helping a disabled lab walk with a wheelchair

First, you want to set and follow a healthy routine that suits both you and your pooch. While it may not be possible on the very first day back home, try to set the routine within the next 2-3 days. Analyze when a pup needs food and how he reacts to things. You can also monitor bathroom breaks and necessary medications. Make a note, and after observing for consecutive 2 days, set a time table. Problem solved.

2. Sit and Talk with Your Pet

Your pup was always roaming around you when you need him. Now, it’s your turn to cherish the pup with acts of kindness and giggles. For this, you don’t have to miss other chores, just add “sit and talk” activity in your time table. Your dog wants to be with you. By sitting with them and talking about everything is a good rehabilitation therapy for dogs, helping them to relax and avoid becoming stressed.

3. Play Together

Your buddy may not chase the ball now because of his injuries and wounds. But, you can involve “oh-so” intelligent buddy in wise games. For example, play mind games together and celebrate fun, smiles, tricks, and victory. Surround your dog with their favorite toys, and maybe buy them a few new ones to keep them happy. Plus, you can train your dog to walk again with baby steps inside the home, and excitedly, he would be happier with this kind of a game.

Tips for Keeping Your Disabled Dog Active 

If your dog has learned to walk again, then congratulations! You have passed the exam. Here, we have elucidated tips for your further convenience on roads (or anywhere):

1. Include Your Pet in Everything with Pride

Dogs are undeniably the sincerest companions anyone could ever have. But, if something happens to them, then it’s your time to show your loyalty. Let’s suppose you have planned a party at home, or you are going to one, keep your disabled dog by your side. Introduce him to your friends and colleagues, feel proud of him, and tell attractive facts about him to your human buddies, so they would also become his friend instead of getting afraid of him.

2. Choose Pathways for a Lazy Walk

Once your dog is ready for a slow walk, you can take him outside again. Your canine might be frightened of the road, but don’t worry! That is, of course, because he is seeing everything like the sun, traffic, or nature after a long time.

Keep them on a leash so you can easily keep an eye on how they’re doing. Preferably, let your dog walk on the pathways at the start. Indeed, the steadiness would make him run one day.

3. Assistive Devices for Disabled Dogs

Lifting harness for disabled dogs

Your hurt pooch will require a lot more care than other normal dogs. More to that, he needs support to pass the rehabilitation phase with ease and comfort.

So, make sure you have everything that is needed to secure the pup in the future from accidents. Assistance equipment like a dog lifting harness, or a wheelchair can help to keep your dog active and improve their mobility during and after their recovery. Your dog’s wheelchair can easily be incorporated into their rehab sessions to make sure they’re supported throughout their treatment.

Final Thoughts

Dogs are family members who stay beside you through thick and thin and never let you feel down. Now, prove yourself as a loyal companion, too. By following these handy tips, you and your little pup would enjoy the rest of life with the same zest and zeal like before. Keep your dog moving with confidence!

german shepherd wheelchair for DM

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