Posted by Kevin McNulty on April 06, 2017
Test your knowledge of dog health and safety with this five-question quiz, and then use our website to learn more!
1. Your dog has a puncture wound on his leg from a scuffle with the neighbor's cat. You should:
a) Pour saline on it
b) Clean it with soap and call your veterinarian
c) put an adhesive bandage on it
d) leave it to heal on its own
2. You take your dog out for a winter walk. When you get home, you notice she is shivering and seems lethargic. You should:
a) check her rectal temperature
b) turn up the heat and wrap her in a blanket
c) call your veterinarian if she doesn't improve or you are concerned
d) all of the above
3. Your dog broke into your bathroom cupboard and made a mess of your cleaners, pills, etc. You fear he may have eaten something poisonous. You should:
a) give him a lot of milk to drink
b) contact a Pet Poison Center
c) induce vomiting immediately
d) wait to see if he shows signs of sickness
4. Your dog is injured in a fall and you need to get her to clinic immediately. To transport her, you should:
a) let her jump into your car
b) gently place her on a flat surface, secure her and transport to veterinary care
c) have her walk to the vet clinic
d) pick her up and carry her
5. You and your dog go out for a walk on a warm summer day. On your return home, you notice he is panting heavily, acting lethargic and has brick red gums; you think he might have heat stroke. You should:
a) go online to look for advice
b) give him an immediate ice bath
c) keep him out of the sun, offer him small amounts of cool drinking water, spray him or place him in the tub (head up) in cool (not ice cold) water. Call your veterinarian.
d) not worry about it, he'll be fine shortly
1 - B. Clean it with soap and call your veterinarian.
It's important to clean puncture wounds immediately to reduce the likelihood of infection. While you may not require a trip to the clinic, be sure to contact them to confirm. You will need to keep the wound clean, and monitor it for redness, inflammation, heat and/or pus (signs of infection). Infections can be deadly, so it's important to prevent them.
2 - D. All of the above.
If you are ever concerned that your dog may be suffering from hypothermia (an abnormally low body temperature that is potentially fatal) please act quickly. Contact a vet immediately. Take your dog's rectal temperature (normal is about 101*F or 38.5*C). Warm her up by increasing the room heat and wrapping her in a blanket. Also use your own body heat if you can.
3 - B. Contact a Pet Poison Center.
It's incredibly important that you receive professional assistance in this possible poison scenario, since different toxins require different pet first aid protocols. Two excellent resources are the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680 and ASPCA Poison Control at 1-888-426-4435. For a fee, a trained professional will assess your dog's situation and provide treatment advice.
4 - B. Gently place her on a flat surface, secure her, and transport to veterinary care.
In any type of serious accident, including falls, it's important to consider possible head and spinal injuries in addition to any obvious visible injury. To be on the safe side, support your dog's neck and spine, while gently transferring her onto a flat surface. For small dogs, cutting boards or the lid of a large Rubbermaid storage bin work well. For larger dogs, an ironing board can do the trick. Don't forget to secure her to your makeshift spine board to keep her from falling off by wrapping something around her (tensor rolls work well).
5 - C. Keep him out of the sun, offer him small amounts of cool drinking water, spray him or place him in the tub (head up) in cool (not ice cold) water. Call your veterinarian.
Heat stroke is a very serious pet first aid emergency and should be treated as such. If a dog is not quickly cooled, he may start vomiting, collapse, and ultimately die. Your quick action can literally be lifesaving! Important notes: do not offer drinking water if the dog is unconscious, and remember to stop cooling process when his rectal temperature is above 101*F or 38.5*C. Do not skip the veterinary phone call; there may be internal damage that you don't see.
This article was originally published in Animal Wellness Magazine's December 2016/January 2017 issue, written by Lisa Wagner.