How to Give Emergency First Aid to a Sick and Injured Dogs.
A sick or injured animal is often in a frightened state, so if emergency first aid is necessary
protect yourself (even if it’s your own pet); cats can be handled with gloves or wrapped in a blanket – a dog can
be muzzled. If there’s any question of seriousness, follow up your first aid with advice from your veterinarian,
whose listing should be kept handy with other emergency phone numbers.
1. A dog should be trained not to chew dangerous objects. Small balls and toys can also be swallowed
and become stuck in a dog’s throat.
2. These should be dislodged using the Heimlich maneuver as soon as possible to allow the dog
3. Twigs and bone splinters can become lodged between the large upper teeth, or in the back of
the throat. To remove them, get a helper to restrain the dog firmly, and open its mouth wide. Holding the mouth
open, carefully remove the object with round-ended tweezers or a pair of needle-nose pliers. You may get bit if
you use your fingers, but it may be your only choice.
Foreign Object in the Skin
1. Thorns, needles, or ticks can all become embedded in a dog’s skin. You should examine your
dog’s coat and skin for foreign bodies after each walk.
2. Pull back the dog’s hair to expose the object in the skin. Carefully use tweezers to remove
the object. Make certain to remove the entire object, especially if the object is a tick. Do not leave any part
of the tick’s head in the dog’s skin. Pull the object out of the skin with one swift pull.
Foreign Object in the Ear
1. During dry weather, check a dog’s ears for plant seeds after each walk.
2. Visible seeds can be removed with tweezers. If the dog shakes their head, this may mean the
seed is lodged deeper in the ear canal. Deep seeds should always be removed by a vet.
3. To soothe the dog temporarily, fill the affected ear with olive or mineral oil. Sometimes
this will float the seed up so that it can be easily removed.
Foreign Object in the Eye
1. If a dog is pawing at their eye or rubbing their head on the ground, hold open the eyelid
and look for grit or grass seeds.
2. Try floating out loose debris with eye drops or olive oil.
3. Do not attempt to remove foreign objects that have penetrated the eyeball, seek veterinary
assistance without delay.
Foreign Object in the Paw
1. If the dog is limping, examine the paw and remove any visible object with tweezers.
2. If the object is not visible, bathe the foot several times in tepid salt water until the object
comes to the surface of the skin and can be easily removed.
1. Never use solvent, paint stripper, concentrated detergent, or fabric softener on a dog’s coat.
These substances are all highly toxic if ingested.
2. To remove paint or tar, soften it with petroleum jelly or products safe for human skin.
3. Cut off any contaminated fur.
4. Wash the area with canine or baby shampoo, and rinse it thoroughly.
1. Puppies, playful adults, and bored dogs are most at risk from accidental poisoning. Common
household substances such as aspirin might taste unpleasant but are still eaten by some dogs.
2. Keep all potentially toxic substances out of reach of your dog. Signs of poisoning include
severe vomiting, diarrhea, collapse, seizures, and coma.
3. If the poison has already taken effect and the dog has collapsed, take them immediately to
a vet, along with a sample of the substance they have eaten. Treatment will be most effective if the vet can quickly
identify the type of poison ingested and administer the appropriate antidote.
4. If you catch he dog eating something potentially toxic, restrain it and examine the package
carefully for instructions. Contact a vet or your local Poisson control center for advice. While a helper restrains
the dog, administer an emetic, if this is appropriate. Hydrogen peroxide is usually effective, given in small amounts
by tablespoon until the dog vomits.
Common Pet Poisons
Related Article: Training Your Dog