When you’re a dog owner, the last thing you want is to see your beloved pet has been injured. Seeing your best friend suffering or in pain due to an unexpected injury can be downright heartbreaking. But having a good plan of action and a supportive veterinarian care team can be key to minimizing the damage and helping your furry pal enjoy a speedy recovery.
At Normandale Vet Hospital in Edina, our veterinary services include providing compassionate pet emergency care for injured family pets.
We’ve put together this guide to help you care for an injured dog. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Don’t put off addressing the injury.
It’s important not to postpone care. If your pet is limping or seems injured, be sure to get her help right away. When wounds are overlooked, an infection can set in quickly and spread much more rapidly than you may realize. Proper wound cleaning and antibiotics are often necessary for more serious injuries.
2. Decide if you need to take your pet to the vet.
It’s always better to err on the side of caution when determining if your pet needs to see a vet. Assess the severity of your pet’s injuries right away to determine if you should have her in to get checked out by a veterinary care team. If you’re unsure if your pet needs veterinary attention, it’s better to stay on the safe side and bring her in.
3. Render first aid and tend to minor wounds at home.
If an injury seems minor and you feel capable, it may be possible to clean the wound yourself. Only do so if you believe you can without causing further injury to your pet or yourself. It’s also a good idea to have assistance restraining your pet to help minimize the risk of reinjury.
Wash any visible debris from the wound site using warm water and gently pat the region dry with a clean strip of fabric. Clean the area with an antiseptic and allow it to dry. Be sure to clean the area regularly and keep an eye on the injury to make sure it’s healing properly.
4. Stay on track with her prescribed medications.
If your pet has surgery or is recovering from a wound, there is a good chance your vet will prescribe medications to help her heal. Some pets are easy to give medications to, happily gulping down whatever you give them. But not every dog is as easy to work with.
One time-honored approach to feeding dogs medicine is hiding it in a gooey food item. Most dogs love peanut butter, and it’s fairly easy to coat a pill in a big ball of this yummy treat. If your dog is a little more discerning, try stuffing her meds in a meatball or some wet dog food.
Some dogs just won’t go for these tricks, eating around the medicine or spitting it out altogether. If your cantankerous canine falls into this category, you can always hold her down and place the pill at the back of her mouth almost to her throat. Before she can spit it out, close her mouth and lift her chin, massaging her throat gently if necessary.
5. Make sure your pet takes it easy.
If your dog is recovering from a sprain, strain, or significant injury, you’ll most likely need to make sure she gets plenty of rest while she’s on the road to recovery. If you’re having a hard time making sure she remains restful during her healing period, you may need to use a crate temporarily.
If you need to crate her, offer her short but frequent leash walks so she can use the bathroom and won’t get too restless. You should also give her plenty of attention during this difficult time, as being crated or stuck indoors can be difficult for pets.
Call Our Pet Emergency Team in Edina
Even when we do our best to keep our adorable pets as safe as possible, accidents can happen, and occasional pet injury care is often an unavoidable part of pet ownership. As with many things in life, as a responsible pet owner, one of the best things you can do is expect the best but plan for the worst.
With pets running around outside more in the summertime, it’s important to keep an extra eye on your family pet. Keep up with your pet’s vaccines through regular veterinary checks and remember that spaying and neutering your pet can help reduce their chance of injury.
It’s also a good idea to keep the number for Normandale Vet Hospital on hand in case your pet requires emergency veterinarian care. To make an appointment for your dog, give us a call at 952-831-8272 or visit our contact page to connect with a member of our team.