There’s nothing worse than coming across an injured animal, whether it’s one that you’ve stumbled upon or your own pet. Here at the Barkery, we know it’s important to be aware of what to do when you find yourself in a situation with an animal that is hurt. We’ve found an article that explains how to approach an injured animal, and what to do next.
Because injured pets could be in pain, scared, or confused, it is important to act appropriately to ensure they see a veterinarian and get medical help. Dr. Medora Pashmakova, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM), offered some insight on what to do if your pet is injured.
“Pet owners should be careful not to be bitten by a pet, even one that has no record of biting anyone before. They may do so when injured,” she said. “Typically, this means immobilizing the animal until you’re able to get it to a veterinarian. You can also purchase a commercially made muzzle or fashion a homemade muzzle out of gauze or a leash to prevent the animal from biting while being transported to veterinarian’s care.”
Sometimes pets can be in pain with no obvious or visible wounds. In this case, Pashmakova recommended looking for key signs of internal pain, such as abdominal pain. “Pets can be in pain when they show signs of guarding a particular area of the body to prevent anybody from touching that area. They may also avoid bearing weight on a limb,” she said. “Abdominal pain in particular can occasionally cause the animal to get in a praying stance position with the forelimbs down and the rear limbs up. Animals will also often vocalize when in pain, be reluctant to touch, have a fast heart rate or breathing rate, or they may hide from their owners. Cats are especially good at hiding signs of pain and often just become reclusive and detached.”
In emergency situations, such as when a pet is hit by a car, the animal may be seriously bleeding. In such critical situations, it is important to act fast to slow blood flow.
“Just like a person, a tourniquet can be applied to a proximal part of the limb in the case of a bleeding limb injury until blood has slowed down to a trickle,” Pashmakova said. “It’s important not to completely occlude blood flow so that the limb can preserve some blood supply. Applying external pressure is also often a good idea. A towel can be used to apply pressure over a bleeding site until the pet is able to be seen by a veterinarian. In cases where a bleeding vessel is clearly visible, the bleeding can be held off with fingers or another gentle but firm device, such as a hemostat, while the pet is transported.”
*Thank you Moderncat.com for the tips!