AKC Yorkshire Terriers, Ocala, Florida

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Puppy First Aid

What do I do/need in an emergency?


 Allergic Reactions:  Like humans, puppies can have allergic reactions and they can range from mild to severe.  Some puppies have extreme reaction to bee stings, which can cause swelling.  Determine your puppy’s body weight and give ˝ mg. of Benadryl for each pound of weight to slow the reaction, and then get to your Vet or an emergency animal hospital immediately.

Allergic symptoms in puppies are much the same as they are in humans. Swollen face, watery eyes, itching, respiratory problems and excessive sneezing all tell you that your puppy is having a reaction. Don’t ignore the warning signs. Seek veterinarian assistance immediately.

 Fractures and Broken Bones:  If you believe that your puppy has fractured a leg, it needs immediate attention. Before taking your puppy to the animal hospital or vet’s, stabilize the injury. Wrap it is a thick bandage that’s well padded to prevent further damage. Make sure the bandage extends well above and below the injured area. If the leg is swelling rapidly and the bandage becomes too tight, loosen it a little. Once the bandage is properly adjusted, take your puppy to an animal hospital or to your vet immediately. Fractures and broken bones that are not properly cared for can leave permanent damage that will affect your puppy’s quality of life as she grows older.

 Taking Puppy’s Pulse:  The pulse, a transmitted heartbeat, is easily detected by feeling the femoral artery, located in the groin. With your dog standing, or preferably lying on his back, feel along the inside of the thigh where the leg joins the body. Press with your fingers until you locate the pulse. The pulse rate is determined by counting the number of beats per minute. Most adult dogs at rest maintain a rate of 100 to 160 beats per minute. In young puppies the heart rate is about 220 beats per minute.

   Warning:  Never leave your puppy unattended in a vehicle for any length of time. The temperature inside a your vehicle escalates quickly and your puppy can literally be baked alive.

 Advanced First Aid for Puppies:  Though we do our utmost to keep our puppies without injury or illness, there are times when disaster strikes. If this happens to you, you need to be prepared in order to save your puppy’s life. It is imperative that you know exactly what to do in every given situation.

 Puppy CPR:  Calm you puppy as much as possible, lay him on his side and pull his tongue out of his mouth. Align his head and neck to open airways. Enfold your hand around his muzzle, gently closing his mouth. Place your mouth over his muzzle and give two full breaths of air. If the airway is clear, and then you must go on with CPR/resuscitation at the rate of ten breaths per minute and transport your puppy to the nearest Vet or Emergency Animal Hospital.  If the air doesn’t flow easily into the airway, check the puppy’s mouth and throat for obstructions. Remove any foreign matter or objects and try the CPR again. If the air still isn’t reaching your puppy’s lungs, you must try the Heimlich maneuver.

 Heimlich Maneuver for Puppies:  Make a fist with one hand and place it against your puppy’s stomach. Using both hands, lift your puppy’s back legs off the ground. Thrust upward rapidly three times. Lay your puppy on his side and try to administer CPR. Transport your puppy to the nearest animal hospital or veterinary clinic.

 Choking:  If your puppy is small, sit on the floor and place the puppy on your knee so his stomach is against it. Place your hands on the puppy’s back and quickly push him against your knee in a thrusting motion. Be firm, yet gentle. If you are too rough, you can injure your puppy’s back stomach or ribs.  For puppies that are too large to place on your knee, stand over his back with one leg on each side. Lift his back legs off the ground, place your hand against his stomach and thrust upward. Repeat 5 times if necessary. If the object doesn’t dislodge, lay your puppy on his side and perform the Heimlich maneuver. If this doesn’t help, seek veterinary care immediately.

 Burns:  Never put antibiotics, antiseptics, Vaseline or other oils or cortisone on burns that are suffered by your puppy. Use cold water or ice to sooth the injury and take your puppy to the nearest animal hospital or veterinary clinic immediately.  Never treat burns at home. The risk of both internal and external infection is extremely high. Vet care is imperative for even the slightest burns.

 Head Injury:  If the head injury is slight, apply ice to prevent swelling and watch your puppy carefully for 24 hours. If he seems to suffer no adverse effects, veterinarian care is not essential.  If the injury is severe and your puppy loses consciousness, do not try to revive him. Place an ice pack on the injured area and take him to the nearest animal hospital or veterinary clinic.

 Gunshot Wounds:  If your puppy is accidentally or intentionally shot, do your best to stop the bleeding and take him to the closest animal hospital or veterinary clinic. Even small gunshot wounds can cause severe infections and it’s possible that there are internal injuries that can’t be seen.

 unctures:  If your puppy suffers a puncture wound of the abdomen or thorax, he needs immediate Vet care.  Never remove an object that is protruding from your puppy. Control the bleeding by packing thick gauze pads around the object, trying not to move it. If the injury is causing air to escape from your puppy’s body, coat a gauze pad with Vaseline or Petroleum Jelly and place it over the wound to seal it. Transport your puppy to the Vet or Emergency Animal hospital immediately.

 First Aid Kit:  Keep a copy of these procedures in your puppy’s first aid kit, so you have immediate access proper procedures in every situation. Your puppy is a valued member of your family and he deserves the best possible care in emergency situations.

Paperwork, including the dog's health record, medications, local and national poison control numbers, regular veterinary clinic hours and telephone numbers, and Emergency clinic hours and telephone number should be kept handy.  

Please consult your Vet before self-medicating your Puppy/Adult

   1.  Rectal thermometer - digital is best: normal temp is 100 - 102.

   2.  Scissors - blunt and sharp.

   3.  Tweezers - removing stinger or slivers.

   4.  Penlight.

   5.  Magnifying glass  (hand-held).

   6.  Tongue depressors - act as temporary leg splints or to clear an animal's airway.

   7.  Forceps - to remove foreign objects from the throat.

   8.  Silver nitrate sticks - to stop bleeding.

   9.  Quick stop - stops bleeding nail.

 10. Assorted bandages and dressings - larger dressing can be used as a pressure bandage to stop bleeding or as a temporary muzzle.

 11. Adhesive tape - first aid white tape.

 12. Cotton wool or cotton balls.

 13. Q-tips or swabs.

 14. Turkey baster or bulb syringe - for flushing wounds, force feeding.

 15. Elastic wrap or Ace bandage.

 16. Syringes - 1cc, 3 cc and 6cc for administering hydrating liquids and medicating adults.

 17. Eye dropper - for medicating puppies, when hydrating use the 1 or 3 cc syringes

 18. Bottled sterile water.

 19. Triple antibiotic ointment - Neosporin for cuts or scrapes.

 20. Alcohol swabs.

 21. Topical cream - Cortisone 10 for insect bites.

 22.  Eye flush solution - (Sterile saline - Artificial tears) rinse foreign material from the eyes.

 23. Baking soda - for packing a bee sting or soothing a burn.

 24. Epsom salts - for cuts or scrapes prevents infections.

 25. Liquid grease cutting soap - Dawn; for rinsing off any chemicals or pesticides from the skin also kills fleas.

 26. Cold pack - for swelling - frozen baby peas will work in a pinch.

 27. Heat pad - for warming a cold puppy or a puppy in progressive stages of Hypoglycemia.

 28. Nail clippers.

 29. Grooming clippers.

 30. Water-based sterile lubricant (like KY jelly)

 31. Latex gloves - non powder 

Remember although there are many human medicines that are pet friendly, always consult your Vet before self-medicating your puppy/adult dog.

Over the Counter Medications

I always keep Imodium, Benadryl and Pepcid /Pepto Bismol Please check with your Vet before using.

    WARNING: Never use products that contain Tylenol, Ibuprofen or Motrin they're poisonous to dogs.

Always consult with qualified health care practitioners for diagnosis and treatments.

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More Frequently Asked Questions


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