Handling Emergencies with your Doberman
Unfortunately, accidents and unexpected illness can occur with dogs, just as it does with humans. Knowing how to respond in an emergency can mean life or death for your dog. Here are some tips recommended by Vet Info:
1. Investigate the surroundings: If you're not aware of what has happened to your dog, look around and see if there is anything in his environment that may have caused a reaction.
2. Check her reflexes: Call your dog's name, clap your hands, move your hand over his eyes and check for breathing. If he is unresponsive, and not breathing, you may need to attempt to perform CPR.
3. Check her respiration: If he is responsive, check his respiration rate by placing your hand on his chest or in front of his nose and count his number of breaths per minute. If this number is lower than 10, he may be in shock or have been poisoned. If the number is higher than 30, he may be suffering from heat stroke or pain.
4. Check the pulse: You can check the dog's pulse by placing your fingers on the inside of his thigh on the femoral artery, which is near her groin (or 1 - 3 inches below his elbow). Count his pulse for 15 seconds and multiply the result by 4. If the result is less than 60, he may be in shock. If it is greater than 120, he could have suffered electric shock, may be enduring heart failure, have been poisoned or bitten by a poisonous animal.
5. Check circulation: Check your dogs gums for color.
1. Pink = Normal
2. White = Anemia or shock
3. Blue = Severe shock, heart failure or poisoning
4. Red = Internal injury, carbon monoxide poisoning, severe heart or lung failure
5. Yellow = Liver failure
Once you've assessed the color of his gums, press your finger on his gums and determine how long it takes the blood vessels to refill. If it takes longer than 2 seconds, he is experiencing circulation problems.
6. Moving him to safety: You may need to carry your dog. If he is heavy, try moving him onto a sheet. Secure the sheet around him and gently drag him to safety or to the car. If there is a chance he has suffered a spinal cord injury, he will need placed on a flat board before transporting.
7. Take him to an emergency vet: If you've done your due diligence, you've researched your options for emergency vet care. If there is time, give them a call before you go to let them know you are on your way and what the condition is of your dog. They may be able to give you instructions on how to get him there safely.
Source: Vet Info. (2010). Procedures for handling a dog emergency when stuck at home. http://www.vetinfo.com/handling-dog-emergency.html.