Dog Injury Problems
Accidents happen. Dogs can injure themselves while playing
or just moving around... and sometimes even the best pet
owners can make a mistake that may lead to a dog being
injured. In most cases, it's suggested that the dog be
taken to the vet immediately rather than adopting a
"wait-and-see" approach. Although the dog may
appear to be okay, dogs are masters at hiding pain and
there can be inside trauma that requires diagnosis by a
vet. Some of the more common dog injury problems
- Dog fights can result in bite wounds,
punctures, torn flesh, and worse. Dog fights often sound
worse than they really are, but in some cases they can be
very serious. Contact the vet for instructions and get
your dog there as soon as you can. If your dog does not
appear too traumatized, you may wish to carefully check
him for wounds. *** Even the most mild-mannered,
well-behaved pet may bite if he is in pain. Muzzle the
dog if you are able. Be careful!
- A run-in with a car (or other vehicle).
Dogs will typically either get up shakily or continue
to lie where they are. Either way, get your dog to
the vet right away. Even if your dog gets up and
is able to walk away he may have internal injuries
or bleeding that need treatment.
Try to minimize movement by placing your dog on
a firm surface, such as a sheet of plywood. If that's
not available use a blanket. The goal is to transport
your dog to the vet with as little motion as possible.
- Soft tissue injuries can especially occur in dogs
that engage in intense exercise like agility or simply a lot
of running and jumping or playing. While an injury might be
as benign as a pulled muscle, it could be more serious. Stop
your dog from exercising and ensure he rests. If the injury
doesn't show improvement in a day or two, contact the veterinarian
- Eye injuries can occur any time. Snub-nosed
breeds such as pekingese and pugs are particularly
susceptible because their eyes protrude slightly.
Look for signs such as: squinting; watery eyes;
unequal pupils; excessive blinking; or severely
By the way, did you know that eye injuries can result from
dogs riding with their heads outside open car windows?
Although many dogs love this, bits of debris can enter
the dog's eye and even lodge itself in the eye.
Prompt attention from a vet may be able to prevent
serious injuries from leading to blindness (or least
help to preserve some sight). Not all eye injuries
are serious - sometimes it's just a bruised eye, but
again, it's best to be certain since some injuries
could lead to blindness or the loss of the eye.
- Foot and leg injuries.
Dog foot problems
are pretty common. Dogs romp around all the time and if they
jump or step the wrong way, it could result in a sprain or pulled
muscle. Watch for signs of continued lameness. If it doesn't
show signs of improvement contact your vet.
Dogs may also get foreign objects stuck in their paws.
If you notice your dog limping, the first thing to do is
carefully check his paws including in between the toes.
Gently remove burrs, seeds, dried mud, or other
substances that could be causing him discomfort (in
the winter, ice balls that form between the paw pads
are very uncomfortable).
If your dog has a cut, wash it out and bandage it.
Call your vet if it's a particularly large or deep cut
that may require stitches.
Dogs love to engage in lots of play and activity, so
injury problems aren't uncommon. Be alert and know what's
normal for your dog. If he appears to be in pain or his
behavior has changed, talk to your vet - your dog may need