Hours Of Operation:

Monday: 8am to 7pm
Tuesday: 8am to 4:30pm
Wednesday: 8am to 7pm
Thursday: 8am to 7pm
Friday: 8am to 4:30pm
Saturday: 8am to 1pm

Hours may vary.
Please call ahead to confirm availability.

Canine Trauma

Canine Trauma A common reason for dogs to be brought in for medical treatment and evaluation is for trauma. Trauma refers to any wound or injury and there is a wide range in the severity of traumas; from the superficial laceration (laceration = cut) that can be received from playing too rough with another dog, up to more severe traumas such as being hit by a car (HBC). Traumas are often unexpected and present as emergency cases, which is why it is always best to have your Animal Hospital’s phone number available and an emergency plan in place for your dog.

In an emergency case it is always important to remember safety first for both you and your dog, you cannot help your dog if you are injured. Even the sweetest dog will react to painful stimuli (stimuli = touching injured or irritated tissue) and may bite if in pain, so it is important to be careful and gentle when dealing with a traumatic injury. If your dog is so painful that you cannot safely touch, move, or assist your dog in rising, you should contact your veterinary office for ideas on how to best prepare your dog for transport for treatment.

Symptoms

Common signs of trauma depend on the injury. All traumas should be seen as soon as possible. If possible any injury to the skin should be covered gently with a clean cloth to help reduce the risk of infection while transporting to and inside a Veterinary Hospital. However, it is more important to have a bleeding/injured animal seen than to take time to look for a cloth if none are available.

Dogs that are involved in a motor vehicle collision may not initially show any signs of injury due to their body’s reaction to the shock. If you suspect a car has hit your dog you can look for some of the common symptoms which include, but are not limited to; active bruising, bleeding, open fractures (where the bone is protruding through the skin), road rash (irritated skin), and worn or broken nails. You should always have your dog seen if you suspect a car hit them since internal injuries cannot be assessed without testing. If you see an open fracture you should also try to drape the area with a clean cloth to help reduce the risk of exposing the injured site to infection.

Treatment

Treatment of trauma varies and will be dependent upon the assessment of the type and severity of your dog’s trauma and whether your dog is currently in a stable health status at the time of presentation. Emergency procedures and diagnostic tests may need to be performed depending on your pet’s status and extent of injury. Common emergency procedures for severe traumas include intravenous catheter placement, intravenous fluid administration to combat “shock”, pain relief, and pressure bandages to help slow/stop active bleeding. After it is determined that your dog’s health is stable, additional diagnostic tests may need to be run to determine the extent of your dog’s injury.

Other less severe traumas may require sutures, cleaning, and medication to keep infections from developing and keep your dog comfortable. Depending on the physical examination findings you will be consulted with the best care options for your dog. Some traumas result in injuries that may require consultation with a board certified specialist or intense monitoring.

Prevention

Prevention of many traumas involves diligent monitoring of your dog. It is key to make sure that you are aware of the potential risks in your dog’s environment, such as caustic chemicals, loose nails in fences, other animals, close roadways, etc. Keeping your animal from roaming keeps them from becoming exposed to new potential traumas. Always make sure to keep your dog on a leash when outside. Also be careful when introducing your dog to new animals; make sure that both animals are comfortable before slowly introducing your dog.

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