Knowing how to offer first aid for dogs, can be crucial when it comes to different medical emergencies. If your Chihuahua is involved in an accident, the most important thing for you to do is remain calm. Not only can rash actions spurred by anxiety make your dog’s situation even worse, but also, animals possess an uncanny ability to sense a human’s nervousness. You can unintentionally scare your Chihuahua if you don’t pay attention to your own verbal and physical reactions.
Bring your dog to the closest veterinarian immediately. Also, depending on the type of emergency, there may be things you can do to help ensure a positive outcome.
Dog’s body is very different from a person’s in many ways. For this reason dog first aid differs dramatically from our human perceptions of emergency care. Medical doctors are taught very early in their careers that the first rule of medicine is to do no harm. This is also excellent advice for all dog owners. Never give your dog any medication without first checking with your veterinarian.
Performing Dog CPR
This technique that is regularly used on humans can also be used on animals in similar emergency situations. The worst time to learn dog CPR, however, is during an emergency. You can ask your veterinarian if there are any organizations in your area that offer courses in dog CPR, or there are valuable resources available from the American Red Cross.
Choking may have a number of possible causes, including any small objects that can get lodged in your Chihuahua’s trachea. Choking is a veterinary emergency, and immediate assistance is needed. A dog that is choking may drool, gag, struggle to breathe, paw at his face, and regurgitate.
If you think your Chihuahua is choking, first remove his collar, and then examine the inside of the dog’s mouth. It is very important that you do not simply pull on any objects you may feel in your dog’s throat, as dogs have small bones that support the base of their tongues that can easily be mistaken for the object in question. If you can’t identify or remove the object, lift your Chihuahua up with his head pointing downwards. This might dislodge the object.
If this doesn’t work, you will need to perform a modified Heimlich maneuver. holding the dog around his waist so his bottom is closest to you, place a fist just behind the ribs. Compress the abdomen several times with quick upward pressure, and again check the mouth. Even if you are able to dislodge the object and your dog appears fine, it is a good idea to see your veterinarian immediately in case of any internal injuries. Especially in case of a Chihuahua.
Lacerations to paws and pads are among the most common dog injuries. If your Chihuahua experiences a serious cut, apply a gauze pad soaked in cold water to the wound, and then contact your veterinarian.
If blood is spurting from the wound, the dog has most likely severed an artery and needs to be taken to a veterinary hospital immediately. Applying firm pressure over the wet gauze pad should stop minor bleeding. To prevent debris from contaminating the wound, flush it with wound cleaning solution, or plain water before covering.
Encounters with other animals and insects bites
Bites from other animals require prompt veterinary attention. This is especially important for a Chihuahua, as even a small bite from another animal can be catastrophic. Never assume that a neighborhood dog’s vaccinations are current. Even if the owner assures you that they are, getting your puppy to his vet as quickly as possible will help ensure the best positive outcome.
If a wild animal like a raccoon or a skunk bites your Chihuahua, your dog will need immediate veterinary attention. A viral disease like rabies can be fatal to your Chi. There is no treatment for rabies, but your vet may want to give your Chihuahua a rabies booster immediately following a bite by a wild animal.
If a skunk has merely sprayed your dog, check his eyes immediately. If they are red and watery, your Chihuahua may have been hit directly in the face. Skunk spray will not cause any permanent damage, but it can be very painful and may cause temporary blindness.
Although old-fashioned remedies of bathing your dog in tomato juice or vinegar are still often used to treat skunk odor, they will likely only mask the smell. A better option is a bathing your pet in a quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with 1/4 cup of baking soda and a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid.
Insect stings can be extremely dangerous. Bee and wasp stings in particular can cause very quick and severe reactions, but these effects are even more rapid in small dogs. If your Chihuahua is stung, call your veterinarian right away. Ice can help reduce the swelling. A swollen muzzle is often an indication of a bee sting.
Dehydration and Heatstroke
Dehydration and heatstroke are usually highly preventable problems. Although your Chihuahua may love the sun, pay attention to your local weather report and any warnings of especially dangerous times to be outdoors. Since dogs only have sweat glands on the pads of their feet, they cannot lose heat through sweating like humans. Instead, they pant – the first sign that they need water and shelter from the heat. Remember, if you feel hot and thirsty, most likely your dog does, too.
Always provide plenty of fresh drinking water for your Chihuahua when spending time outside, and stay inside on especially stifling days. If you suspect that your Chihuahua is suffering from heatstroke, place the dog in a tub of cool water or gently wrap him in a towel soaked with cold water. Never use ice-cold water.
Eye injuries require prompt veterinary care. Abrasions, lacerations, or punctures to the eye will cause your dog to keep the eye tightly closed, so you will unlikely be able to do much to help the dog yourself. If your dog has something stuck in his eye, you may try flushing the area with irrigation fluid or saline solution, but still contact your veterinarian. The vet can tell if the object has caused any scratching of the cornea. If a chemical irritant was involved in the injury, flush the eye as much as possible yourself, and bring the dog to your veterinarian as quickly as possible.
When we think of dangerous dog poisons, a handful of obvious substances stand out among the rest. Chocolate, certain houseplants, and many human medications all certainly top the list of toxic substances that should never be given to dogs. Poisons don’t always have to be swallowed to pose a danger. Toxins can be eaten, inhaled, or absorbed by the dog’s skin.
When a previously healthy dog becomes suddenly ill with no apparent explanation, poisoning is frequently suspected. Signs of poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, and trembling, but many chemical toxins do not trigger distinctive signs of illness. This makes identification of the toxin nearly impossible in most cases.
Ipecac syrup can readily induce vomiting in dogs, but depending on the type of poisoning this might not be prudent. Caustic toxins, such as drain cleaner, can burn the throat a second time when brought back up through esophagus.
If your dog experiences trauma, a severe injury or shock to the body from a fall or other accident, you will need to get your dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Extreme care needs to be used when moving an injured animal, but in order to help your dog you must first protect yourself. Injured dogs can act aggressively when they are experiencing trauma, and they may not even recognize their owners. Chihuahuas may be little, but they can deliver a serious bite, especially when in pain themselves.
Check for obvious injuries such as bleeding or distorted limbs. If an appendage is bleeding profusely, a rubber band can serve as a tourniquet in an emergency. If a bone appears to be fractured or broken, use care not to handle it when moving the animal. Very gently move the dog onto a hard surface, such as a board, if possible. If you are alone and cannot hold the dog in place, use a belt or rope to secure him for the ride to the veterinary hospital. Use towels or coat to keep the dog warm and prevent him from moving around. You need to keep your dog as still as possible.