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Medical Questions and Advice

Posted by on Mar. 5, 2009 at 7:41 AM
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 Of course I must start this post off by saying always contact your vet if you have any concerns about your dog's health and well being.  But I thought a general "first aid" and triage post might be useful for those events that always happen when your vet's office is closed.

The best place to start with first aid is to get to know your pet extremely well when they are healthy.  Spend time getting to know your pet, and teaching him or her to allow you to hold them in positions that might be needed one day for first aid, ie their back, one side or the other, their paws, in between the toes, in the mouth and so on. 

Know how their temperature feels.  Yes this might sound odd, but know by heart the way their body feels when they're calm, excited and so on.  This will later allow your senses to pick up on any heat an injury can send out.  Also take your thumb and wrap their ear around it.  If you place your thumb on (not in the ear canal) the inner portion of their ear, then wrap the ear around your thumb you can get a general idea of their temperature.  Also know their paw pads can sweat, also a good sign of stress.

Another place to check is your dog's mouth.  Take note of their gum color when they are healthy.  When a dog is in stress (sick) their gums will/can show you if they're loosing any oxygen, and will be pale if not white or blue when you gently apply preassure and release. 

These are just a few basics of course if you notice severe heat, a temp or blue gums your pet should see a trusted vet for full diagnostics.  I'll share more tips later, but please feel free to share your tips too!

by on Mar. 5, 2009 at 7:41 AM
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Replies (1-10):
tericared
by on Mar. 9, 2009 at 10:14 PM

I just joined and already I am learning, thanks for this bit of info.

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." Martin Luther King, Jr.

hms1223
by Member on Mar. 10, 2009 at 7:25 AM

Great post!!  Many people don't think about knowing thier dogs baseline so that they can see easily when there is something wrong.

tericared
by on Mar. 10, 2009 at 1:12 PM

I've done the thumb and ear thing a few times today, thanks..

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." Martin Luther King, Jr.

gab15th
by Bronze Member on Mar. 13, 2009 at 8:53 AM

Thanks ladies, glad you like this post!

Today let's focus on the most injured part on dogs... legs and paws.  And please remember your vet is the expert on this... not me!

Get your pet used to you bending and manipulating his legs and paws.  Feel how the muscles move on a healthy day.  Look at the structure of their paw, feel between each toe.  On MOST occasions a limp is minor, usually from a bruise or a muscle strain, requiring only rest.  Here's the major signs you should get to the vet...

  • Heat in the leg, hip or paw.  Heat is telling you there's an injury.
  • Yipping, moaning, screaming, snapping while you extend the leg or wiggle the toes.  Watch carefully your pet's reaction.  My German shepherd female has an extremely high pain tolerance, i have to watch for just a slight movement in her ears or eyes to tell if she's seriously hurt!  And please be careful!!!  Most serious dog bites happen because the pet is in pain!!!! 

Also common are broken nails.  Most of the time these do not require a vet visit.  If there is no swelling or heat in the paw, carefully clean all dirt away from the area and use a kwik stop like powder to stop the bleeding.  As long as the paw does not become inflamed or puss the nail will heal naturally.  Puss or swelling shows there's an infection... this requires a vet immediately.  Don't have kwik stop or another form of cauterize powder?  Any powder that forms a paste will work, such as flour or baking soda.  Also if you're desperate, and you are sure there's no infection super glue works too.  Again please use your best judgement!!!  Always call your vet!!!

What are your tips???

llsnuggles
by on Oct. 24, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Also make sure to check your dog's pubic area.  You need to know what it looks like when it's healthy so you can tell when there is a problem.  A lot of people overlook that area because they feel that it's a violation but remember, your dog can't tell you if it has a problem.

MinnieMouse8
by Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 9:55 PM

 Hello!

I don't know if this question should be posted here, but I know some dog owners are anti on the vaccines and some dog owners are into vaccinated there dogs.

What's your take on this? Are all shots necessary?

ackerleynelson
by Member on Mar. 28, 2013 at 8:06 AM

I have saved this post as I don't want to lose it. It is really a great post. Thanks for sharing it. It would helpful for the people.

marshsmom
by Group Owner on Mar. 28, 2013 at 2:52 PM


No, not all are necessary and in some states they've started accepting rabies vaccines that go beyond yearly.  I would suggest you speak with your vet, and possibly get a second opinion from a wholistic vet.  I fully vax all of mine, but I foster dogs from the shelter so they are exposed to more risk than an average pet dog.  Read up on the vaccines and what they protect against, talk to the vet find out about your local legal requirements.  You may choose to do more vaxing now and less as the dog gets older.  That's what I've done in the past with senior dogs.

Quoting MinnieMouse8:

 Hello!

I don't know if this question should be posted here, but I know some dog owners are anti on the vaccines and some dog owners are into vaccinated there dogs.

What's your take on this? Are all shots necessary?



MinnieMouse8
by Member on Mar. 28, 2013 at 6:51 PM

 Thank you for your input, I will read up on vaccines, just wanted to get someone else's take on this,

Thank you again!

marshsmom
by Group Owner on Mar. 29, 2013 at 10:25 AM

You can also ask the vet to do a titer test to see if your dog is immune to certain things.  I didn't think to add that in yesterday.


Quoting MinnieMouse8:

 Thank you for your input, I will read up on vaccines, just wanted to get someone else's take on this,

Thank you again!



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