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Dogs & Puppies : Health & Vet Care Last Updated: Oct 25th, 2006 - 08:57:26

Emergency Dog Accidents: Burns, Seizures, Gastric Torsion
By Chester Duke
Feb 12, 2006, 22:25

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During an emergency or an accident, you can reduce your dog’s immediate pain and discomfort or even save his life with prompt, immediate action.  You need to always be prepared for such accidents and emergencies such as burns, seizures, and gastric torsion. 

Scalds and burns:  Your dog’s coat provides warmth and protection to his skin, but hot oil, hot water, and irritating chemicals can seep through the hair and cause skin damage.  Most burns are caused by boiling water or oil.  To treat a minor burn, apply cold water immediately to the affected area and then follow it with an icepack.  When the affected area has been cooled, apply an antiseptic skin cream.  Try to keep the wound clean and then call the vet for further instructions.  Do not apply ointment to serious burns and take your dog to the vet immediately.

Chemical burns:  When treating a chemical burn, wash off any caustic chemicals from the coat with warm, soapy water.  Call the vet for further advice.  Wash the dog’s coat thoroughly to keep him from licking and ingesting the chemicals.  Do not apply anything to your dog’s coat that you would not put on your own skin.

Electrical burns:  Chewing an electrical cord poses a serious threat to your dog.  It can burn his mouth or cause unconsciousness and cardiac arrest.  You need to hide and secure all electrical cords, especially from puppies and unplug electrical appliances when not in use.  If you catch your dog chewing an electrical cord, Use the command “drop it!” and pull out the plug.  If your dog gets a minor electric shock, check the inside of his mouth and lips for signs of burns.  If you see any, immediately flush them with cool water.  Take the dog to the vet as soon as possible.  Switch off the electricity before touching the dog that has suffered a major electric shock and contact the vet right away.

Seizures:  Seizures vary from mild behavioral quirks like suddenly snapping at what seems like a nonexistent fly to a more serious convulsion with back arching and salivation.  During a seizure, your dog will convulse and may pass out.  When treating this condition, make the dog comfortable.  Reduce the lighting and eliminate all noise.  Clear his airway and make sure that his tongue is not blocking the throat.  Be careful not to get bitten and contact a vet immediately.

Gastric torsion:  Another emergency occurs when a dog’s stomach twists on itself, which causes bloat.  Gastric torsion occurs when gas builds up in the stomach and cannot escape.  Dogs that are deep-chested risk twisting their stomachs if they play right after a heavy meal.  Aside from bloating, the dog is lethargic and pants heavily.  This critical condition leads to collapse and fatal shock without immediate veterinary care.  It is a situation where a few minutes can make the difference between life and death.  The dog will die if immediate action is not.

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