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

What to do when your dog is bleeding
By Chester Duke
Feb 12, 2006, 21:26

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Dogs are naturally curious animals.  They will try and investigate anything and everything that crosses their path.  It is very common for them to get into small accidents and experience minor scrapes and cuts.  They may either run into sharp objects, step on glass, or get caught on barbed wires. 

When minor accidents occur, a simple first aid treatment is all that is necessary to keep small wounds from getting worse and to stop the bleeding.  Below are steps to follow to control your dog’s bleeding.

1.  In order to stop the bleeding, you need to apply firm pressure directly over the wound.  This can be done using a towel or a piece of clean cloth.  Press down with your thumb or the palm of your hand.  The bleeding will then start to slow down after a few minutes.

However, in case of more serious bleeding, you may need to apply pressure directly to the artery.  Dogs have 3 pressure point areas which you can press to stop serious bleeding that is occurring in other parts of his body.

a) Pressing the upper side of his rear legs can help control the bleeding of the lower hind legs.
b)   Pressing the upper inside of his front legs will help slow the bleeding of the lower forelegs.
c)  Pressing the underside of his tail will help control the bleeding of his tail.

2.  Once the bleeding is under control, trim the hair around the area of the wound using electric clippers or scissors.  This will keep the wound clean and helps speed up the healing process. 

3. An injured dog in pain is more likely to feel confused and scared.  If you think that there is a chance that he might lash out and bite while you are treating him, it is best to use a muzzle.  If you have a small dog, you can wrap him in a towel, blanket, or a pillowcase before you begin administering first aid.  Make sure you do not wrap him too tightly for a long time or he may have difficulty breathing.

4. If you are having difficulty controlling the bleeding, you may want to tie a bandage loosely around the wound to help slow the flow.  If the bandage quickly soaks through, it is better to just leave it there.  Do not get rid of the clot that is trying to form.  However, you may need to take your dog to the vet if the bleeding still does not stop.

Warning: Avoid using a tourniquet.  Many limbs have been unnecessarily lost because the blood supply was cut off for too long. 

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