Animal First Aid: First aid for open wounds
An injured animal is scared and in pain. Speak to the animal calmly and gently during the first treatment of its wounds.
- Stop the bleeding first.
- Protect the wound from contamination.
- Treat the shock if necessary.
- Get the help of a vet quickly.
First aid for bleeding
- Treat the patient calmly, yet firmly and with care. Remember, an injured animal is scared and in pain.
- First put a muzzle on the patient. Lay the animal on its side and hold it tight or wrap it in a blanket. Place the injured part in such a way that you can treat it properly.
- If necessary, cover the patient’s eyes and speak calmly and softly. Often he will calm down if you stroke his head and say his name all the time (“Good, Bello, good. It’s okay, Bello”).
- Act quickly. A lot of blood loss can cause shock and death within minutes.
Stop the bleeding
Apply pressure directly on the wound. Place a sterile gauze pad or a clean handkerchief or other cloth over the wound and apply constant pressure with the palm of the hand over the entire wound. The cloth absorbs the blood, causes coagulation and protects the wound from contamination. In most cases, the bleeding will stop like this, especially if the wound is small and the edges of the wound can be pressed together.
For smaller wounds, you can keep the gauze pad in place and prepare for transporting the patient to the vet (see page 136). As the blood comes through the bandage, put a thicker layer on it and apply more pressure. Then wrap the wound firmly. This is called a pressure bandage.
Keep the wound up. This method is effective if it is a paw injury and if your pet is willing. Keeping the wound up is less successful in animals than in humans, because an injured animal is more restless and moves too much.
Apply pressure to the artery which supplies the injured area with blood. If the bleeding does not stop by direct pressure on the wound or by keeping the wound elevated, the? Pressure point technique? outcome. There are only three important pressure points in dogs and cats. They are located on:
- the inside of the upper part of the forelimb. By applying pressure to the brachial artery here, you will stain blood in the lower part of the forelimb.
- the inside of the upper part of the hind leg. By applying pressure to the femoral artery here, you will stop bleeding from the lower hind leg.
- the bottom of the tail base. By applying pressure to the lower cocci artery here, you stop tail bleeding.
Thus, these areas must be subjected to pressure, with the intention of pressing the artery against the underlying bone. Always use the flat part of your fingers, not the thumb or fingertips. At the same time, keep putting pressure on the wound itself. Do not release the pressure point until the bleeding has stopped.
Build a turnstile. A tourniquet is a strip of fabric, gauze, or cord that is tied tightly around a limb to close the blood vessels and stop bleeding. It is a dangerous technique and should only be used as a last resort to save a life. A tourniquet must be very tight to have an effect, however, if left in for too long, circulation in the affected area will stop completely, causing the tissues to die. If a tourniquet is in place, it should be pulled on just enough to stop the bleeding and then stay put. Then quickly transport the patient to the vet.
First aid for open wounds without severe bleeding
These are usually smaller and can be treated by the emergency care provider.
- Put a muzzle on the patient and hold it tightly.
- Wash your hands and get your first aid kit.
- Trim the hair around the wound with scissors. First wet the hair or apply some ointment. This makes it stick to
- each other and on the scissors so that it does not get into the wound. Even if you brush the hair off the wound during cutting, it will be less likely to get into the wound.
- Gently cleanse the wound with plain tap water and wash the skin around the wound with water and antiseptic soap.
- Use a moistened cotton swab to remove any dirt or foreign object from the wound. Be very careful and don’t go too deep into the wound.
- Pat the wound dry with sterile gauze (or a clean tissue paper if necessary).
- Apply a disinfectant or antibiotic to the wound.
- Cover the wound with gauze and wrap it well. Place a few layers of gauze, cotton wool or other dressing on top of the wound gauze as extra padding before placing the bandage around it.
- Change the entire dressing every other day.
- If you have any questions or if an infection occurs, you should consult your vet.