While you do everything in your power to protect your four-legged friend, sometimes accidents happen. While no one wants to think about the possibility, if your dog is ever hit by a car, it's important that you know what to do in order to save their life. Below are three basic steps to follow in the event of an accident and how following these steps can save your pup's life.
1. Remain Calm
It can be difficult to remain calm at such a time, but remaining calm is the best thing you can do for yourself and your dog.
When you remain calm, you're better able to assess the situation and do what needs to be done. This includes protecting your dog from other vehicles, examining and treating any open wounds, and getting them ready to transport to the hospital. While extremely difficult, if you're faced with this situation simply focus on the task at hand – if you begin to get frantic or emotional, breathe in and out slowly to calm your nerves.
2. Evaluate the Situation
The injuries your dog experienced may be life threatening, so it's important to evaluate the situation as quickly as possible.
If blood is present, apply pressure and try to stabilize your dog at the scene. Blood loss can be fatal, so it's vital that you get bleeding under control before transport. If blood isn't present, it's likely that there are internal injuries, which can be even more dangerous. It's always best to assume that their spine is injured in the event of an accident – if the dog is moved incorrectly while the spine is injured, the damage could be critical.
3. Prepare for Transport
As mentioned above, spinal injuries need to be avoided as much as possible, so transport can be tricky.
If your dog is big, it may be easiest to move him with a wooden board or other stiff material that can support their weight. This will stabilize their spine during transport. If your dog is small, or you are unable to find a supportive board, a blanket lifted by at least two people will work just as well. Once situated in the vehicle, it's important that you keep their body temperature constant and that you control any bleeding.
Once at the hospital, the veterinarians and vet technicians will take over care and do their very best to stabilize your pet and get them back to their healthy, normal self. While no one like to plan for the worst, knowing the tips mentioned above could someday save a dog's life. To learn more about emergency triage and what to do in the event of an accident, ask a veterinary emergency worker, like those at Northside Emergency Pet Clinic.