Dog Medical Issues That You Can Handle From Home
Some people run to the vet for very minor things. Some people will ask complete strangers on the internet for veterinary advice. This article will be about things you can take care of at home without seeing a vet or things that can wait until morning so you don't have to pay extra for an emergency call or emergency vet.
● Deworming: If you have a scale, you can do regular deworming yourself at home with the same medications that your veterinarian uses. You won't be able to test for worms without a microscope and knowhow like a vet can, but you can have a regular worming schedule. Some people prefer to have confirmation that a dog has worms so they're not needlessly giving medication they don't need, and those people prefer to see a vet and that's fine. But for a lot of people who live in rural areas who are used to regularly deworming cattle and horses on a schedule, they don't mind doing the same with their dogs.
Weigh your dog and give a weight appropriate dose of a 7 way dog dewormer on their recommended schedule. Easy peasy.
● Minor scrapes, cuts and burns: If a scratch or cut doesn't need stitches, or somehow your dog gets burned on a spot no bigger than a quarter, it can be taken care of at home. Clean with an antiseptic like iodine, cover with gauze and skin safe tape and you're good to go. You can also use a triple antibiotic ointment like Neosporin, or antiseptic sprays like Blu-Kote. Just keep it clean, re-apply clean dressing regularly, and if you see signs of infection, then call your veterinarian.
● Bumps and bruises: If your dog knocks his noggin onto a door frame, but doesn't seem to be disoriented, or if they happen to take a tumble trying to jump down out of the back of the car etc. That doesn't immediately warrant a trip to the vet. Ice and rest and wait and see are fine as long as there isn't a severe limp, laceration or other medical emergency.
● Vaccines ... sometimes: A vet has to give rabies vaccines, so for that, you'll have to see your vet. But regular vaccines, you can give yourself if you're comfortable with it. You can buy them directly online safely packaged to stay at optimal temperature or find them at feed companies and country stores in the refrigerated aisle. I prefer to order them directly so I know they've been handled correctly. If you're not comfortable with this, don't do it. People in the medical field and farmers, I see you. And I know you've already been doing this most likely too!
● Flea and Tick treatments: A lot of the better treatments are by prescription only. But, you don't have to take your dog in every time to have it administered. I've known several people who go to their vet at the recommended time to get a flea tablet or have Frontline applied. They get charged a fee for just being there, and get charged for the medication. You can get a prescription and go on Petmeds or whatever your preferred dog pharmacy service is and have them shipped to your house. There's no need to pay a walk in fee when you can do it at home for free.
● Minor joint pain: Is your dog a little older? Gets up a little slower than usual? You can go to the vet and get a prescription for Glucosamine and Chondroitin. Or you can buy it online without a walk in fee or prescription.
● Minor irritants: Say that you're spraying your doorknob with a disinfectant spray just as your dog walks up to meddle. Oops, you got some in his eyes. It's perfectly fine to flush his eyes with cool, clean water. Let’s say you're in the middle of changing your oil and your phone rings. You come back just in time to see your dog roll over the catch pan and soak himself. It is a mild skin irritant, but no need to go to the vet. A good bath in dishwashing detergent will do. It's safe enough for baby ducks, it's safe enough for your dog. No vet visit required.
● Things you should and can do at home, but are due to a medical emergency and needs urgent attention. Things such as:
● CPR: There are the ABC's of CPR.
A. Make sure the dog’s airway is clear
Open the mouth and check the throat for obstructions. A throat blockage can cut off the air supply and interfere with dog CPR efforts. It’s important to make sure the airway is clear before attempting CPR on a dog.
B. Determine whether the dog is breathing
Watch the chest to see if it rises and falls. If you can’t tell if the dog is breathing based on chest movement, place your cheek near the dog’s nose to feel for airflow. Remember, a dog can be unconscious but breathing. If the dog is breathing, CPR is not necessary.
C. Check for a heartbeat
Lay the dog on their right side, push the front elbow back to the chest. The spot where the elbow touches the chest is called the intercostal space and marks where the heart is located. If you don’t see any movement in this area, place your hand over the same location and feel for a heartbeat.
● The Heimlich Maneuver:
If a dog is not breathing due to an obstructed airway, you may need to perform a modified version of the Heimlich maneuver. Some obstructions can be removed manually, but be careful not to lodge the object further down in the dog’s throat. Other blockages will be out of reach and require a different approach.
To perform the Heimlich maneuver on a dog, place your hands on either side of the dog’s rib cage, and apply pressure. Once the object is removed, and, if the dog is still not breathing, you can then move forward with CPR.
Lastly before wrapping up, you may have noticed that I didn't include any details in how to perform CPR on a dog. You should research that for yourselves, and if at all possible, find a class that teaches it near you. Of course, in these situations, you will be rushing to the hospital immediately after the dog is stabilized, but it's something you can do at home. Should do at home if the need arises. And should know how to do.
I hope you guys enjoyed the article and learned a few things. Thank you for the read, and if you don't mind, please leave a like and a share and don't be too shy to comment either.
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