First Aid

Long-haired black dog wearing Buster collarKnowing what to do if your dog becomes unwell or injured is an important part of being a dog owner.

Your dog should be registered with a veterinary surgery as soon as you pick them up.  All veterinary practices have to make provision for 24 hour care so, even if this is at a different location to normal, your dog will have access to veterinary assistance 24/7.

The vast majority of veterinary practices operate an appointment system so always call first to book an appointment.  If you just turn up you may be refused an appointment, you may have to wait some time and you may cause significant inconvenience to other clients and the practice.

If you have a genuine emergency, your pet will always be seen but it is always helpful for you to phone first so that staff are prepared for your arrival and can provide the support you and your dog need quickly.

Problems which will need emergency veterinary attention at a clinic include (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Ingestion of toxic substance (e.g. chocolate, rat/mouse poison, raisins, human medications)
  • A single seizure lasting more than 3-5 minutes or several seizures without full recovery between.
  • Severe, profuse bleeding – pressure should be applied to any wound for 2 minutes.  If bleeding continues the wound should be covered with a dressing if possible and the animal taken to your veterinary surgery immediately.
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Severe trauma – such as being kicked by a horse or hit by a car.  Even if there are no obvious injuries you should still seek urgent attention as internal bleeding may not be immediately apparent.
  • Severe bloody diarrhoea
  • Severe vomiting or unproductive retching
  • Sudden onset bloating of abdomen
  • Paralysis of limbs
  • Inability to pass urine

If in any doubt about your pet’s health, always speak to your vet for advice.

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