The consequences of bleeding depend on many factors: the size and severity of the damage, the physiological state of the dog and the amount of blood lost. Bleeding can be external and internal. If in the first case, blood flows out of the damaged vessel through a visible wound, then with internal hemorrhage, it accumulates in the body cavities: chest or abdominal.
Depending on which vessel is injured, there are arterial, venous and capillary bleeding. Damage to the artery is the most dangerous because of the high rate of blood loss and the inability to form a clot at the site of injury. At the same time, blood flows out in a powerful stream, jerkily and has a bright scarlet color. If the vein is damaged, the escaping flow is even, without pulsation, and dark cherry in color. Capillary bleeding is most often observed with cuts to the pads on the paws, when the smallest droplets of blood from the superficial vessels merge into one stream.
Arterial bleeding is a life-threatening condition and requires urgent veterinary care. However, venous, if not stopped in time, can lead to significant blood loss and death of the animal. Capillary bleeding often stops spontaneously due to vasoconstriction and the formation of a clot at the site of injury.
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Bleeding must be stopped as soon as possible or at least slowed down. The dog should be fixed and calmed, not allowing the animal to actively move. Do not drink if you are bleeding. The site of damage to the vessel must be squeezed by hand or fingers. On the wound itself, you need to fix an absorbent layer of a cotton-gauze swab, a piece of cotton fabric or a clean towel, and then apply a tight bandage. If a foreign body is suspected in the wound (glass, bullets or bone fragments in an open fracture), a bandage is applied above the bleeding site. Large vessels are squeezed in the same place: on the hind limbs they pinch the artery on the inner surface of the thigh, on the front legs – on the elbow bend under the armpit. In case of injuries in the head area, one of the jugular veins located on the sides of the neck is carefully pressed (only one is required). You should also know that you can not squeeze the fracture site.
When applying a tourniquet above the site of bleeding, you can use a wide ribbon, belt or scarf. A thin rope is not suitable for this, as it will contribute to additional tissue damage and aggravate bleeding. After applying the tourniquet, it is necessary to loosen its tension every 10-15 minutes by pinching the bleeding vessel manually. Otherwise, death of the underlying part of the limb may occur, threatening further necrosis and amputation.
After that, you need to deliver the dog to a veterinary clinic or call a doctor at home. Before examining an animal by a doctor, it is necessary to carefully monitor its general condition. Paleness of visible mucous membranes, increased heart rate and weakening of the pulse on the femoral artery are menacing symptoms. In this case, medical assistance should be provided within an hour and a half. When transporting the animal to the clinic, it is best to keep it lying on its back to drain blood from the injured limb.
Before the doctor arrives, it is better not to treat the wound on your own, so as not to aggravate the bleeding. In the most extreme case, if severe contamination has occurred, you can wash the damaged area with hydrogen peroxide or furacilin solution. The hair around the wound should be cut off and then a tight pressure bandage should be applied. At the same time, you should not allow the dog to lick the cut and the dressing.
Bleeding from natural orifices (nose, mouth, ears, intestines, or urogenital tract) is usually a secondary symptom and indicates some underlying disease. In this case, it is imperative to deliver the dog to a veterinary clinic for diagnosis and further treatment. Internal bleeding is considered the most life-threatening animal, as it is very difficult to recognize at home. Hemorrhages in the chest or abdominal cavity almost do not appear outwardly. There is only blanching of visible mucous membranes and increased respiration and heart rate. The body temperature of the animal may decrease. In such cases, emergency veterinary care is required. Only qualified medical intervention can save a dog’s life with internal hemorrhage.
It is not recommended to use hemostatic and anti-shock drugs at home without a doctor’s prescription in order to avoid serious complications. And even if the damage to the dog was minor, and the bleeding stopped spontaneously, further examination by the veterinarian and professional recommendations should not be neglected. It is not uncommon for a minor abrasion to lead to serious inflammation. You need to be very careful about the health of your pet, and then your beloved dog will be there for many years!