Re: basic first aid


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Sting and Insect Bites
Remove sting and if possible determine what type it is.  Bee stings and ant bites are acidic and should be bathed with bicarbonate of soda, wasps and jellyfish stings are alkali and should be bathed with vinegar.  The most common place is in or on the mouth and the first signs are howls followed by frantic rubbing and rapid swelling of the site.  If the swelling is severe and around the nose, muzzle, tongue or throat it can cause breathing difficulties and airways will need to be kept as open as possible until a veterinary surgeon can be seen.  If there is no obstruction to the breathing, keep the dog calm, bathe with the above if the type of sting is known, or ice cold water if not.  ‘Piriton’ tablets of 1x 4mg for a small dog, 3 x 4 mg medium dog, 5 x 4mg large dog, will help to reduce the swelling; by assisting in fighting the allergic reaction, and will also help to keep the dog calm.

A severe none weight bearing lameness is usually a fracture.  If it is less severe, check pads for embedded objects such as tack, nails, thorns, stones, ice, grit, and cut or damaged nails.  If the dog is licking or chewing at the foot, it is a good indication that that is the site of the problem and treat as for cuts and wounds.  If the problem has been a stone, ice or grit in between the pads they may have been splayed and localised bruising will be apparent.  I apply witch-hazel gel and rest the dog for 24 hours. If the dog is not chewing at the foot then the problem is higher up the leg or thigh, usually a strained muscle or ligament that will heal with rest.  St. Johns Wort is a good natural painkiller and garlic or liquorish are good anti-inflammatories.

Fractured or Torn Claws 
These are very sore and can become infected.  If possible, trim the claw of broken or split nail and remove jagged edges.  Treat as for wounds, especially if bleeding profusely, if the claw is torn at the base or out of the pad then it will require surgical removal, tape into place using the next claw as support, bandage the whole foot and take the dog to the veterinary surgeon.  Dewclaws are most susceptible to being torn, in which case tape down against the leg, bandage and take the dog to the veterinary surgeon.  The claw should not be removed without professional help as the bleeding can be very severe and the risk of serious infection is high.

Fits and Seizures
An epileptic seizure is a sign of a malfunction in the brain.  It is caused by sudden, uncontrolled activity of neurons and can be triggered by various influences.  Different types of seizures represent different degrees of brain activity; commonly classified as either generalized or partial seizures.
Any dog suffering a fit or seizure should be checked out by a veterinary surgeon to determine cause.
The most important thing to remember is that if a dog is having a fit then no restraint should be made.  Move any obstacles, darken the room and remain quiet in order not to stimulate the attack.
If the dog has not regained consciousness or has a series of fits over a short time then an emergency visit to the veterinary surgeon is necessary. 

If the dog suddenly develops a sore ear; the usual symptoms are shaking the head or pawing and rubbing the ear, then the most likely cause is a seed or insect that has entered the ear.  Remove the foreign object carefully, check for stings and bites and if apparent treat as above.  If the problem develops over a period of time then there may be a build up of ear wax, which gentle cleansing with a commercial ear cleaner, vals potion or Almond Oil and vitamin E will solve, or an ear infection such as ear mites which may require more specialised treatment.  If the ear has been torn, then clean with disinfectant, apply antibiotic, turn inside out and place over the head and bandage by wrapping around jaw and across the top of the head.

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