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Fractures, Collapse, Trauma Care and Transport
Severe non-weight bearing lameness is usually a fractured limb. This is extremely painful so a painkiller, if available, is required. I use St Johns Wort. The affected limb should be touched as little as possible and first aid treatment needs to be done as calmly and as quickly as possible to limit the distress.
Fractures of the bones below the elbow in the front legs, or knee in the back legs need to be splinted immediately at the accident site. This ensures that the joints above and below the brake is immobilised until the veterinary surgeon can set the fracture properly. The broken ends should be brought together and fixed so that the joint remains formed. If the fracture is in the foreleg then the best splint is a rolled up newspaper formed into a suitable shape and placed around the fracture site, a stick, light strips of metal or cardboard can also be used. Tape the splint in place above and below the fracture with bandage or plaster ensuring the splint is positioned one joint below and above the injury. If the fracture is in a rear limb and below the knee splint together using a material that can form the shape of the natural joint (I once used a car aerial padded with seat foam) and immobilise against the upper limb, again ensuring the splint is positioned below and above the injury. Fractures of the upper rear leg are more difficult and require expertise, it is better to immobilise and transport the dog for professional treatment. If there is a spinal injury or the dog has collapsed for other reasons then movement should be avoided if possible. Lay the dog on a firm flat surface, such as a wooden board or collapsed cardboard box, as gently as possible, grabbing the skin at the back of the neck and the bottom of the back, slide the dog on to the surface keeping the back and neck straight, then tie firmly into place. If possible, carry carefully to transport, place board flat and go to the veterinary surgery. Be aware that the dog may vomit or defecate, even if unconscious, so another person requires being present. If the dog is in no or little pain, but cannot move limbs or responds to toes being pinched, then it is likely that the spine is broken and the surgeon should be called to the site. Keep the dog warm and calm until he can be sedated.
It is not pleasant being with an injured dog; I had my first experience when very young; a traffic accident that took 4 hours of waiting for a vet to attend. I personally think that the best help the dog can get is if the carer acts calm and reassuring, regardless of what is going on inside. I understand it takes practice and experience; my father taught us a meditation technique that involves saying a mantra repeatedly whilst giving first aid, it has always worked for dog and me when dealing with pain and the confusion that ensues. I once stopped at a road accident where a one-year-old Labrador puppy had been badly injured; the dog would not let me treat him until his owner had stopped screaming. Even though he had two fractured back legs, broken teeth and blood pouring from his ear and stomach, he was more concerned at his owner’s distress. It took the vet. 45 minutes to arrive, by which time I had stemmed the bleeding and put a splint on one leg, I had my dogs in the car and the vet. did a blood transfusion there and then at the side of the road, happily, I had a Christmas card every year until he passed away at the good age of 14.
will never get the book done at this rate ::)
and this one is kiz copyright please folk – especially guests !