What happens when you can’t access your veterinarian, and your dog is bleeding profusely?
An injury can occur in a dog from play, from their curiosity, accidents, or a dog fight. In most cases, these injuries are skin deep. There will be some bleeding but the bleeding will soon stop. In some cases, however, bleeding can be severe especially in the case where a blood vessel has been ruptured. The most prone areas where blood vessels will rupture are the limbs and the ears. In such cases, you need a vet to check the dog immediately, but focussing on stopping the bleeding and preventing the dog from going into shock in case of severe trauma is equally important.
Avoid probing the wound
Try not to remove any large or deeply embedded objects from the wound. Do not attempt to probe or clean the wound.
Stopping the bleeding with pressure
Use the cleanest available cloth or bandage on the wound as a bandage and press the bandage firmly with your palm to control bleeding. Keep applying pressure until the bleeding stops.
Once the bleeding stops maintain pressure by binding the wound with a thick bandage or a piece of clean cloth. Do NOT remove the existing gauze or bandage on the wound. If the bleeding seeps through the bandage try wrapping another bandage around it and keep the pressure.
Do not apply direct pressure on an eye injury or an embedded object which might increase the puncture.
In the case of the bleeding is from the ear flaps
Bandage the ear around the skull of the dog. If the injury is to the limbs, raise the injured limb above the level of the heart.
Prevent the dog from running around– this can be done by tying the dog and making it calm with deliberate voice and action. Put the dog on a blanket or cloth to prevent loss of body heat.
Injections and topical cure if bleeding does not stop
Please remember that this is not your first option but it may be required you take these steps if pressure alone is not stopping the bleeding.
A common human blood coagulant such as Botroclot should be used. Open the bottle and put a few drops, or pour over the wound and apply pressure as described before. Repeat up to 4-5 times giving a few minutes between each reapplication to allow bleeding to stop. In case this is not available an injectable coagulant such as Botropase (1ml vial) can be used. Simply break the vial and pour it over the wound.
If the bleeding does not stop or in case you know how severe the bleeding has been, use a combination of Botropase injection and Vitamin K injection (1ml) vials. Give the intramuscular injection near the site of the injury if to the limbs or the hindlimb. Repeat in 15-20 minutes if required. Remember to keep the pressure on the wound once the injection is given.
When you get to a vet describe what you have carried out to stop the bleeding including if there are objects and debris on the site.
The information contained in VOSD Vet Advice™ is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical action which is provided by your vet. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. For any emergency situation related to a dog’s health, please visit the nearest veterinary clinic.