First aid for stray dogs


Whenever we spot an injured Stray dog on a street, we wish to help him but do not know how. Here are few first-aid tips for them.

Sometimes we see a stray dog in distress and do not know what to do. Inexperience of handling strays and the fear of attack may also deter you to treat them. Injured animals need to be handled with caution, so as to avoid any futher unpleasing situations like bite or attack. So, be extra careful while handling them. Here are a few first aid tips from Welfare of Stray Dogs (WSD). (WSD has experiences of sterilising and immunising more than 30,000 stray dogs and impacting the lives of more than 90,000 through its on-site first aid and immunisation and adoption programmes.) These are only temporary measures, for permanent cure you must call a vet as soon as possible.
Burn injuries are very common and can occur from contact with direct heat, with chemical agents or from chewing electrical wires. In case of burn with heat, cool the burned area by applying cold water or ice pack for 20-30 minutes and then apply an anti-bacterial ointment. Do not apply greasy remedies like butter, oil etc as they will trap the heat and delay healing. In case of burn with chemicals, flush the skin with a large quantity of cool water. If burn substance contained alkali, follow with a rinse of equal parts vinegar and water. If acid caused burn, follow with a baking soda rinse. In case of burn with electrical wires, disconnect the wire from power source. Keep the dog warm and call the vet immediately.
Sudden violent vomiting and/or diarrhoea, fits, foaming at the mouth, staggering gait, collapse and coma are the signs of poisoning. These may also relate to other conditions not caused by poisoning. Give 2-3 teaspoons of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide every ten minutes repeated 3 times. Or place 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt at the back of the tongue, or dissolve one tablespoon in one cup of warm water. Try to delay absorption by giving milk, whipped egg whites, vegetable oil or water. Do not try to make the animal vomit.
Deep wound may cause profuse bleeding. Apply turmeric powder or tincture iodine. Place a clean cloth or gauze bandage over the wound and apply manual pressure until the bleeding stops. Get veterinary help immediately.
Shock can occur due to an accident, acute infection, haemorrhage, heart disease, heatstroke, diabetes, poisoning or an epileptic fit. The symptoms are low body temperature, pale gums, breathing difficulty and body may become stiff. Place the dog in a warm, quiet place and cover him with a blanket. Rub the paws and ears to improve the circulation. If there is bleeding, take steps to stop it.
Injury (spine, hip)
He needs medical care immediately, so without shaking his head, back and pelvis, shift him to the hospital. Avoid bending the spine. Use a flat board or blanket stretched tightly as stretcher.
The Welfare of Stray Dogs (WSD) is a government-recognised organisation carrying out a mass sterilisation-cum-vaccination programme for stray dogs in Mumbai. They can be contacted at 23733433, 23891070, Kennel: 23060275 or [email protected]