If your pet is injured, you should seek immediate medical treatment but there are some things you may need to do as you are preparing to take them to the vet.
If your dog has a broken leg or your cat has a broken leg:
- If there are open wounds, try to gently cover them with sterile gauze. If you do not have any gauze available, cover them and gently apply pressure with a clean cloth to reduce or stop the bleeding.
- If the vet’s office is a good distance away, and you have the proper materials, you may want to consider splinting the leg to try to reduce pain and prevent further damage. If your pet resists you splinting the leg or if you are not sure how to splint it, do not struggle with them, abandon the splint or you could make things worse. Do not try to straighten the leg when splinting, leave it in the position it is in to avoid damaging it further.
- If your dog becomes aggressive, remember that they are only reacting this way to the pain they are in and their confused state of mind, and gently muzzle them. Do not muzzle your pet if they are struggling to breathe and keep the muzzle loose enough for them to pant (don’t muzzle their mouth completely shut).
- For cats, wrap them in a blanket or towel to avoid being scratched or bitten and try to disturb the broken bone as little as possible.
- Try to stay calm and try to keep your pet calm. Don’t panic as your pet will react to your panicked state of mind and speak calmly and gently to them.
- Immediately take your pet to your vet or an emergency vet hospital if it is after hours.
If your dog or cat is bleeding:
- Identify the location of the bleeding and cover the affected area with sterile gauze (use a clean cloth or towel if no gauze is available). Apply pressure to the wound to prevent blood loss.
- Take your pet to your vet or emergency animal clinic if after hours or on a weekend or holiday.
If your dog was attacked by a coyote or another dog:
- Stop any bleeding using the steps above and take your dog to your veterinarian or emergency pet clinic as quickly as possible. Coyote/dog attacks are very serious and your dog needs to be treated immediately
- Be extremely careful when transporting your dog to avoid making any internal or external injuries worse. Carry them on a board or in a blanket if possible to move their body as little as possible.
- Gently muzzle them as noted above if necessary but only if they are not having trouble breathing.
If your pet has an injury, you should never wait to seek medical care. If your vet is not open because it is at night or on weekend or holiday, take them to an emergency animal hospital like Crossroads Animal Emergency.
Our pet emergency center can be quickly traveled to from the following locations: Huntington Beach (emergency pet care center), Fountain Valley, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, and in Norwalk (emergency pet care center) Whittier, Downey and Long Beach.