Labrador - Minor Injury and Illness

Every owner should know how to administer medicines and other basic treatment to their dog in the event of accident or illness. Injuries to ears and paws, from fights or sharp objects, are not uncommon, and may require prompt bandaging and precautionary restraint before a vet is called.
Applying an Emergency Bandage to the Ear:
1. While an assistant soothes and steadies your dog, apply clean, preferably non – stick, absorbent material to the wound. Take care you are not bitten through fright. Cut a section from a pair of tights and slip it over your hands.

2. With your assistant holding the absorbent pad in place, slip the tights over your dog’s head. This will hold the ear firmly, helping the blood to clot. Ensure that the windpipe receives no undue pressure.

3. If necessary, secure the tights at each end with tape to prevent your dog from removing the bandage with its paws. However, this is only a temporary cover, and your veterinarian should examine the injury.

Bandaging a Wounded Paw:
With the aid of an assistant, steady your dog. Apply a fresh, absorbent pad to the cut, wrap the pad in place with stretchy gauze, and secure the dressing with clinging stretch or adhesive bandage. Consult your vet about antibiotics or possible surgery. Change bandages daily to reduce the risk of infection.

Improvising a Muzzle:
1. Even the most loving animal is capable of accidentally biting when hurt. With an assistant holding your dog still, make a loop with any soft material such as tights, gauze, or a tie, and slip it over the muzzle.

2. With the loop in place, tighten it gently. Then bring both lengths of material down and cross them under the jaws. If your dog is confused or upset, speak to it in a relaxed, comforting tone as you proceed.

3. To complete the process, wrap the material round the back of the ears and tie the ends securely in a knot. With the emergency muzzle fastened, you can then safely give attention to specific injuries elsewhere.

Administering Medicines:
Giving a pill:
With your dog seated, open its mouth and insert the pill as far back as possible. Then Hold the jaw shut and tilt it upwards, stroking the neck to induce swallowing.

Giving liquids:
Using a syringe from your vet or a chemist, squirt the medicine into the mouth, not down the throat where it may enter the windpipe. Hold your dog’s muzzle until it swallows.

Using an Elizabethan Collar:
Your vet may provide a lampshade – shaped collar for your convalescent dog, to prevent any scratching or chewing at wounds. This collar should be left on whenever your dog is alone, but may be removed at mealtimes or during exercise on lead, when you can deter self – inflicted damage. The device is cumbersome and likely to be worn with resignation!