SAR dog accidents

The most common SAR dog injuries apart from broken bones, as a result of falls or the dog being injured by debris, are injuries to its skin and muscles. All SAR dog injuries demand immediate attention by a veterinarian and the sooner the better, before swelling causes the diagnosis to become more difficult. If the SAR dog is not breathing then you should begin administering CPR. If the SAR dog is bleeding profusely through an open wound then you should stanch the flow of blood by applying pressure to the wound with a clean bandage or cloth. In the event of a broken bone the SAR dog should not be moved until the fracture has been immobilized and the SAR dog can be moved on a stretcher or other hard surface.

If the SAR dog is showing symptoms of "shock" then it should not be moved but should be kept warm and only given something to drink once it has fully regained consciousness. Open wounds should be covered with a clean gauze bandage, to protect against infections.

If the SAR dog is vomiting, care must be taken that the vomit isn't able to enter into the SAR dog's airways. While any accident that a SAR dog suffers will of course have its own unique circumstances and problems the outcome will be better if these simple rules and guidelines are followed. Even if you are unaware of the nature of the problem or how serious it is, the first rule is to keep your SAR dog still, warm and with its head level with the rest of its body. If you find your SAR dog in a severe state of shock you should keep it still and warm but if possible with its head a little lower than the rest of its body. If your SAR dog is vomiting or hemorrhaging from its mouth there is the very real risk of your SAR dog's airways becoming blocked with either blood or vomit. Keep your SAR dog's head tilted to the side and level with its body. Make sure that its tongue also is not blocking its airways. Take off its collar and or leash and make sure that it can breathe as freely as possible.

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