Dog fractures

In many SAR accidents the result is broken bones, joints or muscle damage. This is especially true if the accident involves a vehicle. The first and most important thing to do when your dog suffers from a fracture is to immobilize the affected area of the dog's body. It is important that the broken bones be kept still so that no further damage is done to them or other parts of your dog's body (nerves, arteries, internal organs) while moving it.

A splint can be made with almost any stiff material and the side of the splint should be long enough and wide enough to ensure that there is no movement of the fractured bones. Any open wounds caused either by the broken bones or the accident itself should be covered with clean gauze bandages or any other clean material you have available at the moment.

If the dog is in a safe place do not attempt to move it but rather protect it from the elements and watch for signs of "shock" (fast shallow pulse, general faintness and lack of focus) while waiting for emergency medical assistance.
If however the SAR dog is in a dangerous location (such as in the middle of the road) then you should carefully move it but only after you have carefully and gently place a hard (never soft or flexible) surface (such as a board or table top) under the dog. Be sure that no part of the dog is hanging off of the "stretcher" while you are moving it. Always seek immediate medical attention when dealing with fractures.

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