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It's A Dog's Life - YOUR Dog's! Newsletter, Issue #004 - First Aid: How to bandage a dog's ear wound
February 15, 2006
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Save your dog's life with dog first aid!

Whether you're new to dog ownership, or a long-time friend; have a puppy, or care for a senior dog; own a purebred, or a cross from the rescue centre; regardless of your situation, your dog is precious to you.

You want only the best for your dog, just like you want the best for every member of your family. This newsletter has the information and resources you need to give your dog the best -- the best of health, the best of safety, the best of lifelong wellbeing.

With some prevention and some planning, you can keep your dog healthy and safe, for years to come.

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Dog First Aid 101

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Issue 4

Table of Contents



Practice basic check-ups with your dog

Common birth defects in dogs

First Aid: How to bandage a dog's ear wound




Practice basic check-ups with your dog for early detection of disease

In order to keep health problems in your dog from getting serious, you need to detect them early. Sometimes just watching your pet and catching abnormal behavior can tell you that there is something wrong, even before the actual signs start to appear. Therefore, it is necessary to give your dog a basic check-up about once a week. This check-up takes no more than a few minutes, and it can help prevent problems as well as expenses down the road.

Start with a body rub. This makes your pet comfortable. While giving him his rub, check for any signs of flaking or scabs which can be a sign of parasites, a skin disorder, or allergies.

Also check for any lumps and bumps. Although they are a normal part of aging in dogs, they can also be a symptom that there is something wrong. Check for any swelling that could indicate parasites, heart trouble, or cancer.

His breathing should be smooth and quiet, unless he is panting. If his breathing is raspy or rattling, he could have a respiratory problem.

Your dog’s heartbeat should be regular and strong. To check for his pulse, place your hand against his chest by his left elbow. Count the number of beats in 15 seconds and multiply it by four. The rate should range between 60 and 160.

Examine his ears, eyes, and mouth and check for any signs of abnormalities

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Common birth defects in dogs

A vital part of good prevention is to know the common types of illnesses and disorders associated with particular dog breeds. For dogs, the parts of their body that are most frequently affected by congenital problems are the central nervous system, the eyes, the muscles, and the bones. For instance, the Beagle, Collie, miniature Poodle, German Shepherd, and Keeshond are more likely to inherit epilepsy.

Also, different types of nervous system disorders are often passed on within certain breeds. Examples are paralysis of the front and back legs, which is common in the Irish Setter, a failure of muscle coordination common in Fox Terrier, and abnormal swelling of the brain is common in the Chihuahua, English Bulldog, and Cocker Spaniel.

A great number of common breeds suffer from congenital eye abnormalities including glaucoma, cataracts, and blindness.

A hernia is a common muscular problem for many breeds. Breeds such as Basenji, Basset Hound, Pekingese, Lhasa Apso, and Cairn Terrier have a high risk for inguinal hernias (gut protrudes into the groin). Umbilical hernias (gut protrudes through the navel) are inherited defects in breeds like Bull Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, Pekingese, Basenji, Collie, Weimaraner, Airedale Terrier, and Pointer.

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First Aid: How to bandage a dog's ear wound

The most common injuries that happen to our dogs involve the head area. And it is the ears that are most frequently torn in dogfights. The ears also tend to bleed profusely. So if your dog comes back injured with an ear wound, then take the following three simple steps to bandaging the area:

1. First make sure that your dog is calm from whatever fight he got into. Then clean the wound with warm water and a light disinfectant. Be sure not to get any hair or other small particles inside the wounded area.

2. Next, wrap the ear with a bandage. You should have plenty of bandage material from your emergency first aid kit but a cloth or shirt will do just fine. Wind the bandage around the head to keep it secure and to prevent the ear from bleeding when the dog shakes his head.

3. Continue with bandaging his ear by wrapping it around his head over and over until it is secure. Avoid putting any unnecessary pressure on the windpipe. If need be, you want to use what is called an “Elizabethan Collar”. Now get your dog to the vet immediately for further medical attention.

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