A Bloody Mess

One day my husband came home from a walk with our dogs and he was covered in blood. Apparently, my curious pup was sniffing at a woodchuck hole when a woodchuck came out and scratched his face.

My dog had a large, 3 in. long slash on the inside and the outside of his mouth and little cuts all over his muzzle. He was bleeding profusely. My husband and I locked ourselves and my pup in the bathroom (to keep our other curious dog out of the way). He pressed a damp paper towel against our pup's gash, but it continued to bleed. I called every vet in our area desperate for some help. It was a Saturday afternoon on a holiday weekend. All of the vet's offices in the area were closed.

Finally, I called an emergency vet that was several towns away. He was the only vet open and he would not be available to see us for several hours due to the amount of emergencies coming in that night. He suggested that we use a warm compress and hold it against our dog's gashes for 15 minutes to stop the bleeding. No easy feat. Holding down a scared, injured dog for 15 minutes.

After about an hour, we got the bleeding stopped. My husband and I cleaned the blood that had been spattered across the carpets when our dog came home. Our dog settled down for a nap.

30 minutes later, our dog started biting his lip and the bleeding started all over again.

We rushed to the emergency vet's office. It took us almost an hour and our dog had lost quite a bit of blood.

Four hours, one cone collar, and a rabies shot later he was fine. But the crises could have been averted if we knew basic doggie first aid and could have stopped the bleeding on our own.

We could have lessened his pain and his blood loss if we had the tools to treat him until we could get to our regular vet.

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