Sick dog in bed

Having a dog around in the house is always fun and most enjoyable but every dog owner must be prepared and trained to handle its medical emergencies as well. The following steps may be taken whenever there’s an emergency that involves an injury or sickness in your dog.


The average dog owner’s first impulse is make an attempt to hug the injured pet to comfort it. Never, ever do that. Always keep your face at a distance from its mouth. By attempting to hug it, you could only scare him more or increase his pain. This may lead him to scratch or bite as fear and/or pain can make an animal unpredictable or dangerous even.

Examine the wound gently and slowly. Stop immediately if it agitates him. Call his doctor or the clinic before taking him so that they are ready for action when you reach. If the dog isn’t vomiting, put him on a muzzle to reduce chances of biting.

In case you don’t have a proper muzzle, use a towel, gauze roll, or even stockings as a makeshift muzzle. Smaller dogs can be wrapped in a towel but not too tightly to allow ease of breathing. Don’t use a muzzle if the dog is vomiting.

If a wound is bleeding, try and stop it by using thick cotton pads to stymie the blood flow. A box, large container, boards, sleds/toboggans, throw rugs, and blankets may be used as stretchers to carry your injured pet. Carry any existing medical records for the vet’s reference.


The typical symptoms of pain are pacing, restlessness, agitation, rapid heart rate, panting, or even sudden aggression. Spinal pain is often misinterpreted as stomach pain and any sudden and strange behavior on the dog’s part needs immediate medical attention.

Respiratory distress

This usually occurs due to allergic reactions, trauma, toxins, heart failure, cancer, infectious agents or air leakage. A choked passageway leads to extreme restlessness, squirming, frothing at the mouth and sudden collapse. This needs immediate treatment from a qualified vet and even emergency surgery (tracheotomy) to aid breathing.


Seizures happen due to abnormal electrical activity of the brain. These are usually triggered by epilepsy, brain swelling, brain tumors, and hypoglycemia and electrolyte imbalances and could be fatal. Seizures may happen singly or in clusters in any frequency and at any time. This too, requires immediate veterinary care.

Difficulty in urinating

If you find your dog straining to pass urine, it may be indicative of an infection of the urinary tract, presence of stones in the bladder, urinary tract inflammation, cancer, and blood clots also. This needs to be properly investigated by a veterinarian immediately and surgical and/or medical steps need to be taken accordingly.

Diarrhea and vomiting

Diarrhea and/or vomiting is one of the most common emergencies dogs have. These occur due to wrong feeding, toxin ingestion, gastro-intestinal infections, and intestinal obstruction or because of a secondary cause like a metabolic disease or even stomach cancer. Dehydration sets in fast and if not taken care of immediately, can prove fatal within hours.

These are the most common emergencies seen in dogs, which every canine owner needs to be aware of. All of them are of equal criticality and failure to take the right and prompt action can lead to some very disastrous results.