Travel First Aid Tip for Dogs: Bleeding

Travel First Aid Tip for Dogs: Bleeding


We are placing a series of travel first aid tips for dogs on our website.  These tips were written for the “Canine Companion – Instructions & First-Aid Tips” that came with the Emergency First-Aid & Travel Kit for Dogs by Dr. Brooks Bloomfield of The Doctor’s Office for Pets located in Truckee, California, a well-known, highly-respected veterinarian with over 30 years of superbly practicing veterinary medicine on wildlife and domesticated animals.

There are so many times that we as pet owners long to have a great veterinarian’s advice on-hand 24/7 so that we’re not left with so many questions during stressful situations when something has happened to our beloved pup when traveling (doesn’t it always happen that these situations arise on weekends, too, when your veterinarian’s office is closed).

This travel first-aid tip deals with:  Bleeding.

“Bleeding should be addressed with pressure.  Place a gauze pad over the lesion and use your hand or fingers to apply pressure to the wound.  Time the pressure for 5 minutes and recheck.  Continuous pressure may be needed for quite some time.  A pressure bandage may be used after several attempts have been made.  This bandage must be watched carefully so that it does not cut off the blood supply to a limb.  Do not use a tourniquet unless it is truly life and death and loosen it every 5 minutes.  Cold packs over oozing wounds help reduce swelling and bleeding.

Splints should be applied to broken or suspected broken bones.  Splints and bandages for fractures should extend over the joint above and below the fracture to stabilize it and to prevent the splint from acting as a lever that worsens the fracture.

A modified Robert-Jones bandage uses bulk to support fractured limbs.  Newspaper, cloths, bandages, etc. can be used.  Start with the toes and work up to go one joint above the fracture.  Place many layers of material wrapping firmly.  The last layers should be bandage material applied snugly.  The goal is not pressure but sheer bulk.  These bandages make it hard to walk or even carry an injured dog but they are very effective at stabilizing a fracture and reducing pain.  Do not use this if the fracture is of the upper thighbone (femur).”

Note:  References to items or supplies noted in the above instructions were made in reference to the supplies that came in the Emergency First-Aid & Travel Kit for Dogs in conjunction with these instructions.

[pullquote_right]Wishing you and your fur-kids safe and happy travels this summer![/pullquote_right]