Oh no! is my dog hurt?

Can’t tell if Fido pulled a muscle or worse, ripped a tendon? Find out the various types of injuries he can suffer from and how to remedy them.
By Pets Team
Published on Monday, 10 March 2014

We’ve compiled a basic list of mishaps that could happen to even the best of our pooches.

Muscle Aches and Pulled Muscles

Sore or strained muscles in dogs can be caused by sudden intensive exercise and lack of warming up or stretching. Quite often, over-enthusiastic canines can overwork their bodies and suffer from muscle aches as a result. Like humans, dogs that have been idle for too long have to slowly build up stamina to undergo more vigorous exercise

Dogs don’t usually show it when they’re sore. Hence, owners need to observe and know their pets well enough to notice. If you see Rover behaving sluggishly or showing reluctance to get up, it could mean that he’s suffering from muscle aches. Mild strains can cause slight discomfort, moderate ones will likely result in pain when you touch the affected area, but serious strains are characterised by severe pain and yelping. Swelling may also occur near the site of the dog’s pulled muscle. Applying ice and restricting his movement will alleviate the swelling and discomfort.

The good news is that pulled muscles and muscle aches are easily preventable; always make sure you and Fido warm up and cool down before and after every activity—this can include a slow stroll (on soft surfaces such as grass) to stretch those muscles, applying a cold compress on the affected area, and a gentle massage to reduce the likelihood of injury.

If Fido becomes withdrawn and exhibits symptoms of aggression and a change in appetite, it could mean something more severe than sore muscles. If a gentle massage doesn’t soothe him, perhaps a visit to your vet is in order. X-rays may be needed to find out what exactly happened and casts may be required for minor fractures. The pet will also be prescribed anti-inflammatory medication and lots of rest.

Tendon Tears

Ripped tendons can be common among sporting dogs. Even if Pooch isn’t an agility dog, don’t think it won’t happen to him; tendon and ligament tears are also as common in middle-aged and overweight dogs. A slip or fall following excessive running or jumping can precipitate such an injury as well.

Thankfully, there are many ways to treat tendon tears. Take your dog to a vet as soon as possible in case surgery is needed and restrict Rover’s activity for the next eight to 12 weeks so as not to aggravate the injury. A reduced-calorie diet will also help, especially if the canine is overweight.

Putting Rover on supplements that contribute to joint health such as glucosamine and chondroitin may help his convalescence. Similarly, providing your dog with a balanced diet will keep his weight in check.

Cuts and scrapes

As with any open wound, always wash thoroughly to prevent any infection from occurring. Then,  depending on the severity, you may need to take Fido to the vet as stitches and medication may be required. Diagnosis depends on how bad the cut is. Sometimes local or general anaesthesia is required to suture the wound. The pet may require bandages and anti-inflammatory and antibiotic medicine as well as antiseptic cream or wash.

When it comes to your dog’s nails, a crack or split may cause quite a lot of pain. If the nail is badly damaged, the entire thing may need to be pulled out under local anaesthetic or trimmed short to prevent it from being further traumatised while walking or running.

Dehydrat ion

Unfortunately, signs of dehydration in our furry four-legged friends are not obvious and only a veterinarian can provide proper diagnosis and treatment. But owners can keep in mind that dogs that suffer from kidney disorders, diabetes, cancers and infectious diseases are prone to dehydration. Even elderly canines and those that are pregnant or nursing may also develop this condition. Dehydration may indicate serious underlying problems and if you notice that your dog isn’t drinking enough water (they generally need an ounce of water for each pound of body weight per day), check Fido’s mouth for sores and other foreign objects, such as twigs or thorns. If there isn’t any injury to his mouth, perhaps a trip to the vet is in order. Also beware of letting your pooch drink water from toilet bowls and dirty water bowls as they may contain bacteria that may be harmful to his health.

Provide Rover with clean water 24/7. This means changing it frequently to ensure freshness. Don’t forget to wash his bowl too; this will prevent bacteria from forming. Monitor Rover’s drinking habits so you can notice straight away if his daily intake is less than usual. 

 

Image source: http://www.bustersdoghouse.com/