We have a list of the top 7 dog injuries as released by Veterinary Pet Insurance Group (VPI) and you may just be surprised when you read what’s included. Plus, we’ll provide you with some tips on how to help prevent these injuries with your own dogs!
7) SNAKE BITES
If you live towards the north, you have to be on the lookout for Copperheads and Rattlesnakes and if you live towards the south, you best keep your eye out for Water Moccasins and even certain toads.
To help prevent your dog from being bitten by a snake or getting too close to any poisonous type of animal, always keep your dog on a leash when out on a walk or a hike. When walking in unfamiliar territory or an area known for snakes or other critters, be sure to keep your dog’s leash tight so that your dog is walking next to you instead of out in front or far ahead.
Since many reptiles and amphibians are more active at night, we always recommend LED lights for dogs that can be worn around the neck to illuminate several feet or yards ahead of the dog as they walk.
6) HEAT STROKE / DEHYDRATION
Although heat stroke affects certain dogs more than others (such as overweight, senior or short-snout breeds), any dog can fall pray to this debilitating condition if there’s too much exercise or exertion, too much time spent in the heat/sun, or both.
Did you know that the ASPCA states that the inside of a car can reach a sweltering 102 degrees after just 10 minutes on an 85 degree day even with the windows down several inches? Keep that in mind the next time you’re considering whether or not to leave your dog in the car “for just a few minutes” while you run into the bank or the store. Sometimes those “few minutes” is all it takes to send your dog into a nasty episode of heat stroke.
To help prevent your dog from ever having to suffer through heat stroke or dehydration, never leave them unattended in a car or any other enclosed type of area during warmer months, never leave them out in the sun without an easily accessible shady spot, restrict exercise on hot days, and always ensure that you have plenty of cool water available for them at any given time. Adequate cool water is easily made available to both you and your dog when out and about through handy products such as the Cool Pooch that we absolutely love.
5) LAMENESS, BACK TROUBLE OR NECK TROUBLE
Again, although these kinds of injuries are most common in certain breeds (such as Dachshunds thanks to their long backs), they can strike any dog of any breed at any given time.
Small dogs like Chihuahuas and Yorkies are frequently seen at the vet for neck, back or leg pain due to jumping on and off of furniture and laps too often, as well as in and out of vehicles. Labs and Goldens are also frequently seen for lameness in their legs due to over-exertion which can cause ligament, tendon, joint and bone troubles.
To help prevent these issues, consider using steps or ramps that are specifically made for dogs. For small breeds, steps should be used for furniture and beds. Ramps are great to use for vehicles for larger breed dogs. It is also wise to ensure that your pet is kept at a healthy weight as carrying extra weight is a strain on their back and legs.
4) FOREIGN OBJECTS
Whether orally ingested or entered through the skin, foreign objects are a major reason for vet appointments. From ingested poison, broken toys, pieces of clothing, money or batteries, all the way to glass or nails in the feet and burrs on the skin, chances are that your veterinarian has seen it all. While the majority of ingested objects are not a cause for panic and will be passed through your dog’s stool, some are not so lucky. When in doubt, contact your vet immediately. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
To help prevent foreign objects from becoming a cause for concern, keep a close eye on your dog when around easily ingestable items. Even the most well-behaved, least-curious dog may stumble upon something they just can’t resist!
When out for walks in nature, closely inspect your dog’s eyes, mouth, ears, feet and fur prior to getting back in the vehicle or returning home and remove any debris you may find. For walks during dusk or dark, we recommend LED pet collars which will help light the area so any foreign objects can be seen in plenty of enough time.
Punctures from nails, glass, sticks, thorns or any other sharp material always require your immediate attention, no matter how small or insignificant the wound may seem. Punctures can easily be overlooked due to your dog’s fur and the cracks, crevices and hiding places on the bottom of their feet so be mindful to really take your time when looking them over. Some puncture wounds are so small that you may not be able to locate them at all but will see indicators such as swelling, redness, or even pus.
To help prevent puncture wounds, put an LED dog collar on your best buddy when walking during very early morning or late hours of the day so that the ground is illuminated. Avoid walking in areas where there may be debris on the ground such as in alleys, near dumpsters, near the scene of a recent car accident, or even on the shore/beach that is known for seashells. When walking or hiking in the woods, we recommend putting shoes or boots on your dog to keep their feet protected.
2) TORN NAILS
Talk about painful! Dogs nails are extremely sensitive once the “quick” is reached (the vein in the center of each nail) and bleeding can be quite severe to the point that it becomes downright frightening. Try to stay calm, apply pressure to the torn nail and get to the vet as soon as possible.
Preventing a torn toenail can be quite difficult, if not impossible, thanks to the never-ending list of accidents that could happen. From catching the nail on shag carpeting to catching the nail against a rock while digging a hole, the list truly is endless. However, you can try to prevent accidents that are just waiting to happen – such as not allowing your dog on mesh-style park benches where their nails could get caught and using dog collar lights when out walking.
1) BITE WOUNDS
Now here is where an LED collar for dogs comes in extremely handy! When your dog is out and about, the chance of a confrontation of some sort is extremely heightened. It doesn’t matter if it’s another dog at a local dog park or a rabid raccoon digging in your neighbor’s trash, bite wounds can come from anywhere at the blink of an eye.
If you know your dog has been bitten, assess the damage right away and perform whatever basic first aid is required such as cleaning and bandaging the wound. If the bite was from a wild animal, no matter how cute or harmless the animal may have seemed to you, don’t delay in getting your dog to the vet. Always ensure that your dog is up to date on his vaccinations!