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How to help a bleeding dog

Bleeding from small wounds normally stops within a few minutes. Severe bleeding requires urgent first aid. Here you will learn how to put a pressure bandage on your dog while waiting for vet help.
Demo of how to apply a bandage to a dog

How to put a pressure bandage on a dog

  • It can be helpful to put a muzzle on your dog to prevent potential bites
  • Apply a bandage with a tightly rolled compress, or similar, to the wound and apply pressure until the bleeding stops. Make sure the dressing is tight enough to stop the bleeding but not cut off the blood supply. Slightly ease the dressing every 20 minutes
  • If it bleeds through, reinforce the bandage
  • Elevate the injured area if possible
  • Transport the dog to the vet

Severe bleeding requires urgent first aid

Severe bleeding requires urgent first aid. You must get your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Spurting and/or pulsating bright red blood means arterial bleeding that requires pressure dressings. If left untreated, it can lead to a state of shock.

If a pressure bandage is not enough, an alternative may be to tighten tightly above a wound. This should only be done if absolutely necessary as there is a risk of permanent damage.

If you can't apply a pressure bandage

Certain areas of the body are difficult to put pressure bandages on. For these, you can stop the bleeding by keeping pressure with your fingers against a rolled compress. Maintain pressure during transport to the vet

What to do with minor bleeding wounds

For smaller wounds, it may be enough to hold a clean compress or clean towel directly against the wound for 10 -15 minutes. In order for the blood to clot as quickly as possible, you should avoid repeatedly lifting the compress or towel to inspect the wound.

Apply a bandage with padding before going to the vet to have the wound stitched. Remember not to tighten the bandage too much.

Wounds that need stitching

For best results, wounds should preferably be sutured within 8 hours. Even if more than 8 hours have passed since the injury, a wound should be stitched. A wound that is stitched generally heals faster than if the wound is not stitched at all.

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