"Emergengy First Aid"
By Jean Sutherland

     First aid should be a temporary measure to control life-threatening problems and provide some relief while veterinary care is sought.
     Handling: Any injured dog may bite. Tie something around the animals nose so that it cannot bite. Make a loop and place it over the dog’s muzzle and tie, bring the ends down around the muzzle, cross them and bring the ends behind the ears and tie. If the dog cannot walk, make a stretcher out of a coat, blanket, or towel.
     Bandaging: Apply cloth to the wound and wrap a strip bandage around the injured area. Sufficient pressure can be applied to stop bleeding. Loosen the bandage every fifteen minutes to allow blood to flow through the wound.
     Administering Medication: Liquids: With the head of the dog held at an angle of approximately thirty degrees, pull out the lip fold at the side of the muzzle to form a pouch and pour the liquid in slowly. As it runs through the teeth, the dog is able to swallow it. Do not pour too much, too quickly, because the dog will choke.
     Tourniquets: In cases of severe laceration of limbs or tail, it may be necessary to apply a tourniquet to control blood loss. Wrap a piece of cloth or bandage above the wound and tie securely. Wrap or twist tight with a stick. It is advisable to loosen the tourniquet every ten to fifteen minutes to allow circulation to the area and prevent tissue death from lack of oxygen.
     Heatstroke: This is truly a tragedy of the summer months and is the product of neglect. Dogs should never be left unattended in direct sunlight or in closed vehicles in hot weather. Clinical signs of heatstroke include panting, hyper-salivation, fever, shock, unconsciousness, and death. Immediately immerse the dog in cool water to lower his body temperature. Monitor this with a rectal thermometer, bring the temperature to within the normal range, but do not lower it below this.
     Burns: For a burn, any household preparation that you have may be used. For an acid burn, use a paste of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). Burns become infected very easily so watch closely, even superficial burns can become quite serious.
     Poisoning: If you suspect your dog has ingested a poisonous substance, attempt to induce vomiting. This can be achieved by administering hydrogen peroxide (about two tablespoonfuls), or by applying a teaspoon of salt on the back of his tongue. As many poisons have specific antidotes, take a sample of the substance with the dog to your veterinarian.
     Shock: Shock can follow almost any type of severe injury. The clinical signs include shallow breathing, pale grey-colored mucous membranes, glassy eyes, dilated pupils, and collapse. Keep the dog warm by wrapping him in a blanket and place hot water bottles around him.
     Bleeding: Deep Wounds: A severed artery “spurts” in time with the heart beat and produces bright red blood. Blood escaping from a lacerated vein will be much darker in color and will ooze. A tourniquet will be required to control bleeding from a severed artery. A pressure bandage will usually suffice for cut veins.
     Eye Infections: To soothe inflamed eyes, wash out any discharge present with a solution of boracic acid or warm water. Do not use salt and water. Apply an eye ointment on the advice of a veterinarian.
     Diarrhea: This common complaint has a number of causes. Simple diarrhea can be treated by feeding a bland diet, such as boiled white rice mixed half and half with boiled lean meat, or cooked eggs. Human preparations, available at any pharmacy, may also be administered. If diarrhea persists for more than two or three days, consult your veterinarian.
     Now that our Sun-birds are arriving they are bringing new paperbacks with them. Check them out at the market every Wednesday in Ajijic. If you have friends or family coming down, please ask them to bring a favorite paperback book with them. We need to update all the time.