About Dog Injuries

About Dog InjuriesJust like people, dogs can suffer injuries on the trail. Before you leave on a trip with your pup, learn some basic canine first aid and know the closest emergency veterinarian clinic.

Abrasions

Abrasions stay superficial on the skin and might cause minor bleeding. Just like a scrape on a human, abrasions aren't life threatening but need thorough cleaning.

Lacerations

Cutting deeper into tissue, lacerations result from blunt trauma. Everything from barbed wired to stinks can cause a laceration while your dog bounds down a trail. Lacerations might require stitches. Clean the wound and head to the vet.

Strains and Sprains

Dogs can pull a muscle or tear a tendon if they're overzealous during activity. Minor strains and sprains don't require medical attention, but you should call it a day and let your dog rest.

Burns

From a campfire or a dropped pot of hot water, burns on a dog can be mild or life threatening. Cool burns with cool water and head to the vet.

Fractures

Even though dogs are closer to the ground and lighter on their feet, a misstep or fall can cause a broken bone. Carry your dog back to the trailhead and seek medical attention.

Worn Paws

A dog can overuse the pads on his paws, causing sores, abrasions and burns. Check your dog's pads to watch for wear. For longer trips, consider a pair of canine boots.

Article Written By Kathrine Cole

Kathrine Cole is a professional outdoor educator. She teaches rock climbing, backpacking, cycling, and bike maintenance classes. She is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, a Wilderness First Responder, and a Leave No Trace Trainer.

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