Rhodes 2 Safety Quiz Q4:
Your dog squeezes himself through a tiny gap between a fence and the side of a garage while “investigating”. He catches his foreleg on a sharp edge sticking out from the fence and puts a degloved injury in his leg (a degloved injury is one in which the flesh is torn and then pushed down the limb causing a creasing of the skin, or causing a “flap” of skin to be folded back revealing a raw area).
Im looking for 4 courses of action you would take to treat such an injury (although I have listed more than this below). Your key memory word to help you when you are treating bleeds is SEEP:
S = Sit or Lie the dog down
E = Elevate the wound above the heart
E = Examine the wound to see what is going on/any foreign bodies still there
P = Pressure should be applied directly on top of the wound where possible.
1) Check the dangers still surrounding this situation ie are you able to get him away from the sharp edge without causing further injury to him and to yourself and, might it be safer to muzzle him while you try to treat him? A frightened dog who is in pain may well lash out to protect himself so a muzzle might well be necessary. If you do not have a muzzle, remember you can always use a lead, belt or bandage to do this.
2) Fluids flow directionally with gravity (we all know rivers do not like to flow up hill!) so lie the dog down which will ensure that the blood is not rushing down the leg – this will slow down the bleeding.
3) Assess the type of wound – if it is bleeding heavily then stopping it ASAP will be your main aim. If it is NOT bleeding so heavily, then carefully irrigate the wound with tepid running water to remove any debris or dirt. Leave the skin wet.
4) Replace the skin back over the wound: If it is a FLAP of skin, you can just flip it back over. If the skin is CREASED, gently try to slide it back up into place to cover the wound (this is where you will be glad he is wearing a muzzle). If the skin will not move back, don’t be rough with it, just do what you can and stop if you feel you may damage it by trying further.
5) Apply a sterile wound bandage to the injury, ensuring there are no creases in the dressing and no knots tying it. Because we are going to put a pressure dressing over the top of this one, any creases or knots in the bandage will be pressed into the dog’s limb causing extra discomfort.
6) Apply a pressure dressing over the top of the wound bandage (something like vetwrap is perfect) to stop the blood loss.
7) Ring your vet and tell him you are on your way – again, never just turn up without letting them know you are coming just in case your vet is out on a call when you arrive.
8) Monitor your dog on the way for signs of shock and, if you see any of the signs (such as increased heart rate, panting, poor gum colour) place your rolled up jacket under his bottom to raise his back legs off the floor and direct the oxygenated blood in his system to his brain where he most needs it. Remember to keep him warm.