Like a human child, a puppy will, on occasion, fall and get hurt. People need to be able to identify the types of injuries and how to help the puppy. These actions are necessary because, unlike a human child, a puppy cannot talk.
A dog can suffer many different types of injuries from a fall. Some of these injuries are noticeable as a broken leg. Others, like internal bleeding, are very hard to notice unless you are a trained veterinarian.
The size of the dog usually will matter based upon how far they have fallen. A teacup poodle may be expected to break a leg jumping off a couch, but a Labrador puppy should typically not.
Call a Veterinarian
It is recommended to call a veterinarian even if the limp from a fall lasts only several minutes. Most likely, you will be told to schedule an appointment. Even if it is not necessary to come in, getting some general advice might be beneficial.
While calling the veterinarian, stay calm. Your dog will notice your stress, and he will react based off of yours.
It is very important to tell the veterinarian how the dog fell and signs of injury you have noticed. Your veterinarian will also want to know what first aid has been given and past injuries. You should also be ready with your dog’s age, current medications, and other health issues.
If the limp does not bother the dog and its outside business hour, it’s okay to wait. If the injury is bothering the dog or bad, you will be instructed to go to an emergency veterinarian.
They are seeing a Veterinarian may be necessary to prevent further injury to the dog. Only a Veterinarian has access to technology like X-Rays or surgical tools. With these tools, a veterinarian can prevent further injury to your dog. Also, going to a veterinarian sooner rather than later will prevent larger veterinarian bills.
Your veterinarian will also do neurological exams of your dog. Veterinary exams will also help detect internal injuries that are not readily apparent. Internal bleeding is harder to detect on a dog because of their fur.
Emergency Veterinarian Visit
If the puppy has any visible injuries, you need to get your puppy to a veterinarian. Broken or dislocated bones or a wound where there is limpness are grounds for emergency care.
Upon arrival, a veterinarian will perform both a physical and an orthopedic exam as an initial step. Most likely, their second step will be to perform an X-ray to look at the joints and bones.
In the third step, a veterinarian may then conduct a CT or MRI exam. These exams are capable of determining soft tissue damage.
Signs of Injury
If your dog has any of these signs after their fall, they need emergency care:
- neurological damage
- A broken or dangling limb
- A hot limb
- A wound with limpness
- Where the bleeding lasts more then a couple of minutes
- Severe swelling
- A reluctance to stand or walk
- Difficulty breathing and Lethargy
- Your puppy is coughing up blood
- Pale or white gums indicate your puppy is in shock
Prepare for the Trip to the Veterinarian
When a dog is injured, their body will go into overdrive to repair itself. If a dog is not properly hydrated, it can lead to further injuries like organ failure. Organ failure can then lead to death. Keeping your puppy hydrated is an important step, regardless if you go to the veterinarian.
For small breeds, carry them by their center mass to your car. Have your hands behind the front legs but in front of the rear ones. Holding a puppy similarly will most likely work as well. For large dogs, you can make a sling to carry them.
You also can place them in their crate and use it to transport them to the veterinarian. Just make sure they cannot move around.
If the puppy has an open, would wrap a clean towel over the area to prevent contamination. The towel can also be used to stem the loss of blood if the wound is bleeding. Transport the dog with the injured side down.
Place the Puppy in a Crate
Regardless if you need to go to a veterinarian or not place the dog in a crate. Crating a dog will prevent the dog from moving around and make him/her feel safe.
It is very important to keep your dog as calm as possible. Exercise or play will make the injury from the fall worse. Placing your dog in the crate is usually the best way to prevent them from further injury.
Do not allow the dog to exercise for 24-48 hours after the lameness has subsided. When you reintroduce exercise, it should be done gradually.
Pain medication will help your pet endure through the injury caused by the fall. Even though there are benefits, the owner needs to be aware of negatives regarding pain medication.
No over the counter pain medication should be used unless you consult with a Veterinarian. Over the counter medication can be toxic to a puppy. Also, over the counter medications are known to be hard on the kidneys, stomach, and livers of puppies.
NSAIDs or non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs are of particular concern. Drugs in the NSAIDs class include Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Aspirin.
Any pet owner who has a dog taking an NSAID medication needs to be aware of the side effects. The common side effects are vomiting, regurgitation, diarrhea lethargy, inappetence, evidence of nausea, and dark, tarry poop.
Any dog on an NSAID medication will need to regularly have their blood tested. These blood tests ensure the liver is not being adversely affected.