First aid

How to stop severe bleeding if your dog is involved in an accident

When your dog is injured and there are signs of blood flow, it may be both external and internal.  If your dog was hit by a moving vehicle and you do not see any blood, always assume that there is an internal injury that may be causing bleeding. A veterinarian should be the one to assess the possibility.  However, at the scene of an accident there is no veterinarian and if you notice severe bleeding on the outside, then the following steps will help you be better prepared.

Applying direct pressure

To apply direct pressure in order to stop the bleeding, take your hand and press down on the injured area. If possible, try to cover your hand or use a cloth as this will help a blood clot to form faster.  This cloth can also be combined with the bandage. If the cloth becomes blood soaked, you may be inclined to remove it in order to replace the cloth with a cleaner one.  This is a mistake. Never remove a cloth from the bleeding area because it could damage the clot that is currently forming.  Instead, place the new cloth on top of the blood-soaked one.

Pressure points

There may be a time when applying direct pressure does not help stop the bleeding.  At this point, your next step should be to utilize pressure points to help prevent further bleeding.  What this means is that somewhere on the dog’s body you will need to apply pressure to the main artery which is supplying blood to the area that is injured. There are five pressure points that you must know about in order to utilize this procedure and save the dog’s life:

Front paw

If the front paw is bleeding, place your finger on the inside of the dog’s lower foreleg. Press firmly.

Front leg

When the dog’s front leg is bleeding, put your fingers on the inside of the dog’s upper foreleg, approximately halfway between the shoulder area and his elbow. With your thumb on the outside of his foreleg, apply pressure with the fingers to the bone.

Back paw

To stop bleeding on a dog’s back paw, put your fingers on the front of his leg, right above the paw, and your thumb on the backside of his leg. Press firmly.

Back leg

When the back leg is bleeding, place the heel of your hand on the inside of your dog’s groin and thigh area, press firmly.

The tail

Should the tail show signs of bleeding severely, place your thumb under the middle part of his tail and the rest of your fingers on top. Now gently press your thumb down.