Whether itís flushing quail in the field or simply scouting new land, our dogs love to be with us and are certainly happy to be on the move. But with this comes the various hazards that dogs face.* Be sure to understand the more common injuries and how to take care of them. Orthopedic Injuries […]
The post Gun Dog First Aid: Orthopedic Injuries & Overheating appeared first on VA Outdoors - Virginia's Premier Hunting, Fishing, and Outdoors Source.


Whether itís flushing quail in the field or simply scouting new land, our dogs love to be with us and are certainly happy to be on the move. But with this comes the various hazards that dogs face.* Be sure to understand the more common injuries and how to take care of them.
Orthopedic Injuries
One of the best ways of preventing injuries to dogsí muscles, ligaments and tendons is to make sure your animal is properly conditioned and trained in the time leading up to hunting season. Overweight dogs are putting more stress on their joints as they run through the brush, jump over fallen trees, or swim to get that bird. Unconditioned dogs are likely to fatigue faster, which may compromise their safety by forcing them to be off their guard when performing. A dog not properly trained to commands, or who is unfamiliar with obstacles and running in brush is more likely to be injured in the field.
If your dog should suddenly begin walking on only three legs, first check to be sure the pads of the paw are not cut or embedded with a foreign object. If this is not the case, the dog may have an orthopedic injury. At this point, it would be best to calm him down, let him rest for a few minutes and see if the injury is still apparent. If the dog is still protecting that leg, itís time to get him to a vet, ideally again, without making the dog walk.

Overheating & Dehydration
Even in winter, hunting dogs can get overheated. Take regular breaks to let the dog rest, and supply fresh water for your companion. One of the more common conditions vets see are cases of gastrointestinal distress, caused by something the dog ate or drank in the field. Keep in mind that in the excitement of the hunt, most dogs wonít stop working and hunting until theyíre extremely dehydrated or overheated. By then, it could be at a dangerous level.

Be Prepared*in the*Field
As with humans, use direct pressure to stop bleeding. Removing a bandage too many times can damage clots that are forming, causing further bleeding. A commercially available clotting product can be used in more extreme circumstances.

  • Carry a water bottle/squeeze bottle to flush smaller wounds and for the dog to drink.
  • Donít waste time in the field trying to bandage smaller wounds such as minor cuts. Transport to a vet if it looks as though it will need further care.
  • Use a stretchy tape or bandaging, preferably one that only sticks to itself; wrapping around the head or neck can be tricky, and dangerous if too tight. Be able to fit two fingers under the tape to keep from constricting the windpipe or restricting lung expansion.
  • Always carry your vetís cell phone number for emergencies.


The post Gun Dog First Aid: Orthopedic Injuries & Overheating appeared first on VA Outdoors - Virginia's Premier Hunting, Fishing, and Outdoors Source.


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