Perfect Puppy Care Book – Chapter 7 – Puppy Health Care (Part 10)
Chapter 7 – Puppy Health Care (Part 10)
One of the most common eye problems in dogs is conjunctivitis, sometimes called “red eye.” Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctival membrane that covers the back of the eyelids and the surface of the eyeball, up to the cornea. Symptoms include a red eye with a discharge. Treatment includes an antibiotic ointment.
Conjunctivitis is not painful, so if your puppy is acting as if her eye hurts, she may have another serious problem with her eye. Any time that you suspect an eye problem, it’s a good idea to take your puppy to the veterinarian for an examination.
Hopefully, your puppy will sail through life and not experience any emergency health scares. Be prepared for them, however, and you could save her life.
Be very careful when approaching and treating an injured puppy. Even the sweetest dog may bite if she is in pain. If she growls or snaps or if her hackles (the fur on her shoulder blades) are raised, she’s trying to tell you that she wants you to leave her alone. Of course, leaving her alone is the last thing you want to do. But she won’t understand, because she’s hurt and afraid.
In cases like this, it may be necessary to muzzle your puppy. Keep a cloth, soft, or open/basket muzzle on hand in case you need it. You also can get muzzles from your veterinarian or a pet supply store.
If you don’t have a muzzle handy, you can get by with a piece of cloth or leash. Tie the cloth around the puppy’s muzzle, and then bring the two ends under her ears and tie the ends behind her head.
There are times when you should never muzzle a puppy. These include if she is having difficulty breathing or if she is vomiting, choking, or aggressively resisting the muzzle. Never muzzle an unconscious puppy.
Bites and Stings
A variety of insects, snakes, and other critters can injure your dog. Puppies love to explore, and they don’t understand that some things are dangerous. They can easily poke their noses in a fire-ant hill or nudge a sleeping snake. It’s important for you to be aware of some common bites and stings and how to treat them.
Ant, bee, wasp, and yellow jacket stings can cause swelling and redness. The swelling may include the face and neck. If your puppy is stung many times, she could go into shock.
Black widow and brown recluse spider bites are toxic. Symptoms include pain at the site of the bite, excitability, fever, weakness, and muscle and joint pain.
Centipede and scorpion stings cause local reactions and sometimes severe illness.
Here is how to treat a sting:
- Try to identify the insect. Treatment may depend on what stung your puppy. If you can, kill the insect and bring it with you. If this is not an option, try to take a quick picture with a camera or your phone. This will help in determining the cure and also the severity of the situation.
- If you see a bee stinger in your puppy, remove it by scraping it out with a credit card or your fingernail. Don’t use tweezers or squeeze it, or you could inject more venom into her.
- Make a paste of baking soda and a little water, and apply it to the sting site.
- If practical, apply an ice pack to help reduce swelling.
- If your puppy becomes agitated, starts scratching at the sting site, begins drooling, has diarrhea or vomiting, or any difficulty breathing, take her to a veterinarian. She could be experiencing deadly anaphylactic shock.
Both poisonous and nonpoisonous snakes are found in the United States. Most snake bites on dogs occur on the head and legs.
To treat a snake bite, first try to identify the snake. If you are certain that the snake is not poisonous, then clean and dress your puppy’s wound and consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns. If you know that the snake is poisonous, then take the following steps. (Or if you’re not sure, it’s best to treat your puppy as if the snake was poisonous.)
- Keep your puppy quiet and as still as possible. Venom will spread more rapidly if she moves, so if you can, carry your puppy to limit her movement.
- Do not wash the wound, because this could make the venom enter your puppy’s body more.
- Do not apply ice.
- Do not make cuts over the wound and try and suck out the venom, like you’ve seen in the movies. It won’t work, and you could ingest the venom, too.
- Take your puppy to the nearest veterinarian or veterinary emergency clinic for treatment. Do this even if she is not showing any immediate signs; symptoms may be delayed.
If the snake is dead, take it with you for identification. Be very careful! Snakes’ fangs can stay venomous for hours after they die, so use caution if you secure the snake to take it for identification. A more safe option is taking a picture of vide of it.
Emergencies Section Continued on the Next Page
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