First aid for Dogs

A horrifying number of Street dogs and cats die because of lack of medical attention. This is all the more tragic because wounds and injuries are surprisingly simple to treat, once you’ve learnt how. Especially for very serious cases, the dog does not even need to be hospitalized. With your help, street dogs can live a happy and healthy life. Some of the most common problems that street dogs suffer from are skin infections, wounds and maggot wounds. All these can be treated easily on site (unless very severe when the dog needs to be taken to a vet or a shelter).

First Aid Kit:

Scissors, forceps, thermometer, chain to restrain the dog, tape to muzzle the dog (or buy a regular muzzle from a vet), adhesive tape, Gauze Bandages, cotton wool, bandages.

Medicines:

Betadine Lotion and Ointment, Neosporin or Nebasulf powder, Himax Ointment (a miracle medicine for animals) or Skinoment, Betnovate Skin Cream, Soframycin skin ointment, Ivermectin – 10 ml vial, Topicure spray, Scabnil Oleo, Neem oil, antibiotic such as Cifran 500 mg (for 20 kg dog), Avil tablets (25 mg or 50 mg -depending on the age and weight of the dog), Petmosol soap, Ecktodex or Ridd, Ivermectin tablets, sulphur powder, camphor powder, boric powder, coconut oil, kerosene oil, Cetrimide Lotion (Anti-allergic wash from Piramal Healthcare)

 

SKIN DISEASES

This is the most common problem that dogs suffer from. In the first instance, try and avoid them getting skin infections by taking precautions. Give a pinch of sulphur in the dog’s food once a week. You can also give a neem tablet (from Himalaya Drug Co.) once a week which is most effective too. If we can help treat their skin infections, it would eliminate a great deal of suffering the dog undergoes. The most common diseases are mange and scabies and fungal infection. Most dogs can be treated at site. There are various treatments:

Treatment 1 (allopathic treatment)

• If possible, give the dog a bath with Petmosol soap. (Repeat once a week till the dog heals).

• Apply Ektodex 1 tsp in 1 litre solution (or as instructed on the bottle). Note: As this medication is poisonous, do not let the dog lick himself. Try and walk the dog till the medicine dries.

• Antibiotics have to be prescribed as the constant scratching will have caused bacterial infections. Amoxycillin can be given 2 times a day for three days along with Vitamin B capsules. Avil can also be given to relieve the itching.

Treatment 2 (Do not apply this mixture on cats)

• Mix Scabnil Oleo with an equal part of Neem oil.

• Apply on the dog with a brush. Repeat every 4 days.

• The main ingredient of Scabnil Oleo is karanj oil which is a powerful anti-fungal agent. Neem oil is also strongly anti-fungal.

Treatment 3 (Home remedy)

Warm Coconut oil and mix 10 cubes of camphor (camphor packet available in the market) and 1 tsp sulphur powder in it. Then put in 1 tsp Boric powder in it and then kerosene oil and cool the mixture. Apply the mixture on the dog’s skin, so that it reaches the hair roots. (You can clip the hair if you cannot reach the roots. You can keep this mixture in a small glass bottle and repeat it until the dog is healed.

Some general points for skin diseases. Treatment 2 is very effective for parasitic skin disease like mange or scabies. In general, we have found Treatment 3 to be very effective in heat-related skin problems. This is because of the cooling properties of camphor. At the time of application this treatment may irritate the skin and make the dog restless, but this will pass off in an hour or two. Usually, dogs do not try to lick these ointments because of the strong smell. However, to be on the safe side it might be a good idea to keep the dog muzzled during application.

 

WOUNDS (Prevention of maggot wounds)

You may be lucky enough to spot a wound before a housefly does. Do not neglect even a small wound especially if the dog cannot reach it to lick it since they are the ones which very quickly become maggot infested. A gaping wound, however, is going to require stitches and the dog would be required to be taken to the vet. If it doesn’t, then you can treat it yourself.

Medicine:

Betadine lotion, Neosporin powder, Himax ointment.

Treatment:

1. Clean the wound with Betadine lotion.

2. Sprinkle Neosporin (or Nebasulf) powder liberally into the wound.

3. Put Himax on the wound liberally to keep away flies so that it doesn’t become a maggot wound. If the dog has a caretaker, try leaving Himax with him and tell him to apply it on the wound every day until it heals.

 

MAGGOT WOUNDS

An open, round and deep wound with bleeding and which also gives out a foul smell are usually clear indication of a maggot wound (see image). Since it is a painful procedure, the dog must be muzzled when it is being treated. Do not treat head wounds but take the dog to a vet or a shelter.

An exhaustive article on treating Maggot wounds can be read here.

Medicine:

Ivermectin 10ml vial, Topicure Spray, Betadine lotion, Nebasulf/Neosporin Powder, Lorexane ointment, Himax

Treatment:

• Put in Ivermectin (about 4-5 drops) in the wound.

• You can also spray Topicure deep into the wound so that it irritates the maggots to emerge out. If maggots start to emerge, remove them with tweezers.

• Then apply Nebasulf or Neosporin powder into the wound to heal and dry it. Next apply Lorexane cream and fill the wound with this.

• The final and most important layer is the ayurvedic fly repellant Himax cream. Apply it liberally all over the wound so that flies do not get to the wound again.

• The next day if you can treat the wound again, you will need to repeat the same steps again.

• Once the wound is a pink colour, you can just sprinkle Neosporin powder in the wound and apply Himax liberally on top of it until it heals.

How to tie a muzzle to treat a dog?

• Use a long strip of material or a tape (not adhesive or any sticky tape, please)

• Place the strip of material on top of the dog’s nose.

• Loop the material under the dog’s chin and tie it into a knot.

• Bring the ends of the material back behind the dog’s ears and tie into a bow on top of the head.

Use the muzzle only for treating a dog for a few minutes as the dog can get overheated.

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