If your dog is involved in a car accident, it can be an extremely distressing and shocking experience. However, knowing how to react in such a situation is crucial to giving your beloved pet the best chance at a speedy recovery. Our experts at Katten TrimSalon will guide you through the necessary steps to take if your dog is hit by a car.
It’s not uncommon for dogs to unexpectedly run out the door, escape during a walk, or slip out of the yard, which puts them at risk of being hit by a car. Understanding what to do in such a grave situation can greatly influence the outcome of your dog’s treatment and help you remain calmer during the incident.
Naturally, you’ll be overwhelmed with emotions if your dog is hit by a car. However, it’s vital to stay composed. Keeping a clear head will not only facilitate the process for you but also help calm your pup. Dogs are perceptive creatures, and they often mirror our emotions. So, staying calm will prevent your furry friend from panicking further.
Contact the Nearest Emergency Vet
Immediately contact your primary veterinarian or, if it’s outside of their working hours or you’re away from home, reach out to the nearest 24/7 animal emergency hospital. While most emergency veterinary clinics accept walk-ins, it’s advisable to call ahead and inform them about the situation and your impending arrival. The veterinary professionals handling your call may provide guidance on how to manage your dog’s injuries and how to prepare your pet for transportation to the clinic.
If You’re Not the Dog’s Owner
If you’re a driver involved in the accident and the injured dog doesn’t belong to you, it’s essential to take appropriate action. Call the police or animal rescue to report the incident and ask for their advice. Follow their instructions accordingly. In most cases, you’ll be asked to stay at the scene until help arrives. If it’s safe to do so, check the dog for ID tags that may include the owner’s phone number or the contact details of the dog’s regular veterinarian.
Handling a Frightened or Injured Dog
When a dog is hit by a car, they are likely to be both injured and frightened. In such cases, injured and frightened animals may lash out at people attempting to help them. If your dog isn’t experiencing vomiting, it’s advisable to muzzle them if possible. Although some may view a muzzle as a form of punishment, it’s a necessary measure to prevent injuries to yourself or others while ensuring your dog receives the assistance they need.
Ensuring the Dog’s Safety and Comfort
If the injured dog is on the road and it’s safe to do so, move them to a safer location. Utilize a blanket or board as a makeshift stretcher. Keep your injured dog warm by wrapping a blanket around them, making sure to leave their nose and mouth uncovered for proper breathing. If your dog is having difficulty breathing, and if it’s safe, remove their collar or significantly loosen it.
Communicating With the Driver
The driver involved in the accident is likely to be shaken by the incident. Stay calm and politely request their name and contact information. It’s important to note that in most jurisdictions, the pet owner is responsible for keeping their pets off the roads.
The injuries sustained by a dog hit by a car usually include cuts, scrapes, and broken bones. More severe accidents can result in head trauma and internal injuries, such as internal bleeding. If your dog has bleeding cuts or scrapes, cover the wounds with a clean cloth and apply gentle pressure to stop the bleeding. In cases where broken bones are suspected, try to keep your dog as still as possible. Gently transfer them to a rigid surface, like a wooden board, to safely transport them to the nearest animal emergency hospital while minimizing movement.
At the Veterinary Hospital
Regardless of whether your dog exhibits obvious signs of injury, it’s crucial to have them examined by a veterinarian after being hit by a vehicle. Even if your pet appears fine, they may be suffering from internal injuries. Upon arrival at the veterinary hospital, the emergency team will prioritize stabilizing your dog’s condition. Once your pet is stable, the vet will proceed with diagnosing the injuries and providing treatment.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The extent of your dog’s injuries will determine the diagnostic tests required for accurate assessment and treatment. Common tests include blood tests, x-rays, and ultrasound scans. Treating your dog may involve intravenous fluids, pain medication, antibiotics, and, in severe cases, hospitalization, surgery, or specialized procedures. After your pet is discharged, the veterinarian will provide specific instructions for home care. It’s crucial to follow these instructions diligently and schedule a follow-up appointment to monitor your dog’s recovery and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.
Beyond the immediate stress of dealing with your injured pet, emergency veterinary bills can add to the burden. Pet owners are typically required to pay for their dog’s treatment upfront. To mitigate this financial strain, consider pet insurance or regularly setting aside funds specifically for emergency veterinary expenses. Many pet insurance policies cover immediate emergency care as well as medication and physical rehabilitation after the pet returns home. Consult with your vet to determine if pet insurance is a suitable option for your dog.
Please note: The advice provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
Remember, in the unfortunate event that your dog is hit by a car, staying calm, seeking immediate veterinary assistance, and following the proper steps can significantly contribute to their chances of a successful recovery. Keep your beloved pet safe and be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances. For more information, visit Katten TrimSalon.