Angel Ridge Veterinary Service PLLC

Quality compassionate veterinary care for your animals.

First Aid for Your Dog

Remain Calm

Whatever the circumstances, it is important that you keep a level head so that you can properly assess the situation and communicate clearly with your veterinarian.

For after hours help, call 405-969-2521, if I do not answer, leave a message and if possible I will contact you within 30 minutes.

If I am unavailable you can call O.S.U. Veterinary Hospital in Stillwater at 405-744-7000


Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Hospital, 1800 W. Memorial Road, Oklahoma City, 405-749-6989


If your dog has swallowed something potentially harmful or poisonous, call:





Call us at Angel Ridge Veterinary Service for veterinary attention if you see any of the following signs:

  • Abnormal heart rate (see how to take your dog’s pluse below)
  • Collapse
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Lethargy/weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain
  • Pale gums
  • Restlessness and panting
  • Unproductive retching
  • Vomiting
  • Any sudden change in behavior

How to Take Your Dog’s Pulse

  1. Find a watch with a second hand.
  2. Find the pulse or heartbeat in one of two ways:  Place 2 fingers inside your dog’s thigh, near where the leg and body meet, or place your hands on both sides of the chest cavity (just behind your dog’s elbows).
  3. Count the beats for 15 seconds, then multiply by 4. This gives you the number of beats per minute.
  4. Normal pulse on a dog is between 70 – 180 beats per minute.  Puppies usually have a pulse up to 220 beats per minute.

Basic First Aid Procedures

Severe Bleeding

Apply pressure with cloth, bandage, or your hand. Call your veterinarian immediately.


Try to remove the object from your dog’s throat, especially if the animal is unconscious. You may use a Heimlich maneuver, but be gentle, as too forceful squeezing may cause internal injuries.


  • Do not give food for 12 to 24 hours.
  • Give ice chips for 2 hours after vomiting stops.  Then slowly increase the amount of food and water given over a 24-hour period.

Call your veterinarian, especially if your dog does not respond to treatment or if vomiting is accompanied by diarrhea, fever (normal temp for a dog is 100 F – 102.5 F), listlessness, pain,or any other signs of illness. If vomiting is continuous (3 to 6 times) call immediately.

How to Handle an Injured Dog

You can gently restrain an injured dog using a homemade muzzle:

  • Be careful. Even the friendliest dogs can bite or scratch when in pain.
  • Never muzzle a dog if he is unconscious, has difficulty breathing, is vomiting, or has a mouth injury.

Homemade Muzzle

  1. Use a bandage, neck tie, length of rag, or other piece of long, narrow fabric.
  2. Loop the fabric once around your dog’s muzzle and tie it under the chin.
  3. Loop the fabric around the muzzle two or three more times.
  4. Pull the ends of the fabric from under the chin and tie securely behind the ears.


Do not give food for 12 to 24 hours.  Save sample of stool in refrigerator for testing.  Call your veterinarian.


Signs of a bone fracture include inability to stand on the leg, limping, intense pain, and the bone appearing to bend where it should not.

  • ·Muzzle your dog and control any bleeding.
  • ·Check for any signs of shock, such as
  • ·Weak pulse
  • ·Pale gums
  • ·Irregular breathing
  • ·Dilated pupils
  • ·Unconsciousness

If shock does occur, keep your dog gently restrained, quiet, and warm with the head elevated.

Do not try to set the bone yourself! Transport the animal to a veterinarian immediately using a stretcher (a door board, blanket, or floor mat).

Heat Stroke

Signs of heat stroke include:

  • Loud panting
  • Bright red gums
  • Dizziness or coma
  • Depression
  • Weakness
  • Frightened or staring expression

Bring your dog’s temperature down by soaking them with cold water and covering with cold wet towels, if possible, before rushing to the hospital.