Restraining and immobilizing technics for an injuried pet

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Immobilizing an animal: the bath towel technique.

When an animal feels cornered, especially if it’s already injured or otherwise vulnerable, its instinct is to become aggressive and fight back, compromising not only its own injuries, but also your personal safety. Therefore, use force sparingly if you want its cooperation. A bath towel or blanket – large enough to cover the entire animal – can be used to restrain the animal so that you can give it first aid or take it to the vet.Restraining and immobilizing technics for an injuried pet 2

Stay behind the animal and drape a bath towel or blanket over its body. Covering the animal will have a calming effect.

Before picking up the animal (now covered with the towel) wrap your hand around its neck. Slowly wrap the towel around the body.

Hold the animal in your arms and continue talking to it calmly. If you can man- age, give it first aid; if not, then take the animal to the vet.

If you’re alone and the animal appears aggressive, disregard first aid (unless its injuries are life-threatening). The animal probably needs to be tranquilized. Instead, place it in a cardboard box or a cage and head for the vet.

Restraining and immobilizing technics for an injuried petImmobilizing an animal using your own body

This technique, which applies mostly to medium-size to large dogs, is used when an animal sustains minor, or non-life-threatening, injuries. Muzzle the dog before you immobilize it.

Place your arm under and around the dog’s neck, then grab and hold on firm- ly to the collar of your shirt. As a precaution, keep your face away from the dog’s face.

Curl your other arm around the dog’s belly, pressing its body against your own.

While you’re immobilizing the dog, someone else can administer first aid. Keep talking to the animal reassuringly: this is also part of first aid.

Try this technique only if you’re perfectly comfortable with it, because it’s not exactly risk-free. For example, if the animal you’re trying to immobilize is a small breed, it can easily slip from your grasp and bite.

If you hold its neck too tightly, you risk strangulation, even causing the eye to pop out of the socket, a phenomenon called proptosis, common among flat-snouted dogs (Shih Tzu, bulldog, Yorkshire terrier).

For smaller dogs, you can use a muzzle or bath towel that you can wrap around its neck, like a shawl. This will prevent the dog from turning its head and biting you. If you’re with another person, one of you can restrain the dog’s head while the other administers first aid.

Nourriture Animal NutritionChantale Robinson BSc. T. S.A

Excerpt translated from Chantal Robinson’s book

« Mon animal mange-t-il bien?»


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