First Aid for Dogs – Bleeding

Dogs may bleed for a number of reasons. These include a car accident or animal fight (and in this case your should also read first aid for dogs in the event of a car accident or dog fight), a severe wound, a fall, blood not clotting or poisoning. Sometimes there can be an obvious source and site of the bleeding and on other occasions less obvious.

Bleeding that is bright red, in spurts and is difficult to stem is life threatening and requires veterinary assistance as soon as possible.

First Aid for Dogs - Bleeding ~ on Puppy Tales

When you encounter a dog with a bleeding wound:

  1. The first important point is that if there is an object protruding from the wound, do not remove it! This can make any bleeding significantly worse. It should be removed at the vet and in the meantime carefully apply pressure around the wound.
  2. For bleeding wounds, apply even, gentle pressure. If you can cover the wound with a sterile dressing or gauze pad first, this is ideal, but not essential in an emergency. You can use just about anything, for example a Jersey, towel or blanket, to press around the wound.
  3. It is important not to keep on removing the pad to see if the bleeding has stopped. This can dislodge any clot that has formed and may restart the bleeding. If the padding becomes soaked then add more padding and more pressure.
  4. You can also raise the wound to help reduce blood flow to the area. Do not use a tourniquet unless everything else has failed and the patient is bleeding uncontrollably.
  5. If you cut a nail too short and there is bleeding from this, apply cold wet cotton wool and the bleeding should stop after around 10-15 minutes.

Apply a sterile or clean cover to the wound and apply gentle pressureDr Abbie demonstrating the covering and applying of gentle pressure on a wound

Dr Abbie Tipler, BVSc, MACVS (Surgery) Tipler, BVSc, MACVS (Surgery)

Dr Abbie is a Small Animal Veterinarian with 10 years full-time experience. Her passion is Small Animal Surgery and in 2011 she studied towards and obtained her Memberships in Small Animal Surgery from the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists. Although surgery is her special interest, she loves all aspects of General Practice, especially canine medicine. She lives with her family and two Ragdoll cats.