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Animal trauma

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Updated: 4/17/2007 12:07 pm Published: 4/17/2007 12:07 pm

Trauma occurs when an animal is struck by or collides with a heavy object such as a large branch, a car, or a wall. An animal who's suffered trauma may experience internal or external bleeding and could go into shock, a condition in which blood pressure and vital signs are dangerously low. Animals in shock may be dazed or unconscious, have a low body temperature, breathe rapidly, or have a pale tongue and gums. Before handling your pet, consider using a pantyhose or other soft material to wrap the mouth closed, as an injured animal may bite when it’s in pain. Control any bleeding by pressing down firmly with layers of clean cloth. If the blood soaks through, add more cloth on top. Don't attempt to remove objects stuck in the chest or abdomen. Close off the wound as best you can with a cloth bandage that's taped in place. If your pet can walk, gently help the animal into the car. If the animal can't walk, slide a board or blanket under your pet to act as a stretcher. Avoid moving any limb that appears to be broken; instead, support it with a rolled towel or blanket. Cover the pet to keep it warm and drive to a veterinarian immediately.

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