Restraining Injured Pets

Injured Dog

Animals in pain often lash out, bite and/or scratch, even those they love. Learning how to restrain an injured pet can help you to avoid injuries to yourself. Immediately call your veterinarian or animal rescue and alert them to the problem.

To muzzle an injured dog, first put a leash on him/her. Then approach from the side and quickly slip a muzzle on and fasten it closed. DO NOT muzzle an animal that has difficulty breathing, is unconscious or has a mouth injury. Any piece of cloth can act as a muzzle. It should be about 3 feet long and 3 inches wide. Cross the ends and begin to tie, leaving a large loop. Slip the loop over the dog’s nose, tighten and knot. Draw the ends under the chin and knot. Bring the remaining ends around the neck and tie a knot behind the ears.

Speak calmly and softly to an injured animal. They can sense if you are excited or upset and it will only increase their stress.

If you don’t have a leash handy, any piece of rope or even a long piece of cloth can be substituted.

Grab a large handful of skin high on the scruff of the neck. Raise the dog high enough so that you can slip your hand under the chest between the front legs. To place the dog in a car (or home), carry it and set it down gently as you pull your hand backwards.

If the dog is calm, you can wrap one arm around the neck an the other around the belly just in front of the hips or under the armpits. Don’t squeeze, just use the least amount of pressure to hold firmly.

Lie the dog on its side with its back to you. Place an arm over the neck and hold the bottom front leg. Place the other arm over the back and hold the bottom back leg. This hold can be used for an injured pet or during nail trimming.

For a cat, reach over its body and place your hand under its chest. Lift the cat so that its body is against your arm and body. Grasp the front legs with finger of your hand supporting the chest.

Place a blanket or towel over the cat, covering it completely. Secure the ends together forming a bag. Lift the cat and place in a carrying crate or a box that can be closed.

Pick the cat up by the scruff of the neck, supporting the back paws with the other hand.

Place one hand around the abdomen of the cat and hold the front legs crossed over each other with a finger inbetween them. Pick the cat up and hold close to your body, supporting the chin with the other hand.

These are some restraints and they may be easier said than done. You can try practicing them while there is no emergency. And its always better to have a second person around to help.

Please remember that if your pet bites or scratches, it doesn’t realize what it is doing and certainly doesn’t mean you any harm.

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