Pet First Aid Instructor Level 3 (VTQ) - Online Blended Part 1

189 videos, 8 hours and 58 minutes

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Spinal injury and moving an injured dog

Video 98 of 189
2 min 43 sec
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Canine Spinal Injuries

Understanding the Canine Spine

The canine spine, akin to the human spine, serves crucial roles:

  • Support: Provides structural support
  • Protection: Safeguards the spinal cord for message transmission

It spans from the base of the skull to the tail tip.

Segments of the Canine Spinal Column

  • Cervical Section: Located in the neck, comprises 7 vertebrae
  • Thoracic Section: Situated in the mid-back, consists of 13 vertebrae
  • Lumbar Area: In the lower back, includes 7 vertebrae
  • Sacral Area: Around the pelvic region, encompasses 3 vertebrae
  • Tail: Typically composed of 6 to 23 vertebrae

Recognizing and Responding to Spinal Injuries

When suspecting a spinal injury in your pet, follow these vital steps:

  • Immediate Veterinary Assistance: Seek professional advice and notify the vet
  • Stabilization and Transportation: Plan how to immobilize and move your pet safely
  • Monitoring Vital Signs: Pay close attention to breathing rate and pattern

Signs of a Spinal Injury

A spinal injury can manifest as:

  • Pain: Severe discomfort
  • Respiratory Difficulty: Inability to breathe properly
  • Limb Paralysis: Inability to use hind or all four limbs
  • Painful Vocalization: Crying out if head or torso moved

Safe Transport to the Vet

Minimize movement and immobilize your pet for transport:

  • For Small Pets: Use a pet carrier or thick cardboard
  • Medium-Sized Dogs: Tape together several layers of cardboard
  • Large Dogs: Utilize a car parcel shelf or large board
  • No Alternative: A sling made from clothing or a quilt (limited support)
  • Secure Your Pet: Attach them to the chosen surface with tape strips over shoulders and hips
  • Immediate Transport: Head to the vet, calling ahead if possible