Dog First Aid – Strains

Posted March 27th, 2011 by gemainz

Given the energetic nature of dogs, each and every individual would be a candidate for various injuries. Broken bones, lacerations and impalement injuries, serious and simple cuts – these are only some of the pet’s injuries that a dog owner has to deal with. Dogs have the tendency to hide their injuries. A dog owner will become aware of the injuries when the dog fell seriously ill and when treatment may not do much to help the pet. It is therefore necessary for a dog owner to know the normal appearance and the normal behavior of the pet so that any sign of injury can be easily seen. As with any kind of ailment, early detection and urgent treatment would give the dog a good chance at full recovery.

Strain that happens to people can occur in dogs too. Muscle, joint, ligament or tendon strain, also known as soft tissue injury is most prevalent in dogs that join athletic competitions. This condition is more common in overweight dogs and in dogs suffering from arthritis as the muscles, joints and tendons receive more pressure every time the dog moves. Small or toy breeds and stay-at-home canine companions can develop soft tissue injury too.

A strain would occur when the movements of a running, jumping or falling dog would put pressure to the soft tissues so that it would be stretched or in some cases torn. Swelling, inflammation and pain especially when the affected limb or body part is moved are signs of strain. Strain will prevent a dog from putting on even a little pressure on the injured body part. The pain associated with strain will make a dog limp.

Serious and recurring cases of strain are usually corrected with surgery. A surgical procedure is necessary to repair the stretched or torn tendons and ligament so that permanent damage can be prevented. However, rest is the simple but all important first aid treatment for a minor strain. Resting will allow the torn or strained muscle to recover.

Strain resulting from a fall, from a collision with other dog or from overdoing an exercise can flare up quickly. Hot or cold therapies are administered to ease the dog’s pain. Cold compress will reduce swelling and pain. A plastic bag with ice cubes can be placed over the sore muscle. The ice pack though must be wrapped in a towel because circulation will be restricted if it is applied directly to the skin.

Read all about dog first aid and strains at Sarah’s Dogs.

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