Dogs love to go outside unsupervised. Unfortunately, that can often lead to accidents involving cars. If your dog has been hit by a car – and sustained severe injuries – it's going to need a lot of time to recover. Once the animal emergency clinic gives the okay for your dog to go home, there are some things you can do to speed up your pet's recovery and to keep your pet comfortable during the process. Here are three important steps you should take to help your dog recover from its injuries.
Check Those Toes
If your dog has bandages on its legs, you'll need to check its toes a couple of times a day. First, look for signs that they might be swelling. Then feel each of them. You'll want to make sure that your dog's toes aren't cold or tender. If you observe any of those signs, you should check the bandages. They may be too tight. If they are, loosen them just enough to allow for proper blood flow to the feet. If you're not sure how tight is "too tight," simply lift up on the edges of the bandages. If you can't lift them up, they're too tight.
Watch for Infection
If your dog sustained open wounds, they can get infected if they're not watched closely. One way to check for infection is to do the smell test several times a day. Place your nose up against the bandages and give them a sniff. If they smell foul, the wound has probably gotten infected.
You should also watch for signs that your dog has gotten overly attentive to the wounds. For instance, if your dog has been ignoring the wounds but is suddenly trying to lick or bite at them, there may be increased pain due to an infection. If you notice either of these signs – foul smell or increased attentiveness – contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Keep Your Dog Moving
If your veterinarian has not ordered your dog to stay confined to a bed, you should encourage it to stay active. Walking will help keep your dog's blood circulating, which will speed up the recovery process. Walking will also reduce the chances of your dog developing post-operative pneumonia. If your dog doesn't want to move, it might be experiencing some pain. You should speak to your vet about pain medication.
If your dog has suffered severe injuries, be sure to follow the after-care instructions provided by your veterinarian. In addition, use the simple steps described above to help keep your dog safe and comfortable while it recovers.