Dogs are naturally playful and curious creatures. Unfortunately, this means they’re also prone to injury. If your dog takes a tumble, it’s essential to know if the fall is severe and if you should take them immediately to an emergency animal hospital.
Signs That a Dog Fall Is an Emergency
Here are a few signs that indicate a dog fall may be serious:
- If your dog was falling from a high place, such as a roof or second-story window.
- If they hit their head hard on something during the fall.
- If they yelp or cry out in pain when you try to touch or move them.
- If they seem disoriented or glassy-eyed after the fall.
- If they are having trouble standing up or walking.
If you notice these signs, take your dog to a vet clinic or hospital immediately for evaluation and treatment.
At the Hospital or Clinic
If you bring your dog to the hospital, they will likely do a full physical examination. This will help the vet determine how serious the fall was and what injuries your dog may have suffered.
The vet may also order diagnostic tests, such as x-rays, MRIs, or CT scans (more info on this page), to better look at your dog’s internal organs and bones. Once they are diagnosed, they can treat your dog accordingly.
Treatment for Dog Falls
Treatment for a dog fall will depend on the severity of the fall and the extent of any injuries sustained. Your dog may need some rest and pain relief for minor falls. More severe cases may require hospitalization, surgery, or rehabilitation therapy.
Soft tissue injury or damage is one of the most common results of falls. In this case, surgery may be necessary to repair the damage. If your dog has a head injury, they may need to be monitored closely for signs of concussion. Like cat soft tissue surgery, soft tissue surgery for dogs can be expensive.
Rehabilitation therapy may also be recommended for dogs with serious falls. This type of therapy can help your dog regain strength and mobility. It may include things like physical therapy, hydrotherapy, and massage.
If your dog is older or has other health conditions, such as arthritis, they may be more vulnerable to severe injuries from a fall. In these cases, it’s crucial to get them to the vet right away for treatment.
Preventing Dog Falls
The best way to manage a dog fall is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are a few tips:
- Keep your home safe. Remove any potential hazards from your home, such as loose wires or cords, slippery floors, or open windows and balconies.
- Supervise your dog. Don’t let your dog roam unsupervised. If they’re left alone, ensure they’re in a safe place where they can’t fall or hurt themselves.
- Use a leash. When you’re out walking your dog, use a leash to keep them close by. This will help you prevent them from running off and falling from heights.
- Train your dog. Teach your dog obedience commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” This will help you better control them and prevent them from getting into dangerous situations.
First Aid Tips for Minor Dog Falls
If your dog takes a minor fall and doesn’t seem to be injured, there are a few things you can do to help them feel better:
1. Let Them Rest
Put them in a quiet place and let them rest. This will help prevent further injury and give their bodies time to heal.
2. Apply Ice
Apply a cold compress to areas of their body that are swollen or painful a few times daily. This will help reduce inflammation and pain.
3. Give Them Pain Reliever
Give your dog over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen if they’re in pain. Just be sure to check with your vet first to make sure it’s safe for your dog to take.
4. Monitor Them Closely
While your dog seems okay after a fall, watch them for the next 24-48 hours and observe any signs of pain or discomfort. If they get worse, or if you notice any new symptoms, take them to the vet right away.
Falls can be serious, even life-threatening, for dogs. If your dog falls, it’s essential to get them to the vet immediately for evaluation and treatment. With prompt medical care, most dogs make a full recovery.
You can also help prevent falls by maintaining the safety of your home and supervising your dog closely. If you’re ever unsure whether your dog needs to see a vet, it’s always better to be on the safe side and give them a call.