Common Dog Injuries and How to Prevent Them

December 17, 2021 | ​​​​​​​
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Accidents and injuries can happen anytime, and they often occur when we least expect them. The same can be said for those which affect our dogs. From slips and sprains, to crush injuries and accidental poisoning (yes, really!), here are some of the most common dog injuries that we see and how to prevent them.

 




Cruciate Ligament Injury



Injuries to the cruciate ligament are among the most common injuries to affect the limbs of dogs. They are particularly common in some breeds, including German Shepherds, Labrador retrievers, Newfoundlands, Rottweilers, and Bichon Frise. Also known as ACL sprains or tears, they occur when the cruciate ligament, which is responsible for stabilizing the knee joint, becomes damaged. This causes knee pain and instability that makes it hard for your dog to bear weight and move around.

 


You can help reduce the risk of your dog experiencing an ACL injury by making sure that they maintain a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet that contains the right nutrients, and give your dog daily exercise.

 




Torn Claws



Dogs rely heavily on their claws for grip when walking and running and will use them in defense if they feel threatened in any way. However, problems with their claws are very common. While exercising does help to naturally reduce them and prevent them from becoming too long, they can easily get snagged on carpet or rough terrain, causing a painful tear or split.

 


You can reduce the risk of claw damage by making sure that you keep your dog’s nails under control, trimming them regularly, or asking your groomer to do it for you.

 




Accidental Poisoning



As you’ve probably noticed, most dogs aren’t too fussy about what they eat. Young dogs also use their mouths to explore the world around them. Both of these factors can result in your canine pal eating something that he isn’t meant to. This could be a harmful food, such as onion or chocolate, a toxin like antifreeze or human medication, or an inanimate object like a key, small toy, or pen that could damage or cause a blockage in their esophagus, stomach, or bowel. If you ever suspect that your dog has eaten something that it shouldn’t have, it’s essential that you speak to your vet right away.

 


It probably comes as no surprise that the best way to avoid any sort of ingestion injury is to pay close attention to where your dog puts their mouth. Familiarise yourself with poisonous foods and substances and make sure that they are well out of reach of your dog, and keep clutter put away too. Use positive reinforcement techniques to teach your pup early on what they can chew on, and what they can’t!

 




Cuts, Scratches, and Burns



Whether your dog has got into a scrap with another animal, injured themselves while exploring outside, or come into contact with an open flame, cuts, scratches, and burns are among the most common canine injuries that we see day today. In most cases, they are fairly mild and need only a little professional intervention to make sure that they don’t get infected and that they heal properly.

 


It probably goes without saying that no dogs should be left unattended near an open flame. Not only could they burn themselves, but they could set light to your home too. Some cuts and scratches can’t be avoided, but you can help prevent your dog from getting into a fight with another animal by making sure that you keep them on the leash whenever you are outside of the house.

 




Allergic Reactions



Dogs can suffer from allergies just like humans can, and the reason for their allergies can vary just as wildly too. Some dogs are highly allergic to bites and stings, with rattlesnake bites being particularly dangerous for even non-allergic canines. Many dogs are allergic to certain food groups, with beef, dairy, wheat, and egg allergens some of the most common. If your dog has an allergy, it may experience an allergic reaction. The severity of this can vary, from life-threatening anaphylaxis to a mild skin rash.


 

If your dog has allergies, your vet will work with you to determine their cause so that this can be avoided as much as possible in the future. Your dog may also be prescribed antihistamines to help keep their allergic reaction under control.

 



 

If you would like more information about common dog injuries and how to prevent them, visit Tampa Bay K9 Rehabilitation Center in St. Petersburg, FL. Call (727) 677-9500 to schedule an appointment today.

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