First Aid for Dogs: Managing Severe Bleeding


When it comes to dog care, most people think about fleas and other external parasites. However, there are many other health issues that affect your dog's health and well-being; one such problem is bleeding. While some bleeding is normal after surgery or a wound that requires stitches, nothing should be taken lightly when it comes to knowing how to treat severe bleeding in dogs. If you suspect your pup has a serious injury that requires immediate attention, call a vet right away!

Stop the bleeding

If your dog is bleeding, stop the bleeding as soon as possible. There are several ways to do this:

  • Apply pressure with a clean cloth or bandage. If possible, elevate the wound above the heart (for example, by placing it on a table). Apply pressure for at least 10 minutes to slow down bleeding from large wounds and 5 minutes for small ones. If you can't get medical help right away, continue applying pressure until help arrives--but don't allow yourself or others around you to become exhausted from holding on for too long!
  • Use a pressure bandage if there's still excessive bleeding after 10 minutes of direct pressure has been applied over an open wound (the exception being very tiny cuts). Always use sterile gauze pads under any kind of dressing material--and be sure not to remove old dressings before applying new ones; just place new ones on top of old ones!

Look for visible wounds

  • Check the dog's head, neck, and legs for wounds that are deep or gaping. This can indicate that something has punctured an artery. If you see blood everywhere, your dog may be bleeding internally as well, so it's important to get him to the vet right away!
  • If you don't see any obvious injuries or bleeding on the outside of your dog but there is blood on his fur (a sign that he was bleeding internally), try looking at his gums: If they're white or blue instead of pinkish-red then this could mean that he needs immediate medical attention because he may be going into shock due to internal bleeding!
  • Check your pooch's pulse at either his groin area or neck; if it feels rapid then he might need immediate veterinary care because this would indicate possible shock from severe blood loss through internal injuries such as broken bones which cause severe hemorrhaging within muscles/tendons/ligaments etcetera causing rapid loss of fluid from inside outwards causing swelling around site(s) & surrounding areas resulting in increased heat production due.

Watch for signs of shock

  • Check the dog's breathing. If it's slow and shallow, or if you can't hear any sounds at all, you'll need to act quickly.
  • Check the pulse. If there isn't one, this is also a sign of shock and may be more serious than bleeding alone. Try to keep them warm by covering them with blankets or towels; if possible, wrap a hot water bottle around their abdomen (but don't put it too close).
  • Look at their gums: are they white or blue? If so, they're probably experiencing hypothermia (low body temperature) which can occur when an animal loses too much blood or gets chilled from cold weather conditions such as rainstorms or snowstorms--and this can lead to organ failure within minutes!

Use pressure to stop the bleeding

If you're dealing with a severe bleeding wound, apply pressure to the wound for at least 10 minutes. If your dog continues to bleed after that time, apply more pressure until the bleeding stops, and then call your veterinarian.

If there is no foreign object in the skin (such as glass or metal), look for a clotting agent such as cornstarch or flour on your dog's fur near where he was injured. If you find one of these substances on his fur and it is fresh (i.e., not dried out), use it immediately to plug up any holes in his skin that might be leaking blood into his body cavity; then wrap some gauze around this plug before applying direct pressure once again over the top of everything else to keep everything together until help arrives or until further instructions are given by someone with more experience than yourself

Apply pressure bandages and pads

If you can see the wound, apply pressure directly to it with a clean cloth or bandage. If you cannot see the wound but know where it is, apply pressure above that area instead.

If there is still lots of bleeding after applying one pad or bandage, add another one on top of it until the bleeding stops completely. Make sure all edges are covered by a pad so they don't reopen as soon as you take away pressure from them!

Know when to call a vet

If your dog is bleeding profusely and the wound does not stop after 20 minutes of applying pressure, or if you are uncertain about how to proceed, call your vet. Your dog may be in shock and need emergency care.

  • Semi-consciousness: Your dog will be weak and shivering or shaking excessively. Pale gums (skin around the mouth) indicate that there's not enough oxygen in her bloodstream; this can happen when she loses too much blood or if she's been injured internally--both cases where you should seek help immediately!
  • Weakness: When a dog loses too much blood, she might become weak because her depleted body doesn't have enough energy to function properly anymore--which means that even walking around will be difficult for her! If this happens to yours, take her temperature using an infrared thermometer.

Bleeding problems can be serious

If you're not sure how to treat a bleeding problem in your dog, it's important that you learn. Bleeding problems can be serious, so it's important to know how to treat them in case they happen. If you don't know what to do, call a vet!

Stop the bleeding by applying direct pressure with a clean cloth or bandage over the wound and holding it there for 10 minutes. If this doesn't work, try using an elastic bandage or tourniquet just above where blood is coming out of (but not touching) before reapplying direct pressure with another cloth/bandage over top again.


If your dog is bleeding and you're not sure what to do, contact your vet immediately. If the bleeding has stopped, keep an eye on your pet for signs of shock or other problems.


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