What To Do If Your Dog Is Hit By Car

bigstock-Pet-First-Aid-14539931Unfortunately from time to time you end up in the tough situation of dealing with an animal that has been hit by a car.  The following is how to best respond in this situation.

1. Start by keeping calm, not only for your sake but for the pet as well. Animals can sense your stress and this will only make their anxiety about what has happened worse. So take a moment to take a few deep breaths and focus on what needs to be done

2. Assess the situation, is it safe for you?  Is the animal still in harm’s way?  Do you need a backup person?  Watch for traffic before running to help, and get the animal to a safe spot out of danger.

3. How bad is the situation, is the animal able to get up and walk or is it lying in distress. Every hit by car incident is different and luckily many animals make it out with only minor injuries. Regardless of how bad it appears, you should always treat it as an emergency and have the pet checked by a professional ASAP.

4. Call for help, if back up is needed make the call, having an extra person to help with lifting will be beneficial. Also, depending on the severity, you should contact your local humane society or animal control, since they are equipped to deal with these situations. Even after hours their answering machine should have an emergency number. If you are prepared to deal with the situation on your own make sure to contact your local Veterinary clinic to let them know you are on your way and make sure they are open

5. Take Caution; be very careful when handling animals in these situations. Shock and pain can often cause them to bite or scratch in an attempt to protect themselves (this even applies to your own pet). Use a large blanket, towel or jacket to drape over the pet and act as a protective barrier for you. If you have protective gloves handy you can use them as well. You can also create a make-shift muzzle out of a long string or piece of cloth by wrapping it around the snout twice then tying it behind their head.

6. Prepare to transfer them to the Veterinary Hospital. If there is a large amount of bleeding coming from a wound, cover it with a clean cloth and apply gentle pressure. When moving the animal try to keep them as still as possible to prevent moving a possibly SC-033-0112broken limb or spine.  Supporting them on a stiff board or wrapping them in a blanket will be helpful. Do your best to confine the animal during the drive.

7. When you arrive at the hospital, or when animal control arrives on scene leave it up to them. Depending on the extent of the injuries the animal may or may not need to be admitted to the hospital for a medical work up and

Know that we are here to help.  If your pet has been hit by a car, you do not need to schedule an appointment.  Call us to let us know you’re on the way, and head straight in.

Stacey Strauss RVT